The New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries (NYNJHAT) coastal storm risk management feasibility study resumed work in fiscal year 2022 in earnest (following substantial curtailment during 2020-2021 due to lack of federal funding). The non-federal sponsors for the study are the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in partnership also with the New York State Department of State and New York City, represented by the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.
A Notice of Intent for preparing the NYNJHAT study Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released on August 22, 2022. The Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Tier 1 EIS (Draft Report) was released in late September and is available, along with the various appendices at the links on the left side of this website). The formal Notice of Availability for the Tier 1 EIS will be released shortly, formally initiating the public review associated with the National Environmental Policy Act. Given the complexity of the NYNJHAT study, the vast and populated study area, and the goal of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and our non-federal partners to have maximum public engagement and input to the NYNJHAT study, the public comment period will be extended to March 31, 2023.
USACE, in concert with the non-federal partners, is planning a series of public meetings on the Draft Report as part of a broader public outreach effort. Virtual (online) meetings will be scheduled on the Draft Report in October followed by in-person meetings in November and December at several locations to be chosen across the vast NYNJHAT study area. Some of these meetings (or excerpts) will be recorded and made available online at this website for those that may wish to see the presentations virtually. In addition, when requested and feasible, USACE will seek to present to existing public meetings (e.g., community boards or other organizations) during this public review period. Please check this website and social media accounts to see the list of upcoming public meeting locations, dates and times where the NYNJHAT study Draft Report will be presented.
The public is invited to submit comments (via email noted below, or via mail) on the NYNJHAT study Draft Report between now and March 31, 2023, when the comment period will close.
There is a considerable amount of work to be done in the remaining phases of the NYNJHAT study and details to be determined. That work will be focused and informed based on the feedback that USACE receives on the Draft Report from our non-federal partners, other agencies, stakeholder groups, and the public. This will lead to development of the Final Feasibility Report and Tier 1 EIS which will then be used to develop the study’s final product, the Chief of Engineer’s Report, which is currently approved to be released by June 15, 2024.
USACE hopes that the description and details of the Tentatively Selected Plan that is contained in the Draft Report and the rationale for its tentative selection will serve as a good framework for further plan refinements leading to ultimately a broadly supportable, engineeringly feasible, economically justified, and environmentally acceptable plan for addressing coastal storm risk for this highly urbanized and nationally important study area. Given the uncertainties associated with future climate change (including sea level rise) along with other complexities, the final recommended plan will likely have components that are layered in application, phased in implementation, and able to be adapted over time. Regardless of what USACE ultimately recommends as a result of this study, the involved federal, state and local elected officials, based largely on the views and comments raised by the public, will decide what to authorize and fund to address the substantial coastal storm flood risks that still remain in the NYNJHAT study area now and as exacerbated into the future by further sea level rise.
The public is invited to submit comments by mail to:
NYNJHAT Study Team, Planning Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
26 Federal Plaza, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10278-0090
or by e-mail to: NYNJHarbor.TribStudy@usace.army.mil
Please include the project title and the commenter's contact information with submitted comments. Comments are always welcome and will be considered in the study as it continues.