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Hastings Board Awaits Next Step for Waterfront

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – With the public comment period closed for the Hastings waterfront project, the board of trustees discussed what the time frame is for the next phase of the cleanup .

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) “will look at comments from the Riverkeeper, BP Arco, the village or from any private citizen who sent in their comments,” said Trustee Jeremiah Quinlan.  “They’ll be considering all the comments and they may make modifications” to the Preliminary Remediation Action Plan, which, “based on the comments, they may not.”

The PRAP is essentially the guideline that has been constructed as to how the waterfront will be cleaned up and the DEC will review that and make any changes it deems necessary.

“That will be in the record of decision soon, maybe by the end of the school year,” Quinlan said.  “What I’m hoping is whatever changes they make or they decide not to make they will have an answer for that within about two months, which would be in hopefully May, but I’m hoping by the end of June.”

This has been the latest step in the long process for the village to decide what exactly it wants to do with the waterfront and what would be the best way to clean up the contaminated site.  Quinlan reminded local residents to remain patient with the process.

“Everybody has to remember that the DEC, this isn’t the only project they’re working on,” he said.

The village was also on the cusp of selecting the seven members of the volunteer committee that will assist in the process of deciding on infrastructure plans for the waterfront.

“It was really remarkable, out of those 30 resumes, a dozen are people who tend to carry the weight in this village, but there were 15, 18 new resumes of people we haven’t heard from before, which is extremely unusual,” said Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski.  “You always call for volunteers and the same suspects show up, that’s just the way it is.”

The committee that will oversee public comments and come up with a detailed plan for infrastructure to provide to BP, which owns the waterfront land and will perform the cleanup once all is approved. The village must decide on a plan and provide this information to BP by late summer with enough details to give a guideline to engineers as to where sewer pipes, electrical lines, potential roads and water lines would go on the waterfront land.

Of the 30 resumes we received, Swiderski said the board of trustees “all informally graded them. We correlated those grades to see where there was agreement or not.”

Swiderski said the board would discuss the candidates and potentially decide on the official members late Tuesday night.  Once the seven volunteers are notified, Swiderski said the decision would be announced.

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