The Wall Street Journal, however, reported that "several people who have discussed the noise issue with Forest City executives said the company is planting the vegetation to help contain the sound." A Forest City executive both claimed noise complaints did drive the decision but acknowledged the new roof would dampen sound.
Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, played along, stating in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued in late March that "the project sponsors are considering the construction and installation of a green roof on Barclays Center as a new sustainable feature of the Arena."
There's more candor in the Response to Comments chapter of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued this week:
Comment: The project sponsor has announced a plan to reduce noise by adding a green roof to the arena. The addition of the roof may help those residents on higher level floors impacted by the noise. The SEIS should identify a construction timeframe for this repair, and detail the construction plans which may be impactful. (BrooklynSpeaks)(Emphasis added)
Response: Comment noted. The project sponsors have announced a plan to add a green roof to the Arena. As noted in the DSEIS, the proposed green roof would be a Phase I component of the Project, and it is expected that installation would commence in 2014 and would have sound absorptive qualities. The green roof is expected to be constructed over a 10-12 month period. As per the Court Order, this SEIS assesses the environmental impacts of delay in Phase II construction, which is assumed for analysis purposes to commence in 2018.