From: Bill Egbert, Daily News
Published August 17, 2005 12:00 AM

South Bronx Is Eyed for New Power Plant in New York

NEW YORK — The south Bronx may be selected to host yet another power plant now that a call from the state Power Authority for proposals has revived an effort to build a new generation facility on an abandoned dump.

KeySpan is offering to build a power plant in the Oak Point area of the South Bronx, on land owned by developer Steven Smith, who bought the site three years ago and originally proposed building a 1,075-megawatt gas-fired plant.

Formerly an illegal garbage dump -- abandoned in 1990 amid a series of lawsuits and charges of ties to mobster John A. (Junior) Gotti -- the 28-acre tract is one of the largest privately owned pieces of undeveloped commercial real estate in the city.

KeySpan declined to comment on the proposal beyond confirming that the company has sent a plan to the state Power Authority in response to a request for proposals.

"KeySpan has submitted a proposal to the New York Power Authority," said company spokesman Ed Yutkowitz, "but so have several other companies."

Indeed, as many as 10 rival bids have been submitted, most seeking to locate power plants in other parts of the city, such as Staten Island and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

South Bronx residents would rather see the plant located elsewhere, complaining that the area shoulders more than its share of noxious city infrastructure.

"We're already overburdened," said Majora Carter, executive director of Sustainable South Bronx. "This area doesn't need another source of pollution."

The borough already has 15 waste transfer stations that handle about 25 percent of the city's waste, and a sewage plant processing more than half the city's sludge, as well as a vast wholesale food market that brings more than 11,000 diesel trucks per day through Hunts Point -- a neighborhood with one of the highest asthma rates in the nation already.

Sustainable South Bronx recently secured Empowerment Zone funding to study the possibility of building a major recycling operation on the Oak Point site.

The "recycling industrial park" would pair recycling facilities with businesses that use recycled materials.

Carter said that a facility on the scale envisioned would save local businesses as much as $25million a year with reduced disposal costs, and divert more than 3,000 tons of trash per day from the area's many waste transfer stations.

"What we're proposing is something that supports the city," said Carter. "We hope the city will work with us on this."

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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