Despite NJ Transit reports, 15 environmental groups still urging Murphy to preserve Union Dry Dock

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Despite two recently released NJ Transit reports that indicate Union Dry Dock is the best location for New York Waterway’s ferry refueling and maintenance station, 15 environmental groups are still urging Gov. Phil Murphy to preserve the waterfront property.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Preserving Hoboken Cove for public use is now under attack with New York Waterway proposing to locate a ferry maintenance, refueling and berthing facility at the Union Dry Dock site. As stated this site is the final missing link to completing the 30 year vision of a continuous publicly accessible waterfront along the Hudson River coast,” the August 8th letter to Murphy says.

“The ferry operator plans to operate 18 hours a day, 7 days per week, making an estimated 80 ferry trips daily to and from the depot. Most of these ferries operate with Tier 1 diesel engines, the most polluting class of marine engines. In addition, the City estimates that ferry crews commuting to work will be making 240 vehicular trips to the Hoboken waterfront.”

The letter also argues that allowing NY Waterway to utilize Union Dry Dock would go against bill S-1074, which broadens public access to New Jersey beaches and waterfront areas.

On the same day the letter was written, NJ Transit completed the findings of two studies that wrote off the Hoboken Terminal and the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne as viable alternatives for New York Waterway, as HCV first reported.

In a nutshell, the reports stated that the Hoboken Terminal was a major homeland security risk, while the MOTBY location was far too expensive of an idea to consider – likely to cost between $34.3 and $47.9 million.

Meanwhile, the Hoboken City Council approved the first reading of a measure that would allow them to executive eminent domain on the Union Dry Dock property earlier this month and second reading is currently scheduled for September 4th.

The letter to Murphy is signed by leadership from the Fund for a Better Waterfront, the New York/New Jersey Baykeeper, the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Friends of Liberty State Park, the American Littoral Society, the Environment New Jersey, the Hackensack Riverkeeper, the NJ Environmental Lobby, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, the NJ Sierra Club, Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, the Surfrider Foundation, the Waterkeeper Alliance and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Last month, a similar letter was sent to First Lady Tammy Murphy and is yet to warrant any public response.

A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately return an email seeking comment Friday afternoon.

9 COMMENTS

    • You mean the “environmental” groups won’t put up the tens of millions to move NY Waterway?
      Gee, didn’t they tell us just the other day there was no cost involved? Sounds like eminent domain action to move NY Waterway would cost tens of millions of dollars.

  1. “the reports stated that the Hoboken Terminal was a major homeland security risk”. I think this requires a little bit more elaboration. Looks like a smoke screen

    • Hi, if you click on Thursday’s story you will be able to click on links to both NJ Transit reports. The one on Hoboken Terminal is 15 pages and the one on the Military Ocean Base Terminal at Bayonne is 22 pages.

  2. I didn’t bother to read the Bayonne report but the Lackawanna report consists of a bunch of contrived conclusory statements unsupported by any actual analysis.

    Three reasons are given. The supposed Homeland Security risk is stated as a conclusion despite nothing having changed on that front from 2009 when this supposed risk wasn’t deemed worth even mentioning. The idea that the entrance to the terminal is so heavily trafficked by pedestrians that the fuel deliveries (9 per week) couldn’t be accommodated is nonsensical. Finally, the assertion that the pier would have to be entirely rebuilt is accompanied by an acknowledgement that no actual engineering evaluation has been completed.

    The report acknowledges on the 1st page that the real reason Lackawanna was abandoned as the preferred site and UDD was selected instead was to protect JC/LeFrak’s development interests. The rest of the report is just an attempt to distract from the fact that fact.

    Dishonest as this “report” is, it nevertheless makes clear that the State will not provide Lackawanna as an alternative site, so that is now a fact on the ground.

    Still, the real question here remains unanswered – which is why, other than to enhance NYWW’s profits, the facility needs to be moved from where it is right now.

    Instead of providing an honest and convincing answer to that question, NYWW has resorted to what can at best be called half truths. That lack of candor implies that the supposed need to move is contrived for the purpose of tricking the State into getting involved. Governor Murphy did the right thing putting on the brakes and taking the time to separate fact from fiction. It’s time to let the real facts inform the State’s decision making, and not allow itself to be manipulated again by a greedy unscrupulous wealthy family.

  3. Frankly, Murphy is between a rock and a hard place and I don’t think he will do anything until he absolutely has to. And he doesn’t have to do anything yet.

    • More like he’s between powerful developers like Trucking magnate turned developer turned ferry owner Arthur Imperatore and the small mile square city with a passionate Mayor and citizenry that he can dangle carrots in front of only hoping we will fund the lawsuits and win— so Murphy can avoid looking bad to Mayor Turner who wants to help his buddy Arthur

  4. Murphy won’t do anything until it’s too late.
    County and State bosses always dump on Hoboken’s success and suck on its wealth

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