The New York New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries focus area feasibility study, which will include a tiered Environmental Impact Statement, is evaluating five initial alternatives, which currently are comprised of measures that address severe coastal storm risks for specific geographic regions within the study area, in addition to the no action alternative. These five alternatives encompass a variety of water- and land-based measures identified throughout the estuary at areas of high projected coastal storm risk and include combinations of shoreline structures, such as beach nourishment, levees, floodwalls and seawalls, and storm-surge barriers. This initial range of alternatives was developed in part from the analysis provided in the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, as well as coordination with the States of New York and New Jersey and the City of New York. The alternatives are taking into account other ongoing and planned actions being taken within the study area by the Corps, other federal agencies, both states and New York City, and other municipalities.
The feasibility study will develop information to distinguish between alternatives so that ultimately a recommended plan can be identified. Based upon available information and analyses, a draft report describing the alternatives, their benefits, costs and environmental and social impacts is scheduled to be available for agency and public review in late summer of 2020. The Corps will then review the comments received as part of the agency and public review to determine what, if any, additional analyses, may be warranted to refine the alternatives and possibly add further measures that may be justified on a building-to-building basis (e.g., non-structural measures) or that may address areas that suffer from more frequent (and typically less severe) coastal storm risks (e.g., natural and nature-based features). Additional analyses may result the preparation of a subsequent draft prior to the completion of the final report and the selection of a recommended plan. As project details are developed during Preconstruction Engineering and Design, consideration of environmental and social impacts will continue to be evaluated.
The study non-federal sponsors are the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The City of New York is involved in this study through a partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
October 2021 Update:
The New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries coastal storm risk management feasibility study was not included in the Corps fiscal year 2020 or 2021 work plans for federal funding, so work on the study was substantially curtailed during those years with public meetings and engagements being postponed, along with delaying all upcoming milestones and reports. The Notice of Intent (NOI) issued for the study was also withdrawn.
However, In April 2021, the Corps was approved for further exemption (i.e., additional study time) by the Senior Official on behalf of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. Also, as the study was included in the President's fiscal year 2022 budget request and appropriations bills developed in both houses of Congress, federal funding to the study has resumed in October 2021 and work on the study is resuming in earnest. Subject to continued federal funding as well as non-federal matching contributions, the Corps, in full coordination with our non-federal study partners, anticipates tentatively selecting a plan to better manage current and future coastal storm risks for this critical and highly populated study area in spring of calendar year 2022. Following this milestone, the Corps will release the Draft Feasibility Report and Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in summer of 2022, with public review to follow. Input received from this public review as well as comments from other federal, state and local agencies will help guide the Corps to refining and/or modifying the plan followed by further study evaluation and design. This will lead to development of the Final Feasibility Report and Final Tier 1 EIS which is then used to develop the study’s final product, the Chief of Engineer’s Report, which is currently approved to be released no later than June 15, 2024.
The public is invited to submit comments by mail to:
NYNJHAT Study Team, Planning Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
26 Federal Plaza Room 2145
New York, NY 10279-0090
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 filed until the study resumes.