Let God filter Croton watershed, too
(Original publication: Journal News, August 5, 2007)
According to Greg Clary’s Tuesday article, “NYC gets waiver in water filtration,” New York City Mayor Bloomberg is quoted as saying: “They love us up there. We want to protect the watershed of this city, and the way to do that is to keep the land natural and let God do the filtering.”
The mayor’s understanding of God’s work is commendable, but limited, since he is only referring to the Catskill/Delaware Watershed. Here, in the Croton Watershed, as the mayor should know, Mammon is in control, not God.
As fortunes are being made, the Croton’s natural landscape is rapidly being paved over by development, and its extraordinary filtration capabilities are being lost and replaced by impervious surfaces. The construction unions, strong supporters of the mayor in the last election, are happily building a chemical filtration plant in the Bronx, hoping to clean up the mess created by overdevelopment in the watershed and restore the water to drinking water standards.
The plant is based on an obsolete design that has sent its cost soaring from $800 million to $2.8 billion and rising. Cutting edge membrane filtration technology is being ignored, even though it would have been less costly and more effective at removing pollutants.
Why doesn’t New York City buy land in the Croton Watershed and protect our water here in Westchester and Putnam, and let God filter the Croton as well as the Cat/Del?
The writer is president of the Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition and a member of Bronx Greens