Concerned Resident from Scott Tower: Blasting at JPR?

September 6th, 2008 Posted in Ask Ivy

Dear Ivy,

I’ve heard that there are plans for blasting at Jerome Park Reservoir, even though the DEP originally promised that there wouldn’t be. Is this true? What is being done to stop this?

~A Concerned Resident from Scott Tower

Dear Concerned Resident from Scott Tower:

BCEQ has been at the forefront advocating for Jerome Park Reservoir, Van Cortlandt Park and the surrounding communities. We recently decided to take DEP to court to stop the blasting at the Reservoir. Below is information about the court case.

FACT: The 2004 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) stated on page 184 of Section 8.2, submitted as one of the Exhibits: “There would be no surface drilling or blasting in relation to work at the Reservoir.”

FACT: June and July 2008, the DEP announced that they would like to blast at the Jerome Park Reservoir (JPR), and may start as early as August 1, 2008. They compared blasting with drilling even though neither of these alternatives were approved in the FSEIS.

Complaintants: BCEQ is a borough wide environmental organization formed in 1971, and the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association (FIPNA) is a local neighborhood organization whose members primarily live in or around the JPR; both organizations have been engaged in the effort to protect and preserve community life and minimize disruption around JPR for several years. BCEQ President Ira Charles Levenberg and FIPNA President Philip McDonnell signed, as did local Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz and Council Member G. Oliver Koppell. Damian McShane and Father Richard Gorman are the Chairpersons of Community Boards 8 and 12 respectively –each of whom passed resolutions requesting the submission of an EIS by the DEP before blasting at Jerome Park Reservoir begins. Anthony Perez Cassino is the former Chairperson of Community Board 8 and Saul Scheinbach is the Environmental Committee Chairperson of CB8. Frances Al Chapman heads up the Kingsbridge Heights Neighborhood Improvement Association; and Lynn Schwarz is VP of FIPNA. Mario Benitez, Michael Gary, and Morris Palevsky live in Amalgamated Houses. Sonia Lappin from Scott Tower and Carolyn Smith from Tracey Towers live just one small block away from the potential site where the DEP plans to blast.

THE BRONX COUNCIL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (BCEQ), et. al v. THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (DEP), et. al, (Index # 260287 of 2008) will be heard on September 3, 2008.

Check for updates at

~ Ivy

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