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Posted 10/1/2018

Release no. 18-011


Contact
Michael Embrich
917-790-8007
cenan-pa@usace.army.mil

NEW YORK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District in cooperation with non-federal sponsors, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announces the extension of the public comment period and additional public meetings for the New York/New Jersey Harbors and Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study. This coastal storm risk management study (CSRM) covers the New York & New Jersey Harbor and tidally affected tributaries encompassing all of New York City, the Hudson River to Troy, NY; the lower Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, and Raritan Rivers; and the Upper and Lower Bays of New York Harbor, Newark, Jamaica, Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays; the Kill Van Kull, Arthur Kill and East River tidal straits; and western Long Island Sound.

This focus area is one of nine that the USACE North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) Report, issued January 2015, identified for further study.  This study is authorized by Public Law 84-71, June 15, 1955 (69 Stat. 132) which directs the examination of damages in coastal and tidal areas due to coastal storms such as hurricanes “and of possible means of preventing loss of human lives and damages to property, with due consideration of the economics of proposed breakwaters, seawalls, dikes, dams, and other structures, warning services, or other measures which might be required.” 

“Numerous low lying areas suffered dramatic inundations due to Hurricane Sandy.  This study is an undertaking of an unprecedented nature and scope relative to any study undertaken in the northeast. The scope and importance of the study cannot be overstated.  It covers an area that involves the financial capital of the world, national transit and shipping hubs, miles of beaches and an estuary designated as national significance," said Col. Thomas Asbery, commander of the Army Corps' New York District.  “After receiving multiple requests from the public, elected and appointed officials as well as our non-federal sponsors we've decided to extend the scoping period 45 additional days to November 5th in order to ensure we have a common understanding of the way forward to complete a plan collaboratively. This extension will allow for a greater amount of time to consider additional analyses on ecological and social impacts,”

“Our region faces many critical decisions in the coming years as we develop strategies to become more resilient and respond to sea-level rise and global warming,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans. “We must carefully consider the available options and all of the science so that we can make sound and practical planning and engineering decisions that will protect lives, property and coastal ecosystems.”

"Governments working cooperatively is government working effectively. I am pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers is holding this hearing in Westchester, and my administration was able to provide space at the County Center, to give residents the opportunity to make known the impact that these proposals may potentially have on our County and in their local communities."

The extension of the scoping period assures the Corps’ stakeholders and the public have sufficient time to accommodate wider public input. The first of two additional meetings will be hosted by Westchester County Executive George Latimer in White Plains, New York.  A second meeting in Nassau County, New York will be scheduled at a later date.  The Corps will begin the next step in the plan formulation process once the scoping comment period expires. This involves continued coordination with federal, state and local partners to ensure that additional options are explored prior reaching our next scheduled milestone.  After further analyses and incorporating scoping comments received, a draft document will be made available in January of next year. 

The following public meeting has been scheduled to discuss issues and receive comments from stakeholders:
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018
Westchester County Center,
198 Central Ave, White Plains, NY

Session 1:
Welcome & Poster Session: 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Presentation:  3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Comment Card Questions:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Session 2:
Welcome & Poster Session: 6:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Presentation: 6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Comment Card Questions:  7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the project page; http://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Projects-in-New-York/New-York-New-Jersey-Harbor-Tributaries-Focus-Area-Feasibility-Study/

For consideration in the public scoping process, comments can be submitted in writing, by November 5th 2018, to:

Nancy Brighton
Room 2151
US Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278 or by email to: NYNJHarbor.TribStudy@usace.army.mil.