Saturday, April 27, 2013

Taking on the Army . . .

Army Corps of Engineers, that is! There's more in the Observer-Dispatch.

THIS needed to be done years ago by a former Republican Congressman who was on the House Armed Services Committee . . . when we had a Republican President and a Republican Governor . . . The odds would have seemed to have been in favor at that time for the Marcy Nanocenter site to get a federal wetlands permit.  . . . But then, again, perhaps it was the last mentioned Republican and his former Republican NYS Senate Majority leader that kept the former Republican Congressman from saying what had to be said (if he said anything, we did not hear of it).

Nevertheless, hats are off to Mr. Hanna for doing a great job in putting the heat on the A.C.E.!

Things really have gotten out of control with both ACE and the EPA, with the Federal Government's reach extending far beyond what our Founding Fathers had planned for the Federal system.

A.C.E. also is overreaching even within the context of its own regulations.  I already blogged about that last summer, so refer to the article for the legal context : Marcy NanoCenter in the Balance Pt. 1.
In a nutshell, ACE is trying to change the purpose of the NanoCenter Project without the statutory authority to do so.

Per the OD:
After Hanna’s description of the situation, Corps Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick said he would “be happy to take a look at it and follow up with you on whether from a legal perspective we have any ability to work outside the bounds in this case.” 
Undoubtedly, the General will return to his legal team and get justification for the overreaching that has been done in the past, and will likely continue in the future, until some white knight takes up the gauntlet and takes ACE to court.  That is unlikely to be done by Oneida County, and perhaps shouldn't be done given the money the region has already wasted on legal maneuvering in the past (MVWA v Canal Corp, The NYRI proposal come immediately to mind).

We can only hope that with continued political pressure, A.C.E will come to understand that it is really pushing the envelope where the law is concerned, and that if it pushes too far, at some point a decision will come down somewhere that will severely undercut Federal Authority everywhere.


Anonymous said...

You must be referring to Sherry. The best thing that ever happened to this area was when he headed off into the sunset.

RPotocki said...

When I was head of the Oneida County Industrial Development Corp and we owned the industrial park site at the former airport, the Army Corp out of the clear blue sky, dropped the bomb that a good deal of our land was regualted wetland. This edict was issues decades after the park was created and significantly developed. Sherry Boehlert who was Congressman at the time was very effective in securing a ruling from the Corp that we were eligle to be grand-fathered out of regulations. That allowed us to continue the park's development with several key projects. As one who was no fan of Boehlert in many ways, he was directly responsible for moving the Army Corp to our position.

Two matters realted to Marcy are bothersome. One, what happened in the first place? As we, was the EDGE surprised by an after the fact rulling or designation or were they aware of the situation? Second, Hanna is not a freshman. Where has he been for the last few years? This should have been a priority for him at day one. Finally, one should almost never make a public scene with beauracrats. They can come back to haunt you worse than they do now. Perhaps Hanna is simply frustrated after years of trying?

Given the importance of the project, these types of questions should have been being asked for quite awhile by the OD, other political reps such as the county executive and discussed publicly. Yet, confusion reigns to the extent of a Congressman now ranting. None of this is a god way to run a railroad, or in the case a project site.