Three Municipalities to Sue Kiryas Yoel Over Water Pipeline


pipelineThree municipalities plan to sue Orange County and Kiryas Yoel over the village’s plans to tap the Catskill Aqueduct and its legal deals with the county involving that water project and the Harriman sewage treatment plant.The villages of Harriman and Woodbury and the Town of Woodbury are expected to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court today that would revive the concerns about sewage treatment that the county deemed settled when it surrendered its objections to Kiryas Joel’s pipeline proposal.

“All the stuff that’s in there is still extremely valid,” Woodbury Supervisor John Burke said Thursday, referring to the pipeline lawsuit that the county dropped in February. “All that was pushed aside.”

His Town Board was expected to vote Thursday night to proceed with the litigation. Woodbury village trustees voted 4-0 to sue and hire attorneys James Bacon and David Gordon for the case at a special meeting a week ago.

Municipal leaders saw today as their deadline to sue because they had 120 days to challenge two environmental documents that county lawmakers approved on Feb. 4, enabling County Executive Ed Diana to withdraw the pipeline lawsuit less than two weeks later.

Both documents amended the environmental review that preceded the last expansion of the county-run sewer plant in Harriman. A key addition was the requirement that the county provide more sewer service once its current system reaches 85 percent of its capacity.

Burke argues that before dropping the suit, county officials should have consulted with the municipalities that use and pay for the Harriman plant and given at least a rough plan for how additional treatment capacity would be provided.

Woodbury Mayor Michael Queenan concurred: “They’re making deals with no regard to anyone else. They don’t listen, and there’s no communication.”

See the full report in the Times Herald Record.

{Times Herald Record/Noam Newscenter}