NEW YORK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District announces the public release of a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for the New York- New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries coastal storm risk management feasibility study (NYNJHAT Study). The report was completed in cooperation with the non-federal sponsors, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the study partners, New York Department of State and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.
The release of the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement opens a public comment period ending January 6, 2023.
The Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement can be accessed from the study website at https://nan.usace.army.mil/NYNJHATS.
The NYNJHAT Study is an investigation into strategies to manage coastal storm risk in the tidally-influenced regions of New York & New Jersey Harbor. This includes 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.
The NYNJHAT Study is one of nine studies that the USACE North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) Report, issued January 2015, identified for further investigation. The NYNJHAT Study is authorized by Public Law 84-71, June 15, 1955 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.”
“I have fought for years to ensure that this study was funded, so I am pleased to see that this critical project is moving forward,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “Ultimately this will provide much-needed relief to communities on the Hudson River that have seen the devastating impacts of storms and flooding including during Hurricane Sandy ten years ago.
“With storms such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Ida becoming increasingly common, projects like the NYNJHAT Study are needed to improve coastal resiliency throughout the five boroughs,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “A full understanding of the damages caused by coastal storms, as well as the range of potential measures to mitigate risk, will help protect vulnerable communities and inform future actions. I commend the Corps for completing this stage of the study, and I look forward to the release of the final report.”
“This is a significant milestone as we move towards a more resilient New York and New Jersey coastline,” said Colonel Matthew Luzzatto, commander, USACE, New York District. “The Corps has been tasked with solving the Nation’s toughest engineering challenges, which includes making communities more adaptable and stronger in the face of powerful coastal storms that are becoming more frequent. This study will ensure we are prepared to do everything possible to provide additional coastal storm risk reduction measures to the communities we serve. I’d like to thank our partners at the federal, state, and local levels as we continue to navigate the study process as one team dedicated to producing the best solutions aimed at reducing risk from coastal storms.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York State is committed to working with our local, state, and federal partners to address the impacts of climate change and particularly the increased risks of flooding in low- and moderate-income areas. These communities continue to suffer a devastating toll from coastal storms like Superstorm Sandy as well as other severe weather, and DEC looks forward to continuing to actively engage in the NYNJHAT process to help residents and municipalities prepare and prevent floods in the region.”
“Devastated 10 years ago by Superstorm Sandy, the densely populated and industrialized New York-New Jersey Harbor region is among the most at-risk in the nation to extreme storms caused by climate change,” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “The release of this study is an important step in the development of a comprehensive strategy to make the communities in this region safer and more resilient. It is vital that the public takes advantage of the opportunities being made available to provide input and engage in dialogue on this project, which stands to become one of the largest flood-risk reduction efforts in the nation.”
“This study is an important step towards comprehensive evaluation of coastal hazards along our harbor,” said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. “As we enter the public comment period, dialogue with frontline communities will be essential to ensure we are advancing solutions that achieve multiple and equitable benefits. We look forward to a continued successful partnership with USACE, New York State and New Jersey.”