Senator Onorato Registers Strong Opposition to Construction of Waste Transfer Station Near Laguardia Airport

George Onorato

March 12, 2009

Says Potentially Dangerous Project Is, Literally, For The Birds

 In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, US Army Corps of Engineers, State Department of Environmental Conservation, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the New York City Department of Sanitation, State Senator George Onorato (D-Queens) is calling for a halt to the North Shore Marine Transfer Station now proposed near the end of a runway at LaGuardia Airport, saying the structure “will have a devastating and potentially disastrous impact on the surrounding community and air travelers.  This project, quite literally, is for the birds.”

 Noting that the proposed transfer station would reportedly handle from 3,000 up to 5,280 tons of trash a day, Senator Onorato wrote, “ 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.”

 Continuing, Senator Onorato said, “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.”

 In conclusion, the Queens lawmaker noted, “Obviously, this project has been in the works for some time, but it’s never too late to admit that a bad decision has been made and to take steps to correct it. The flaws in this plan are glaringly obvious, and it should never be permitted to get off the ground.”