YONKERS, N.Y. – Piedad Abreu, a local business owner running for election as Westchester County legislator, has called on county officials to complete odor remediation projects at the Yonkers Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The three-stage project, initiated in 2009, stands in limbo, with construction work that was supposed to begin this summer stalled due to bidding problems, according to a press release.
“The odor from the treatment plant, even on a good day, is awful, and the county should be working as quickly as possible to alleviate this problem,” said Abreu.
Owned and operated by Westchester County, the Yonkers Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant is among the largest of its kind in New York state. Construction for the plant was approved first in December 1954, and residents were promised an odorless facility. Growing development over the last several decades, however, has stressed the plant’s capacity as complaints about the plant’s smell have increased.
When sewage from three new parcels in the town of New Castle was diverted to Yonkers four years ago, the idea was that Phase I of the $27 million remediation project was underway. But, Abreu said. the completion of Phase I has brought little relief from the odors produced by the massive treatment plant, though.
Recently, the county decided not to accept the low bid for Phase II of the project, and no new bids for the work have been sought. This, of course, pushes back the odor control work promised in Phase III of the remediation project, Abreu said.
Abreu, a resident of southwest Yonkers for the past 23 years, is competing in a Democratic primary race against incumbent Virginia Perez.
Abreu noted that Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, Perez’s political ally, led the way in bringing Northern Sewer Districts 1, 2 and 3 in New Castle, which he represents, to the Saw Mill Valley Sanitary Sewer District and down to the Yonkers treatment plant in 2011. “If Virginia Perez really cares about her constituents, she’ll join me in calling for the odor remediation work at the Yonkers plant to resume as soon as possible,” said Abreu.
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