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Waterfront Comments Discussed by Hastings Trustees

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Hastings Board of Trustees meeting was moved to the Hastings community center Tuesday evening to accommodate the large crowd that was expected to attend and discuss the waterfront’s Preliminary Remediation Action Plan document.

While the crowd was smaller than expected, trustee Jeremiah Quinlan discussed four key points for the waterfront cleanup that need to be addressed before any work takes place.  Quinlan mentioned the potential contamination in the sewers of the area as his first comment.

“We’d like an investigation to the significant contamination they may have,” he said.

He also brought up the preference for contaminated soil being removed from the waterfront to be transported by railroad.  While he acknowledged that this would not be easy to do, it would make for the most convenient solution for the village in his opinion.  Quinlan said there need to be strict standards in place when reviewing the quality of soil being brought in to fill the waterfront as well.

“More sandy soil is less likely to be washed away by storms and help anchor whatever it is you’re going to put on the soil,” Quinlan said.

The final comment brought up was the decision to put armor, which are basically various sized rocks along the waterfront as the barrier.  Larger rocks would provide better protection from storm damage and smaller rocks, which may be more aesthetically pleasing, are more likely to wash away according to Quinlan.  Mayor Peter Swiderski seemed to be in favor of the large armor for the waterfront.

“I don’t feel like creating an estuary and watching it wash away when the next hurricane comes barreling up the Hudson,” he said.

The board of trustees is also currently reviewing applications from local residents to form a volunteer committee that will oversee public comments and come up with a detailed plan for infrastructure to provide to British Petroleum, which owns the waterfront land and will perform the cleanup once all is approved. The village must decide on and present a plan to BP by late summer with enough details to give a guideline to engineers as to where infrastructure such as sewer pipes, electrical lines, potential roads and water lines would go on the waterfront land.

The Hastings waterfront is a site located on 28 acres down by the Hudson River over the train tracks where several factories used to operate.  The physical landmass was built in the early 1900s by placement of fill material into the Hudson, according to the fact sheet on the village website.

The waterfront contamination has been caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), which are used as insulators for high voltage cables and these contaminants can be found in the water in the form of liquid, semi-solid and traces.  This pollution was a byproduct of a cable company and other factories that operated at the old Harbor on Hastings site.

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