Opposition mounts against CBP station on Blind Bay

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 4:42 PM EDT
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BLIND BAY, New York (WWNY) - Opposition to a new Customs and Border Protection station near Fishers Landing is continuing to heat up as the ice on Blind Bay begins to melt.

“When you have overwhelming response with no positive responses and people have done their homework, they should be listened to. The residents should be listened to in this case,” said Jefferson County District 3 Legislator Phil Reed.

He’s referring to pushback to a Customs and Border Protection proposal to build a new station at Blind Bay.

“Blind Bay is one of the most historical remaining breeding grounds for the muskie, which is the apex predator in the St. Lawrence River,” said John Peach, executive director, Save The River.

Save The River is reaching out to officials at both the county and state levels to try to influence CBP to find a new location. It’s an effort that has quickly built a large backing.

“We’ve sent letters to Governor Hochul, Senator Schumer, representatives, and other elected officials. To date, we’ve got over 700 people who have clicked on or sent in emails opposing CBP’s site here,” said Peach.

The letter to Governor Hochul is one of several drafted by organizations and officials voicing their concerns.

“We’ve also gotten letters from Senator Ritchie’s office, Assemblyman Mark Walzyck’s office. There’s been opposition resolution from the town of Orleans. There’s also been a letter of concern by the New York State DEC,” said Reed.

The proposed new CBP station is designed to fit a 17,000 square foot administration building, a 15,000 square foot parking structure that could house 70 vehicles, as well as dock and ramp spaces along the shore of the river.

“What they’re proposing amounts to an industrial complex. It doesn’t belong on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. It doesn’t belong in a residential area, let alone a pristine part of the St. Lawrence River,” said Reed.

Both Reed and Peach agree that there are other sites in the area available for CBP to relocate to. Reed suggests that there are several locations on the other side of Route 12 away from the banks of the St. Lawrence. We reached out to officials at CBP for comment. We have not received a response.

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