Tuesday, February 28, 2006


ESDC: terrorism not part of Environmental Impact Statement

Ok, this isn't new, given that the discussion happened four months ago, but it's news because it hasn't been reported before: The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), which in perhaps a month will issue a Draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the Atlantic Yards plan, will not go beyond its legal mandate to consider terrorism as a separate issue.

On 10/24/05, even before the comment period on the Draft Scope of Analysis had closed, ESDC officials met with Brooklyn elected officials and others in the first session of Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee.

I wasn't there and the recently-posted notes are terse, but here it is:
Will terrorism be taken into consideration as part of the EIS?
No. It is not in the scope of the EIS, but ESDC heard this recommendation at the public hearing.

Thus, the ESDC apparently won't heed the requests of the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods and community boards to consider terrorism, an issue I wrote about before the 10/24/05 notes were posted.

That's not to say that the New York Police Department won't evaluate security issues, as it's been asked to do--though the report hasn't yet been released). But the law governing the EIS--which was written, of course, before the 9/11 attacks raised public consciousness about terrorism--doesn't require the state to do so.

As with the ESDC's close relationship with developers, which is part of its mission, the statute governing the scope of the EIS might deserve another look.

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