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At the ESDC meeting: a quick bureaucratic action

Here's how the Atlantic Yards action went at the meeting of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) Wednesday.

After first noting some changes in the Atlantic Yards plan, ESDC Director of Planning and Environmental Review Rachel Shatz explained the process regarding the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

"The directors are not being asked at this time for approval of such a project," she said. "The directors are simply being asked to determine that the FEIS is complete, adequately assesses the environmental impacts of the proposed project, and otherwise meets the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, and is in proper form for distribution to the public. The directors will be asked at a later date, expected to be in the near future, to make findings required under SEQRA, the UDC [Urban Development Corporation] Act, and the Eminent Domain Procedure Law, or EDPL, and to act on the proposed project."

"Before the FEIS can be filed and distributed, it must be determined to be complete by the corporation, since the corporation is the lead agency for the project. That is the only step being requested today," she continued. "The directors will be asked to affirm the General Project Plan and take all other actions necessary to complete the project at a later date."

Chairman Charles Gargano asked if there were any questions or comments. There were none.

He offered one. “I know this was a very detailed and long process, as it should be. I know, having personally lived near this area… it’s been a blighted area, undeveloped for more than 50 years. So finally we’re seeing a development here…. and bringing back a team that left New York for New Jersey…”

The ESDC board unanimously certified the FEIS. Gargano answered questions later in his office.

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