Thursday, February 17, 2011

Landfill - and the overall equation

From the final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the two footprints:

"Demolition and site clearing at the proposed VAMC and LSU AMC sites, mostly consisting of commercial and residential structures (15.4 tons per 1,000 square feet) and concrete floors and paved surfaces (53 tons per 1,000 square feet), would create about 137,000 tons of solid waste, with approximately two-thirds coming from the LSU AMC site. About 80 percent of the waste would be from paved surfaces and concrete floors."

It's unclear what the total amount of waste will be now that the house moving effort has reduced the overall amount of tonnage that ultimately went to the landfill.  The S.W. Green Mansion alone weighed in at 22 tons and was ultimately diverted from the path to the dump.

And that makes me wonder. What landfill has been receiving all the debris? And would the landfill have received nearly as much...if the hospitals hadn't decided to build in the midst of a neighborhood?

For many of us who have been following the hospitals issue, there remains a fundamental question: why did they need so much land, why did they cap the hospitals at 6 or so stories in height, why did the hospitals footprint ever expand above S. Galvez as the Regional Planning Commission suggested - why did the powers that be decide to take up 67 acres of neighborhood?  For any benefits that might be conjured up, the "Tulane-Gravier" site in Lower Mid-City entails some incredible pitfalls - hundreds and hundreds of individual parcels, a sizable population, lots of potential roadblocks and liabilities.  The equation has never seemed to add up, which has long led me to believe there's some additional variable out there.  But I've tried to avoid speculating excessively on the question or devolving into conspiracy theories.

Still, it seems to me that there are three potential items that could use far more study in pursuit of the "x" factor that may have tipped the scales: 1.  Real estate deals in the footprints, including land speculation after Hurricane Katrina (Squandered Heritage,, and other sites have already delved into this to some extent, but it's no simple thing), 2.  Subcontracts for demolition and construction, and 3. The landfill trail - that wouldn't have existed to nearly the same extent if the footprint had been far smaller. 


Anonymous said...

"The Regional Planning Commission officially offered the Galvez-to-Rocheblave site to the VA in the spring of 2007. E-mail messages and other correspondence among state, federal and city officials -- from City Council members and former recovery czar Ed Blakely to Regional Planning Commission brass -- confirm that some of the players considered the Galvez-to-Rocheblave site the most viable option for the VA well before the formal offer. And the City Council adopted an ordinance in December 2007 imposing a moratorium on all building permits in the whole

Ghost of S.W. Green said...

Under what authority did the RPC make such an offer?

Anonymous said...

That is a very good question.

Could it have been ORDA?

In 2007, RPC members included the owner the former City Hall Annex and the spouse of one of GNOBEDD's top officers.