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I am writing in response to the Loose Lips column of Sept. 3, in which D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange attempts to justify his decision to criticize my record on the subject of trash-transfer stations in Ward 5.
Orange claims a bill he introduced in 2000 and 2001 would have closed all privately owned trash-transfer stations, including one on W Street NE. I did not pursue Orange’s legislation, because what he introduced was legally insufficient and unenforceable. The bill simply stated that only the city’s two public trash-transfer stations would be allowed to continue to operate, and it made no mention of transforming the municipal facility at Fort Totten into a “state of the art enclosed deodorized waste transfer station,” as Mr. Orange claimed in the e-mail to his colleagues quoted in the article.
The fact is, I was the one who called for—and made certain that funding was included in the budget for—a thorough and environmentally sound renovation of the city-owned Fort Totten station (as well as for a similar renovation of the city’s other public station, on Benning Road NE); and the fact is that I have done everything in my limited power as a councilmember to get the privately owned W Street station shut down. In public hearings I have held on this issue and elsewhere, I have repeatedly pressured the executive branch to close the W Street station in Ward 5. When the city finally acted, the owners of the facility took it to court, where it is now stuck. And Orange knows that.
I did not open these private trash-transfer stations, nor was I involved in allowing them to open. Since my return to the D.C. Council in 1997, I have actually been instrumental in helping to get several of them closed, and I intend to continue to work for the same result on W Street.
D.C. Councilmember, At-Large