This chapter discusses the arguments that that the mix of highway, park, and redevelopment goals in the Westway plan meant that the main impact to be to the river. These arguments also asserted that the Westway plan posed no risk to Hudson River aquatic habitat, mainly because the habitat was a “biological wasteland.” Key to these arguments were the 1974 and 1977 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Drafts, which reflected common views of the Hudson at that time. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Hudson River was heavily polluted—to the point that some types of fishing had been banned. Federal natural resource scientists, however, understood the Hudson to be an important, functioning estuary.
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