1999-06-26 / Editorial/Opinion

Real Dumping; Real Concern

We have little love for the piping plover and the way the little bird throws its weight around. To us, the land-grabbing bird is a symbol of an environmentalist lobby with too much clout. But sometimes the environmentalists are not heard loudly enough.  

As the Port Authority looks to dredge Newark Bay and New York Harbor the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is at work trying to find a place to dump the dredged material which will likely be contaminated and toxic. Proposals to dump the stuff just a couple miles off our shore are being seriously considered. The further the material is sent out to sea---the more expensive it becomes. Therefore, to keep costs down they’d like to dump a bit closer (to us). Yet, we have to wonder if the potential cost could be gravely higher if an accident happens or serious leakage takes place.

And we have to wonder about the relative silence coming from the Port Authority and Army Corps of Engineers about the placement of the dredged material. Interestingly, the Army Corps of Engineers is holding a public meeting on June 30 at Beach Channel High School but as far as we can tell the meeting’s focus will be on the continuing "restoration" of Jamaica bay. A flyer we received mentions nothing of dredged material. It is will be a waste of time for residents and environmentalists to voice concern about the dredged material at this meeting---they’ll be told that a different department is handling that---but they should be aware that meetings will be held about the dumping of the dredged material. The public should keep tuned.

If dredged material eventually pollutes our waters, the repercussions would be far-reaching. Health, property values, and quality of life would be directly affected. Call 212-264-4260 to keep abreast.









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