The Bloomberg administration’s plans for a new garbage transfer station on the East River at East 91st Street got the federal OK, meaning that long-delayed station could begin construction by the end of the year and open by 2015.

The $240 million project received final approval in a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The plan, which would place the 10-story trash center in Yorkville beside the Asphalt Green, has stirred up heavy opposition from neighbors on the Upper East Side.

Assemblyman Michael Z. Kellner of Manhattan has filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court to challenge the new station, claiming that the city should have performed another environmental review.
“I am disappointed that the Army Corps issued a permit,” City Council Member Jessica Lappin said in a statement. “This facility will obviously harm marine life in the East River, our air quality, and our densely populated residential neighborhoods.”

The East 91st Street facility is a key part of a 2006 plan the city devised to use barges, rather than trucks, in transporting the bulk of the city’s waste, cutting down on auto emissions. Manhattan produces 40 percent of the city’s trash, but is the only borough without its own waste transfer station, according to The New York Times.

The station is designed to handle up to 5,280 tons of waste, but it will only process an average of 720 tons of residential waste (the equivalent of 72 DSNY trucks) and 780 tons of commercial waste (71 commercial trash trucks) per day, sanitation officials said.

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