North Shore Marine Transfer Station letter from State Senator George Onorato

George Onorato

March 12, 2009

March 12, 2009

Honorable Carmine Gallo
Eastern Region Regional Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
1 Aviation Plaza
Jamaica, NY 11434-4807

Colonel Aniello L. Tortora
Commander and District Engineer
US Army Corps of Engineers, NY District
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, Room 2109
New York, NY 10278-0090

Honorable Alexander "Pete" Grannis
New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-0001

Honorable Christopher O. Ward
Executive Director
Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey
225 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003

Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
City of New York New
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
Honorable John J. Doherty
New York City Department of Sanitation
125 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013

RE: North Shore Marine Transfer Station

Dear Administrator Gallo, Colonel Tortora, Commissioner Grannis, Executive Director Ward, Mayor Bloomberg, and Commissioner Doherty:

I am writing to all of you today, as leaders of agencies involved in one way or another with the above-referenced project, to express my very strongest opposition to the plan to build the North Shore Marine Transfer Station right next to a runway at LaGuardia Airport in Queens. Siting a large garbage transfer station, which is reportedly expected to handle up to almost 5,300 tons of trash a day, so close to the airport will have a devastating and potentially disastrous impact on the surrounding community and air travelers. This project, quite literally, is for the birds.

Under this plan, hundreds of large trucks carrying huge loads of malodorous garbage would travel daily through the surrounding neighborhoods, with their rich-smelling cargo ultimately attracting rodents, insects, and all matter of other wildlife to the area, including countless numbers and species of birds. With the miraculous near-tragedy of US Air Flight 1549 so fresh in our minds, and in light of the fact that the plane’s engine malfunctions have now been clearly attributed to large birds, I find it absolutely mind-boggling that such a wrong-headed plan could even be contemplated – much less get to the point where construction bids are being sought and contracts are expected to be awarded in a few short months.

For the sake of the people of Queens and the safety of unsuspecting airline passengers whose flights might run directly into the path of birds looking for what could be their last meals at the end of the runway, I strongly implore all of you to do all that you can to revisit and ultimately reverse the decision to locate this waste transfer station near LaGuardia Airport. I understand the need to manage New York City’s garbage, and to find appropriate disposal sites, but this project does not meet this criteria in any way, shape or form.

I would appreciate hearing from you on this urgent matter at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for your time and attention.


George Onorato
State Senator, 12th District