Agency spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell told me:
Empire State Development strongly believes we complied with all applicable laws when the Atlantic Yards General Project Plan was modified in 2009, including undertaking a thorough review of environmental impacts as required by State environmental law. This review demonstrated that the modified Project would not result in any impacts that were not already disclosed in earlier environmental reviews, and therefore, no Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, or SEIS, was required. Accordingly, on Monday, September 12, ESD filed an appeal of the New York Supreme Court order directing that ESD conduct an SEIS in connection with Phase 2 of the Project.However, she also stated:
ESD has decided to comply with the judge’s order to prepare an SEIS to ensure that the impacts to the surrounding community are minimized to the maximum practicable extent.That doesn't fully compute, to me. It could simply be that the agency is hedging its bets; if the appellate court does not overturn the lower court's decision, at least ESD will have an SEIS in place.