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1998-08-01
Utica, NY. The Mud Mall

On April 5, 1998 in Newflash (see below) we reported on an attempt by the Benderson Development Corp, one of the largest mall developers in America, to put in a 578,000 s.f. power center on 10 acres of federally designated wetlands in Utica (New Hartford) New York in Oneida County. On July 13, the US Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo denied the developer a wetlands permit under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The "Consumer Square" shopping center had a well-rounded impact on the environment: destroying a cold water trout stream and riparian wetlands, and filling a wet meadow. Sprawl in the swamps! In denying the permit, the Corps said the developer did not make an adequate effort to avoid impacts to the stream and wetlands or to find alternative sites for the project. On July 27th, the developer went back to the Corps with a modified plan that would reduce the impact on the wetlands by less than 2 acres. The revised project still requires relocation of Mud Creek and filling of wetlands. Because this is a new proposal, there is now a new public comment period through mid August of 1998. Citizens fighting to save Mud Creek have complained that Congressman Sherwood Boehlert is exerting pressure to overturn the Corps ruling.Benderson has not indicated which megastores will anchor this enormous wetland sprawl.

What you can do: Mud Creek is a symbol of what is wrong with development in America. We need to protect our wetlands more than we need to create another mall. We have more than 4,000 dead malls now, but there is only one Mud Creek. Email your opposition to the Consumer Square mall in Utica by emailing your opinions to the Army Corps of Engineers at: diane.c.kozlowski@usace.army.mil. Also, email Congressman Boehlert and suggest that he focus on the people's business instead of promoting the environmentally destructive habits of wealthy developers. You can reach the Congressman at: Rep.Boehlert@mail.house.gov.For more info on the Disaster at Mud Creek, contact Elizabeth Kaszubski at: lizanddan@juno.com.










 
 
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