Another Meeting Slams Kiryas Yoel Pipeline, Aims to Unify Opposition


gas-pipelineBetween 75 and 100 people attended a meeting sponsored by Citizens for the Preservation of Woodbury on Wednesday night to discuss ways to resist the proposed connection to the Catskill Aqueduct by the Kiryas Yoel community.

The plan for the water pipeline has been in litigation by the county for environmental reasons. However, the county recently suspended the suit. Speakers at the meeting accused County Executive Edward A. Diana of cutting a deal with the Village of Kiryas Yoel.

The burgeoning growth rate of the Village of Kiryas Yoel, the fastest growing community in the state, has continually exceeded the capacity of the village’s existing wells. The implementation of the new pipeline will provide a large boost to the community’s water needs.

However, the issue of additional population growth and increased water usage would also create a much larger volume of sewage to be treated, which has been a major point of contention with the plan.

The panel of speakers at the meeting included Patricia McMullin from State Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt’s office; County Legislator Roxanne Donnery; Harriman Mayor Stephen H. Welle; Citizens for the Preservation of Woodbury Chairman Ralph Caruso; Town of Woodbury Supervisor John Burke; Assemblywoman, Nancy Calhoun; and County Legislator Kevin W. Hines.

In addition to the pipeline, the management of the Harriman Waste Water Treatment Plant and the county’s draft water master plan amendment received much criticism from both the panel and speakers from the audience.

In regard to the pipeline Burke said not enough research was done. He questioned the population figures in the master plan. “What is going to happen when the pipeline is installed?” he asked. “The waste water treatment plant will expand, expand to where?”

He complained that Kiryas Yoel does not submit any plans to the county for review. “If the local municipalities have final control, why not submit (plans) to the county?”

Welle said the Village of Harriman was told in the past the waste water treatment plant couldn’t expand “so I don’t know where the growth is going to go.”

In regard to the continuing odor that emanates from the plant, he asked: “You have a problem now with the plant so why are you going to add to it?”

Donnery was concerned with the loss of home rule, stating “Not listening to local municipalities is going to cause huge problems.”

In regard to financing the pipeline Hines said, “There’s some rumors out there that Senator Charles Schumer has $20 million of (federal funds) to pay for the pipeline.”

Speakers from the audience were concerned with and questioned the ability of the Ramapo River to receive the increase in effluent that would originate from the Harriman Plant if the pipeline is built.

{ Newscenter}


  1. This is absolutely insane. There is no antisemitism here, and it’s about tim eyou people get it.

    People who have been living in their homes for decades in peaceful rural communities, are suddenly finding themselves deluged by influxes of Yidden with big families.

    I live in Lakewood, I learn in BMG, and I totally agree with these people. Lakewood has turned from a small town into a bustling city. There is nothing wrong with residents – Jew or non-Jew – to try to stop this from happeneing.

    Stop calling everyone an anti-semite. You’re like the boy who cried wolf.

  2. I am Protestant and live in Woodbury, and hate to admit it, but if any of you heard the talk of how some of my neighbors refer to “the Jews” (on a good day) you’d probably consider moving far away in fear of violence.

    What I find even more shocking is often I will hear non-practicing Jews referring to the “Hasidim” and the “Orthodox” in more violent terms than some of their own gentile antisemitic neighbors refer to “the Jews.”

    This language has been the case here long before any disputes arose with the Kiryas Joel residents or township. Make no mistake about it, it is antisemitism to its core.

  3. I also live in Orange County and have watched the process for decades as Kiryas Yoel has grown. I am not a practicing Jew but feel some kinship, in part because my father’s family was Jewish. I also feel everyone should have the right to believe in and practice whatever religion they choose. I believe there is real anti-Semitism in the communities around Kiryas Yoel, unfortunately (though I must say I have not heard the kind of talk that Peter describes). But I also believe, as Yid notes, that many people in the area are concerned about the growth of the community and how it will impact surrounding areas for legitimate reasons. If any other organization, real estate developer, etc. proposed a community to grow as rapidly and as large as this is planned to do, there would be major opposition, no matter who it was. People have real concerns about the ability of the land and water to hold our region’s growing population. Some of these concerns have nothing to do with religion, ethnicity, etc. I also think that the community’s leadership could do a better job sharing information and working to communicate more openly with people outside Kiryas Yoel. There are many of us in the county who would like to see all of us find a way to get along, and the perception is that the community’s leaders are mostly just interested in doing what they want, without regard to anyone else.


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