Friday, August 12, 2011

The ESD, unmet environmental commitments regarding truck routes and rules, and the need for an ombudsperson (aka community/government affairs rep)

Given what Atlantic Yards Watch describes as repeated violations of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements and city law, it couldn't be too soon before Empire State Development (aka Empire State Development Corporation) hires a new ombudsman (aka community/government affairs rep).

At the 7/14/11 Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting, more than four weeks ago, state Atlantic Yards Project Director Arana Hankin said, "ESD is going to be hiring a new community and government affairs rep shortly. And we will be... ramping up the community engagement and... a communications strategy." (The original ombudsman left in June.)

Three days ago, on August 9, I asked the ESD for an update on that hiring, but haven't heard back.

More violations


Yesterday, Atlantic Yards Watch posted, in As trucks continue to violate Atlantic Yards environmental commitments and NYC law, signs emerge that methods for coordinating trucks are changing:
The photo above shows cement trucks with mud covered wheels adjusting their positions inside the arena block by shutting traffic down on Atlantic Avenue. The picture below shows a dump truck likely associated with Carlton Avenue Bridge work because it originated at the railyard entrance on Atlantic Avenue near Carlton, turning down Clermont Avenue. Clermont Avenue is not a designated truck route.


Empire State Development, (ESD), previously stated to Atlantic Yards Report that an incident report on Atlantic Yards Watch documenting uncovered dump trucks leaving the construction site was an "isolated incident." Now, following similar documented incidents on this website, ESD has told AYR that "once it was brought to ESD’s attention by our environmental consultant that this was not an isolated incident, ESD required FCRC [Forest City Ratner Companies] to work with the contractor to develop a more stringent review and disciplinary process which would result in immediate removal from the site if truckers leave the site with their load uncovered."

Perhaps through pressure from ESD, discernible changes are being made to the way trucks are coordinated at the site. The changes appear to have been in place for several weeks, but to date have not altered the pace or types of truck violations occurring at the construction site.
Read through for a description of:
  • how a required flagger/radio operator at the intersection of Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street has apparently been posted
  • new signs for many of the entrances on the arena block have been posted
  • many truck entrances/exits have not been equipped to ensure truckes are covered and wheels washed.
Need for clarity

What next? Writes Peter Krashes:
With more coordination of delivery trailers and trucks, ESD and FCRC should now be able to detail to the community the routes in and out, and the protocols, for each of the arena block entrances.
Maybe that will come when that new staffer is hired. If the AY Watch analysis is correct, the state should respond immediately.

If the AY Watch analysis is incorrect, ditto.

Or, given that Clarification of truck routes and enforcement was on the agenda for the last AY District Service Cabinet meeting, perhaps it will be at the top of the agenda at the next one, on September 8, at 9:30 am at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

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