PARK PLANT HEARINGS

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FYI: The Assembly is holding hearings today in Manhattan to vet the city’s proposal to put a water filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, who represents the district where the plant would be sited, has voiced the strong opposition of a number of community groups, and the Assembly leadership has been reluctant to push the plan forward as a result. The city is under court order to find a location for a plant to filter drinking water from the Croton Reservoir system by month’s end, and has tried to entice neighborhood support by promising $200 million in parks improvement money for the Bronx as part of the project. Environmental planners have long debated the need to filter Croton water, but the idea gained credibility this week when three major environmental groups endorsed it without commenting on the siting debate. [5/23/03]