Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. praised the decision by New York City Department of Environmental Protection to cease the practice of shipping its sludge to be processed at the NYOFCO plant in Hunts Point. The plant, which emits a vulgar stench throughout Hunts Point, has been a nuisance to that community for years.
The New York Organic Fertilizer Company (NYOFCO) manufactures fertilizer pellets from sludge produced from all over the city. The plant, based in Hunts Point, has been processing human waste from New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s wastewater treatment plants since 1991, when wastewater treatment laws took effect in the city. On March 8th, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection declared that it would not renew its contract with NYOFCO.
“The decision by DEP to no longer process its sludge at the NYOFCO plant in Hunts Point is worthy of celebration as a major step towards building a cleaner and greener Bronx. The health, well-being and quality of life of Hunts Point residents, and in fact all Bronxites, will no longer be compromised by incompetent industrial operations. Hunts Point residents are glad that, after years of complaining about foul, noxious odors, their long-time activism has resulted in the City refusing to renew its contract with NYOFCO, bringing us one step closer to removing NYOFCO and its disgusting emissions from their neighborhood entirely,” said Borough President Diaz.
Borough President Diaz has been working to get NYOFCO to address the foul odors emanating from the plant since his time in the State Legislature. As an member of the New York State Assembly representing Hunts Point, he introduced a bill to establish a permanent advisory group on environmental justice issues such as this one, ensuring that no ethnic or socioeconomic group would bear “a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local and tribal programs and policies.”
As Borough President, Diaz has met personally with NYOFCO and its parent company, SYNAGRO, to scrutinize the plant’s operations and has staff members who serve on the Hunts Point Monitoring Committee, which keeps tabs on NYOFCO odor abatement efforts.
Although the closure of the NYOFCO plant has not been confirmed, it is the hope of the Borough President that, without its city contract, NYOFCO will be forced to abandon its operations in Hunts Point.
“The sooner the better,” said Borough President Diaz.