Kiryas Joel has the necessary construction permits for the pipeline itself, but lacks the necessary permits and approvals to remove water from the aquifer. Nevertheless, Kiryas Joel is building the pipeline, apparently convinced it will eventually get those permissions, either through the normal approval process or by horse-trading for them with politicians who rely on Satmar’s bloc vote. Observers also expect Kiryas Joel and Satmar officials will continue to brand opponents of their pipeline antisemites.
Protests Against Kiryas Joel Water Grab Continue
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Approximately 75 people reportedly lined a construction site in upstate New York yesterday morning to protest a water pipeline being laid without correct New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permits by the Satmar hasidic Village of Kiryas Joel.
Kiryas Joel's pipeline will pass through the towns of New Windsor, Cornwall, and Woodbury, but the water it carries will only benefit Kiryas Joel.
Joel has the necessary construction permits for the pipeline itself, but lacks the necessary permits and approvals to remove water from the aquifer. Its does not have State Department of Environmental Conservation permission to connect the pipeline to a well in Cornwall or New York City's permission to pump water from the Catskill Aqueduct in New Windsor – the pipeline’s two sources of water.
Nevertheless, Kiryas Joel is building the pipeline, apparently convinced it will eventually get those permissions, either through the normal approval process or by horse-trading for them with politicians who rely on Satmar’s bloc vote.
Observers also expect Kiryas Joel and Satmar officials will continue to brand opponents of their pipeline antisemites.
Even so, protesters lined Seven Springs Mountain Road holding signs with various slogans highlighting Kiryas Joel’s water grab, including as construction workers dug trenches and lowered water pipes into them.
The protest was organized by New York State Assemblyman James Skoufis. He charted a bus that brought most of protesters to the construction site.
“They don't have the DEC permits to actually get the water. Until they get those permits New York City won't check off on this project and they're the one controlling the aqueduct and supplying the water. So they're laying pipe and they've got no assure they've got water come their way," Skoufis told YourNewsNow.
“If all the permits weren't there, do you think we would be allowed to break ground and lay pipe? How can they be allowed to move forward when you don't know the effect on Woodbury's wells?” Highlands resident Laurie Tautel told the Times Herald Record. "It seems like every time there's something that happens the scales of equality - KJ wins the rest of us lose."
Woodbury is contesting Kiryas Joel's request for a well permit. It claims the Cornwall well would compete with Woodbury’s well drawing water from the same aquifer – which already has the required permits.
Kiryas Joel’s pipeline is scheduled to be completed in about nine months. It will draw 600,000 gallons of water per day from same New York City aquifer Woodbury will be drawing 500,000 gallons per day from beginning in three months from now.
“That’s 1.1 million gallons per day will come out of the same large bowl of water; the same aquifer. We’re saying we have scientific evidence saying it can’t be done. It just cannot be done,” Town of Woodbury Supervisor John Burke told the MidHudson News.
A hasidic man, Schlome Katz, who lives near Kiryas Joel, joined the protest against Kiryas Joel’s pipeline, holding a sign in his full hasidic garb with the rest of the protesters.
“This way itself is against the Jewish faith. We believe that God saves us and that He’s going to settle us and the way we are especially with such good people around here,” Katz reportedly said, pointing out that while he is against the pipeline itself, his main concern is that Kiryas Joel’s behavior is un-brotherly, the MidHudson News reported, and not in keeping with Judaism.
Related Post: Video – Elected Officials Protest Kiryas Joel Pipeline.