This Wednesday, February 27, The New York State Empire State Development Corporation will hold a public hearing to hear testimony on the draft scope of work for the Atlantic Yards Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). ESDC was ordered to perform the SEIS as a result of a lawsuit brought by several community organizations. The court found that ESDC’s 2009 approval of a modified project plan for Atlantic Yards violated State environmental law by extending the construction schedule from ten to twenty-five years without required environmental review.
Community advocates have since called for a new plan for phase 2 of the project which would restore the original project schedule, and deliver public benefits like affordable housing, open space and jobs in the ten years originally promised. However, the draft scope (available from ESDC’s web site) does not include an analysis of such an alternative.
Many violations of the project’s environmental commitments during arena construction have been documented at www.atlanticyardswatch.net. It seems unlikely that ESDC and FCRC will improve their compliance in future phases of extended construction, which is again why some have called on the state to restore the original schedule, bringing in additional developers if necessary.
The hearing will be held on Wednesday, February 27, from 5PM to 8PM at St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.