Friday, April 14, 2006

Mayor and State DEQ Present New Incentive to Rebuild

The first devastated neighborhood to rebuild and have a plan for the future...

Gets a landfill!
The state Department of Environmental Quality will allow the opening of a new construction landfill in eastern New Orleans despite the vehement opposition of a coalition of neighborhood residents and environmentalists, department officials announced Thursday.


The neighborhood has been actively planning its future, [Rev. Vien] Nguyen said, and many residents have begun rebuilding. He and others fear a new landfill nearby will hurt those efforts.
The large Vietnamese community of Village de l’Est and their neighbors are way out there in New Orleans East. It is remarkable that they have recovered as much as they have in so little time with fewer resources than other communities. Mary Queen of Viet Nam Church has become the hub of their efforts and at its website you can read about their recovery and see photos of what the area looked like after the hurricane.

The residents of this community have shown a clear desire to rebuild. While a landfill may be needed, how can the Mayor justify dropping it near a neighborhood that definitely will come back and will have to deal with the landfill for years to come?

I don’t know where else to put a landfill. Odds are it won’t be 0.8 miles from Lakeview, another neighborhood that has shown a clear desire to rebuild. I also don’t know if the long term problems of a landfill in the east outweigh the short term gains, but that’s principally because no one else does either:
[DEQ assistant secretary Chuck] Brown acknowledged, however, that his figures were not based on a scientific analysis of where debris is located and how long it will take to pick up. Rather, he used estimates of how much debris remains, and figured that each landfill could accept approximately 20,000 cubic yards per day.


The corps, which is in charge of the debris-removal effort, has also said that another landfill would make its mission cheaper and faster. However, corps officials likewise don't have a scientific estimate of how much difference another landfill will make.
Cheaper and faster isn’t always better.


bayoustjohndavid said...

What really got me last night was hearing the channel 4 reporter ending the story by emphasizing that it would only be open for a year, in a "so what's the big deal" way. What an idiot! If it's safe five years would be O.K. If not, a lot of contamination can occur in a year.

I know that we all have to make sacrifices and that changes need to be made, but the media bias seems to be to view all opposition as obstructionism. There's something wrong when it's easier to keep out people than it is to keep out garbage.

ashley said...

The east pro'lly is the best place for a landfill...but not where they're planning on building it. They can go way the heck past Jazzland, and still be in Orleans parish, if that's the requirement.

The parts of the East around the church and the bakery and such have made a remarkable recovery, and this isn't gong to help.

Finally, you're dead on about the lack of analysis involved in selecting the site. Maybe we should just barge it and send it to Utah. I know a Senator there who deserves it.