City has shut Hunts Point out, Salamanca complains
City officials continue to keep a tight lid on information concerning the future of NYOFCo, the defunct sewage treatment plant that provoked 16 years of protest over the awful smells that rose from the plant on Oak Point Avenue topped with a red-and-white striped smoke stack.
But the district manager of Community Board 2 is vowing to fight to keep NYOFCo’s parent company, which is seeking to reopen the plant, from setting foot in Hunts Point ever again.
Rafael Salamanca said he was “totally disgusted with the fact that they think they can come in to our community and say, ‘It’s a new day and give us a second chance.’”
In response to questions at a meeting with the staff of The Hunts Point Express, he continued, “For them to think because they have new technology it’s going to be OK—I don’t think so.”
The plant, which turned sewage sludge trucked from wastewater treatment plants all over the city into fertilizer pellets, closed its doors in 2010 after the city Department of Environmental Protection, facing law suits from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nationwide environmental organization, and from the state Attorney General , ended its contract to deliver 70 percent of the city’s sludge to the facility.
The city’s request for new proposals to process the waste drew responses from a dozen companies, among them Synagro Technologies, the parent company of NYOFCo, which said it would use new technology to keep odors from fouling Hunts Point’s air in a reopened plant.
A spokesman for the environmental department said in May that the city would have a decision by summer. Instead, the process of choosing a new company is now in its second phase said Salamanca, who complained that the community board had been shut out of the process. “It doesn’t sit well with us,” he said. “Here you have a city agency making decisions for this community.”
Last year, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. told The Express that only if the community board supported Synagro would he agree to its return to Oak Point Avenue.
No way, said Salamanca. “At the end of the day, we do not want any more of these plants in the Hunts Point Peninsula,” he said.
“Put it somewhere else.”