YORKVILLE — The petition protesting the much-maligned East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station and pressing mayoral hopefuls who support it has reached 20,000 signatures in fewer than two months, activists working against the plant said Wednesday.

Anti-MTS coalition Pledge 2 Protect, which launched the petition in April, demands that its signees not only oppose the project — supporters also “pledge” to vote against politicians who back the project and vehemently vocalize support for aspiring pols who want to “dump the dump” elsewhere, they said.

The group reached the milestone signature mark Wednesday morning.

“We have reached our goal well ahead of our anticipated projections and will look to maintain this momentum and add an additional 10,000 voices to this important cause,” Kelly Nimmo-Guenther,  Pledge 2 Protect president, said in a statement. “New Yorkers care deeply about this issue, and most of this year’s candidates for Mayor and Manhattan borough president recognize the importance of protecting all children in our city.”

The announcement comes amid growing citywide interest in the project, which has become a talking point for mayoral hopefuls. Though MTS opposition has bipartisan support, it’s especially been a flashpoint in recent weeks for Democrats vying to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, long an MTS supporter, traded barbs with onetime Comptroller Bill Thompson over whether opposition to the plant represented “environmental racism.”

Their heated exchanges ultimately spiraled into accusations of “race baiting.”

The MTS has remained a hot topic ever since their exchanges earlier this month. On June 17, Quinn used the station as a launching pad for going on the attack against her opponents, claiming they “pander” to the Upper East Side simply for campaign cash.

This dig was in part directed at Thompson, who then promised on June 20 to build a trash plant in Quinn’s district rather than Yorkville.

Opponents of the MTS fear that the project will bring vermin and traffic to the neighborhood.

A lawsuit filed by neighborhood politicians to stop the MTS was recently struck down by a state appeals court.

 

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