BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS
PUBLISHED JUN 30, 2015 AT 7:00 PM (UPDATED JUN 29, 2015)

DEC seeking comment on permit needed to operate East 91st Street MTS

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has launched a four-week public comment period to gather input on whether a permit for the East 91st Street marine transfer station should be renewed.

The air permit in question, which effectively allows the Department of Sanitation to operate the MTS, has been up for renewal since last October. A sanitation spokesperson said it was submitted for review by the DEC. “It did not expire,” said the spokesperson of the air permit.

The process is being exploited by Pledge 2 Protect, the main group aligned against the MTS, which sent almost 16,000 letters of opposition to the DEC outlining its concerns. Thomas Mailey, a DEC spokesperson, said the letter-writing campaign had nothing to do with the agency’s decision to launch a public comment period.

“It would have happened regardless,” said Mailey.

The DEC publicly announced the comment period June 24, and said the agency would be accepting comments until July 24. The agency said the public comment period is in keeping with the federal Clean Air Act. Under DEC regulations, if there are enough new and/or changed conditions since a permit was last issued, the agency can review whether or not to renew it. The agency also said DSNY’s solid waste management and wetlands permit are also up for renewal.

Kelly Nimmo-Guenther, president of Pledge 2 Protect, said the group will take advantage of the comment period by pushing their message that “the dump,” as it’s known locally, poses serious health and safety risks.

“We definitely feel there are enough new and changed conditions since the permits were granted. So we’re looking for them to be reviewed by the DEC,” Nimmo-Guenther said. “We’re also looking for a public hearing for the facts to be discussed.”

Meanwhile, construction of the MTS continues apace.

Read the full article,“MTS Permit Up For Renewal” on OurTownNY.com