Electric Eels Could Shock 7 Train Extension, Says MTA Board Member

April 17, 2013 | Andy Cush

According to MTA board member Charles Moerdler, there’s only one thing standing in the way of the 7 Train extension: the Hudson’s dreaded electric eels. The line should use plastic pipes for its plumbing, Moerdler argues, or run the risk of the system becoming electrified by the slimy marine creatures. Local experts, you may be shocked to learn, argue that there are in fact no electric eels in the Hudson, and that they couldn’t survive even if they were introduced.

Moerdler’s anguillophobia began thirty years ago, when he was an attorney representing the Javits Center as it was being built. The city gave the center a permit to use plastic pipes there, he says, because they were hip to the aquatic threat. While Javits does in fact have PVC plumbing, the appeal was granted because of “highly corrosive soil,” not highly electric fish.

When DNAinfo asked MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg whether they’d heed Moerdler’s warnings, his answer was simple: “No.”


(Photo: Stevenj/Wikimedia Commons)