Opposition mounts against CBP station in Blind Bay

BLIND BAY, New York (WWNY) – Opposition to a new customs and border protection station near Fishers Landing continues to heat up as the ice on Blind Bay begins to melt.

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

He refers to the rejection of a Customs and Border Protection proposal to build a new station at Blind Bay.

“Blind Bay is one of the most historic breeding grounds for muskellunge, which is the apex predator of the St. Lawrence River,” said John Peach, general manager of Save The River.

Save The River is reaching out to county and state officials to try to influence CBP to find a new location. It’s an effort that quickly built up wide support.

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

The letter to Governor Hochul is one of many written by organizations and officials expressing their concerns.

“We also received letters from Senator Ritchie’s office, from Congressman Mark Walzyck’s office. There was a resolution of opposition from the city of Orléans. There was also a letter of concern from the New York State DEC,” Reed said.

The proposed new CBP station is designed to accommodate a 17,000 square foot administration building, a 15,000 square foot parking structure that can accommodate 70 vehicles, and dock and ramp space along the river bank.

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

Reed and Peach agree that there are other sites in the area where CBP can relocate. Reed suggests there are several locations across Highway 12 away from the shores of the St. Lawrence. We have contacted CBP officials for comment. We have not received a response.

Copyright 2022 WWNY. All rights reserved.

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