Kiryas Joel, NY – Things may finally be looking up for Kiryas Joel’s beleaguered water pipeline after a panel of four appellate judges rejected a challenge to a 2016 Supreme Court decision that granted the village permission to pump 612,000 water a day from a well that it owns in Cornwall, New York.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2y6J6tA), a court decision handed down last May barred Kiryas Joel from pumping water from the well, which is located 11 miles from the village and is part of the first phase of a 13 ½ mile long pipeline that will ultimately give Kiryas Joel the ability to access New York City’s Catskills Aqueduct located in Ulster County. An attempt by Kiryas Joel to tap into the well temporarily as a means of alleviating an ongoing water shortage was rejected in June by an appellate court, who agreed instead to fast track the case for a speedier resolution.
The case was brought to the appellate court on September 8th and a decision handed down today by the appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by the Black Rock Forest Consortium, the villages of Woodbury and Cornwall-on-Hudson and others.
The judges noted in the ten page long decision that some of the petitioners lacked standing in the case and that because there was no reason to overturn the Department of Environmental Commission’s decision to grant Kiryas Joel permission to access water from the Cornwall well, any further arguments by petitioners were “meritless.”
Today’s decision appears to give a green light to Kiryas Joel’s plans to access the water.
An official statement released by the village praised the judges’ unanimous decision and expressed hope that it would mean the end of a “vicious cycle of litigation” that has cost millions in taxpayer dollars.
Kiryas Joel administrator Gedalye Szegedin also extended an olive branch, saying the village would be happy to have meetings with other parties regarding any disputes in the hopes of peaceful settlements.
“Going forward, we prefer to pursue the path of diplomacy,” wrote Szegedin. “Let’s establish a department of state instead of a department of war,”