Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ESDC says FCR's timetable isn't accurate; still, Nov. 2 may be Final EIS deadline

Despite Forest City Ratner's dissemination of a timeline that predicts two board meeetings of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to approve the Atlantic Yards project, the ESDC says that's not accurate.

Spokeswoman Jessica Copen contacted me to say, "We haven't scheduled any special meetings for November. We're working towards finalizing the Final Environmental Impact Statement as soon as possible, within the statutory timeframe."

State law, however, does suggest that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may be finished soon. It states:
(5) Except as provided in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the lead agency must prepare or cause to be prepared and must file a final EIS, within 45 calendar days after the close of any hearing or within 60 calendar days after the filing of the draft EIS, whichever occurs later.

The Atlantic Yards public hearing was August 23. The second of the two Atlantic Yards community forums was September 18. The 45-day window after the hearing ended October 7. The 45-day window after the second forum ends November 2. Alternatively, if the "hearing" is considered the end of the September 29 comment period, then the 45-day window would end November 13.

However, state law does allow for delays. It states:
The last date for preparation and filing of the final EIS may be extended:
(a) if it is determined that additional time is necessary to prepare the statement adequately; or
(b) if problems with the proposed action requiring material reconsideration or modification have been identified.

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