Assemblyman Dinowitz Issues Detailed Report on DEP to the DOI
On Thursday, September 20, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz issued a detailed report to the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) documenting what he called, "intent by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to unduly influence the process of site selection," for the massive Croton water treatment plant currently being constructed in Van Cortlandt Park.
In a nine-page letter to DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn and sixty-pages of supportive materials, Assemblyman Dinowitz assails the DEP for false claims about costs, bad engineering decisions, and questionable statements and actions, including inaccurate promises about jobs for Bronxites. It also maintains that former DEP Commissioner Christopher O. Ward's new job as director of the General Contractor's Association raises conflict of interest concerns.
"This report is my response to the DOI's request for information supporting my insistence on a full investigation," Assemblyman Dinowitz said. "The backroom political deals and distortion of public information and documents during the site selection process was disturbing enough, but now that there are astronomical costs that can't be explained by phony claims of inflation and increased construction costs, and the revelation that the DEP is dumping millions of gallons of groundwater into the City's combined sewer system confirms all of my worst suspicions."
In addition to documents that illustrate that the DEP made phony claims of low costs in governmental hearings, official documents, public statements, and media interviews, Dinowitz' report takes the DEP to task for bad engineering decisions that may have irresponsibly caused a massive groundwater leak.
It also cites an August 2007 audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that says poor planning by the DEP has put the water-drinking public in jeopardy. Dinowitz agrees and explains that because of its irrational intention to build the Croton plant in the Bronx, the DEP limited its options for building the Kenisco City Tunnel, a project included in the City's contingency plan.
Also, Assemblyman Dinowtiz stated that the Croton Plant is being built "in the wrong place" and would offer more redundancy in cases of emergency if it were built not in the Bronx, but in Westchester, which is closer to other water tunnels.
Assemblyman Dinowitz also distributed the report to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, as well as to media.
A copy of the letter and a full report of the attachments can be found by clicking on the links below:
For a CD or hard copy, please contact Assemblyman Dinowitz' District office at 718-796-5345.