Thursday, June 12, 2014

Responding to complaints, state claims Atlantic Yards construction oversight "successful," but promises new monitoring by outside firm, plus new procedures

Seemingly acknowledging significant complaints from residents around the Atlantic Yards site about construction noise and other errant procedures, Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards, yesterday disclosed that Forest City Ratner has agreed to hire an outside firm--rather than use an employee--to serve as an on-site environmental monitor (OEM).

The disclosure came in the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS), released yesterday a day before the board meeting during which the court-ordered study is expected to be approved. (The ESD in a few week also should approve business changes to the product--shifting bulk and reducing parking--in the Modified General Project Plan.)

Given that the "qualified outside engineering firm or construction management firm" serving as OEM will be working for the developer, skepticism likely will remain, since community critics also want a more rigorous program of project oversight.

Also, elsewhere in the Final SEIS, the state agency claims that oversight mechanisms in the Memorandum of Environmental Commitments "have been successful" and the number of "non-compliance incidents represents a small fraction of the total amount of construction activities" and do into indicate "significant deficiencies in the oversight program."

However, the state seems to assume that reports to the community initiative Atlantic Yards Watch represent the totality of incidents/complaints, rather than the fraction cited by those who bothered to lodge complaints.

Still,  an outside OEM could mean a big difference, since evidence suggests that Forest City's in-house OEM has not been a consistent presence. As BrooklynSpeaks said in its testimony on the Draft SEIS,
ESDC relies too heavily on FCRC to report on compliance with environmental commitments. ESDC’s Environmental Monitor HDR is reliant on the developer and contractors for information. HDR makes regular, apparently scheduled visits to review paperwork prepared by FCRC’s OEM, but does little monitoring on its own. Verification of the community’s claims is largely in the hands of the developer and contractors doing the work.
...The absence of detail in HDR’s quarterly reports about extended hours work may be because the OEM  appears rarely if ever to have been on site for more than the morning to mid-afternoon shift. 
New promises

The Final SEIS also reports on new procedures, such as new training for contractors so they moisten or cover soil stockpiled on site

Also, Forest City Ratner has procured five new particulate monitors, four of which have been deployed on a daily basis at the site to monitor particulate levels associated with construction activity, as required by the MEC.

Changes to the extent practicable

Several other changes were announced, though significant wiggle room remains, since they are implemented when practicable:
  • quiet construction procedures and equipment
  • sound-mitigated backup alarms 
  • maximize the utilization of the Pacific Street queuing area between Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue
  • installing the best practicable sound barriers
A changing construction overview

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 3A, Construction Overview, in the Final SEIS. The underlined portions indicate changes from the Construction Overview chapter in the Draft SEIS.

PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS

Upon completion of the Arena, HDR reviewed its quarterly construction reports and further reexamined in detail the project sponsors’ compliance with the construction-related requirements of the MEC. ESD and HDR have discussed the findings of HDR’s review with the project sponsors, and have also further discussed in detail HDR’s preliminary recommendations with regard to how the practices and procedures for implementing the construction-related measures required by the MEC could be improved. As a result of those discussions, the project sponsors have agreed to incorporate a number of improvements recommended by ESD and HDR to bolster the project sponsors’ program to meet the requirements of the MEC. The agreed upon adjustments to the current construction practices include:
• Six-Month Look-Ahead Reports.
o The project sponsors will provide ESD and HDR with six month look-ahead reports at regular intervals that will describe, in general terms, the activities anticipated on the project site for the next six months (including major milestones for areas of new construction activity, excavation, construction,
MPT, soil and groundwater remediation work, and soil characterization).
Among other things, each look-ahead report will include an assessment of the level of OEM staffing that should be deployed during the relevant period to properly monitor compliance with the MEC. That assessment will provide a basis for discussion regarding the level of staffing for the relevant period among ESD, HDR, and the project sponsors.
MPT, soil and groundwater remediation work, and soil characterization).
Among other things, each look-ahead report will include an assessment of the level of OEM staffing that should be deployed during the relevant period to properly monitor compliance with the MEC. That assessment will provide a basis for discussion regarding the level of staffing for the relevant period among ESD, HDR, and the project sponsors.

• Contractor Training.
o The project sponsors will target its PowerPoint presentation so that it provides specific instructions to contractors on the requirements of the MEC. The project sponsors may tailor the presentation so that it focuses on MEC requirements that relate specifically to a particular project component. ESD and HDR will be provided with the opportunity to comment on the PowerPoints prior to their use
in contractor training.
in contractor training.

o PowerPoint presentations will be presented by the OEM to all foremen, project managers, field managers, and similar key personnel of all subcontractors upon mobilization, and every 90 days thereafter, with sign-in sheets to track attendance.

• Contracts.
o The project sponsors will include in their construction contracts, and require their contractors to include in all subcontracts, an exhibit incorporating an excerpt from the MEC that sets forth all construction-related requirements contained in that document. The project sponsors’ construction contracts will expressly require each contractor to comply with all the terms of the MEC that apply to its construction activity, and to require its subcontractors to do the same.

o The project sponsors will add to their standard MEC-related contractual terms a provision that reiterates the project sponsors’ remedies for a contractor’s non compliance with the MEC, including the rights to withhold payment or terminate the contract; such provision, however, will be in addition to other remedies available to the project sponsors to address any contractor’s non- compliance with an MEC requirement.

• Staffing and Off-Hour Work.

o Each six month look-ahead report will include a reassessment of staffing levels, and OEM staff will be adjusted as appropriate in light of any changes anticipated to the level of construction activity during future reporting periods.

o The OEM will provide an update on upcoming after-hour and/or weekend construction work at each weekly meeting with HDR, during which it will be agreed upon by ESD and the project sponsors whether such work requires the presence of an ME. The OEM is ultimately responsible for ensuring that a proper level of monitoring coverage is maintained, even where after-hours or weekend work is performed on short notice from the contractor.

• Traffic.
o Sufficient staff will be available to patrol the project site regularly to check for non-compliance with the truck protocol requirements concerning idling and/or queuing. The staff devoted to monitoring compliance with the truck protocol will be adjusted based upon the level of construction activity at the site. Staffing for overseeing compliance with truck protocol requirements will be assessed in the six month look-ahead reports, and discussed at weekly meetings with HDR.

o Staff assigned to oversee compliance with the truck protocol will be properly trained in the truck protocol and will direct drivers to comply with MEC requirements.

o A system will be instituted to facilitate the reporting of truck protocol violations to the project sponsors. Material violations of the truck protocol will be reported by staff to the project sponsors’ management representatives, and the project sponsors will keep a record of such reported incidents.

o The project sponsors will advise HDR at the weekly meetings of any circumstance where a contractor or driver has been found to be a repeat violator of the truck protocols. The project sponsors and ESD will agree, on a case-by- case basis, on the steps to be taken to deal with the repeat violator. Those measures may include, without limitation, providing warnings, invoking contract sanctions and/or banning from the site such companies and/or drivers in the event that violations continue after reasonable warning has been given.

o The project sponsors will ensure that contractor logistics plans maximize the utilization of the Pacific Street queuing area between Carlton Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue or other designated location for truck marshalling and queuing to the extent practicable and appropriate, so long as such areas are available. The project sponsors will provide HDR and ESD with copies of the logistics plans for review and comment.

o Maps that identify acceptable truck routes to and from the project site will be provided to all contractors as part of the MEC training program. The project sponsors or its contractors will take measures to ensure that the trucks follow such routes. Among other things, contractors will be directed to provide those maps to their trucking subcontractors, and require that the maps be distributed to drivers and kept available for reference in the cabs at all times. The Pacific Street queue area (if part of the then currently effective logistics plan) will be incorporated into these truck routing maps so long as that area is available.

• Air Quality.

o The project sponsors and its contractors will assign sufficient staff to allow for careful monitoring of contractor compliance with MEC dust control measures, and staffing will be keyed to the level of dust-generating construction activities at the site. Staffing levels will be assessed in the six month look-ahead reports and discussed at the weekly meetings with HDR.
o As one element of the MEC training program, contractors will be instructed on how to complete and submit documentation needed to confirm compliance with the DPF requirement of the MEC. Such instruction will be provided at a level of detail commensurate with the training needs of the contractors on the site.

o Where practicable, all equipment subject to the DPF requirement (or equivalent controls) will be prominently labeled with a label prepared by the project sponsors that indicates that the equipment has a DPF (or equivalent controls) that complies with the MEC emission control requirement. Information on how to label compliant equipment will be provided as part of contractor training. Additional labels are not required for equipment with USEPA labels indicating that the emission controls on such equipment satisfy requirements that are at least as stringent as those required by the MEC.

• CAQM Compliance Plan.

o In 2014, the CAQM Compliance Plan was updated to reference the contractors and personnel working at the project site and to reflect current protocols and procedures. Exhibits to the CAQM Compliance Plan were updated to improve the effectiveness of the CAQM Compliance Plan.

• Dust Suppression and Wheel Washing.

o Prior to the commencement of construction activities for each major work phase, the project sponsors or its contractor(s) will prepare a fugitive dust management plan that identifies: the location of the fixtures to be used in controlling dust at the site (including without limitation hydrants or other points of water supply), any wheel washing stations, gravel placement locations, hoses, dust suppression agents and any other equipment and material to be used in complying with the dust suppression requirements of the MEC. The project sponsors will require its contractors to adhere to such plans, and HDR will refer to such plans in assessing the project sponsors’ compliance with the dust suppression requirements of the MEC. ESD and HDR will be provided with the opportunity to comment on the plans prior to their implementation in the field.

o A wheel washing station will be constructed at each truck exit, whereby truck wheels will be washed, and the water will be contained and recycled to avoid tracking mud out of the site. If construction of a wheel washing station is not practicable at a construction site exit due to site conditions, the circumstances giving rise to any claim of impracticability will be set forth in the relevant Dust Management Plan, and in such circumstances, the Dust Management Plan prepared by the project sponsors or its contractor will include a substitute program for wheel cleaning that will achieve equivalent results, taking into account weather conditions, space availability, site pitch, catch basin location and other relevant factors. 
• Soil Stockpiling.

o In order to avoid excessive dust conditions, the MEC requires that any soil stockpiled on site be adequately moistened or covered by a tarp, dust suppression agent or other effective means. This requirement will be specifically incorporated into the training materials for the relevant contractors. Stockpiles of contaminated material will continue to be managed in accordance with the HASP approved by the NYSDEC.

• Air Monitoring.

o The project sponsors have procured five new particulate monitors, four of which have been deployed on a daily basis at the site to monitor particulate levels associated with construction activity, as required by the MEC. OEM personnel will follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for operation and maintenance of this monitoring equipment, and routine inspections of the dust monitoring equipment will be conducted by the OEM to ensure functionality. OEM personnel will follow the best management practices previously developed by HDR in operating this equipment, or equally effective procedures.

• Noise.
o A written protocol has been developed to confirm that certain “noisier” equipment complies with the noise levels set forth in Table 17c-3 of the 2006 FEIS.

o The OEM staff will check applicable equipment for compliance with the MEC noise requirements when the equipment is first mobilized. They will do so pursuant to the protocol described above. The OEM staff also will regularly check equipment in use on-site against the Construction Noise Mitigation Plan or the Alternative Construction Noise Mitigation Plan (as applicable) posted for the site to confirm that there are no discrepancies, or revise such plans as necessary.

o The project sponsors will assure that perimeter fencing meets both the requirements of the MEC and the New York City Noise Code, which requires that perimeter fencing meet the STC rating of 30 or greater.

o Where it is impracticable due to field conditions to meet the noise fence height requirements of the MEC and/or the New York City Noise Code in areas that are proximate to residences or other sensitive receptors, the project sponsors will install the best practicable sound barriers which may include some or all of the following, depending on the circumstances: sound attenuation blankets, additional sound barriers placed between the noise source and sensitive receptors, and/or angled cantilevered fences, and/or other practicable pathway controls.

o In an effort to avoid delays occasioned by Con Edison scheduling constraints, the project sponsors will continue to submit electrification requests as early in the construction sequence as practicable, and follow up with Con Edison on a regular basis until electrification has been timely accomplished, subject to scheduling restraints of other entities not under the project sponsors’ control.

o Construction staging areas that are located within 200 feet of a sensitive receptor and are used in connection with nighttime work will be shielded (by noise mitigating fencing and/or blanketing) on the side facing those sensitive receptors by New York City Noise Code and MEC-compliant noise mitigating fencing and/or blanketing, unless ESD determines that shielding is not required because of the level of anticipated activities and/or duration of such activities.

o Where practicable, quiet construction procedures and equipment will be used, including where practicable the use of a bed liner made of thick rubber, spray- on liner, plywood, sand or gravel on dump trucks to mitigate the noise of the first load being dropped into the dump truck.
o Where practicable and feasible, sound-mitigated backup alarms will be used such as backup alarms that lower backup alarm noise in response to more quiet ambient conditions (such as night-time work) or backup alarms that use white noise or other mitigating technologies for trucks and equipment expected to operate at or make deliveries to the Project site during any phase of extended night-time work or night-time module deliveries.

• General Compliance.

o The project sponsors have agreed to pursue the services of a qualified outside engineering firm or construction management firm to serve as the OEM for the Project pursuant to a scope to be reviewed by ESD and that thereafter, the OEM function would not be moved in-house without prior approval by ESD.
Responding to comments

The Response to Comments chapter in the Final SEIS includes acknowledgment of the changes as well as pushback defending the oversight by Forest City and the state so far.

Comments calling for more oversight:
My neighbors and I have become de facto oversight of this project and the operation of the arena. . . This is not our job. This is the job of the ESDC and it should be a job for an independent oversight body. (Reschre)
FCRC should step up and embrace an "Independent Compliance Monitor!!" so residents do not have to be documenting and reporting on impacts that affect their quality of life! (Bailey)
A motivated and impartial environmental monitor on site must oversee construction for the State. The project cannot be overseen from a distance. (DSBA)
ESDC has the ability to appoint some kind of group that can monitor the construction. That is your job. (Koteen)
We would like impartial construction monitoring. (Heda, Lu-Heda, Johnson, Puca)
It is long past time for motivated and impartial construction monitoring. (Anonymous1)
We need to appoint an oversight board and monitor. (Puca)
In spite of the Monthly Atlantic Yards Cabinet Meetings, a lot of the monitoring that should have been done by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) was done by the residents themselves. From this point forward, for the next twenty-plus years, I think it is important that ESDC take a much more active, hands-on approach to oversight of this project. An official oversight committee, made up of local residents appointed by our elected officials, would be a step in the right direction. (Granville-CB8)
Please appoint an oversight board that includes long-time residents and community leaders. (Friend)
I am asking you to please support the efforts to have a dedicated public development corporation to oversee all aspects of the Atlantic Yards development. It is my sincere belief that going forward, such oversight is the only way to ensure that the promises made by the developers of the project are kept, and that the numerous negative impacts associated with this gargantuan development are minimized as much as possible. (Callender)
An independent public development entity would also provide the local community with an avenue of construction oversight which has been sorely lacking to date. (Freidson)
We need impartial and motivated construction monitoring. (Capozzi)
Independent oversight of the project would help mitigate concerns about overnight construction noise and pollutants from frequently idling construction-related trucks. (Dalton)
The oversight entity has to have some teeth. It has to have a slightly adversarial feel with the parties involved, Forest City Ratner and the ESDC. Work together but it’s somewhat adversarial. (Ettinger)
The lack of presence from oversight during nighttime work has shifted the onus of response to the community who must follow up on their own. And for the community, getting concerns validated can be difficult, especially if the decision to respond lies with the project sponsor or the contractor. The State should ensure there is a way for community concerns to be validated punctually. The new amended MEC should specify that within 24 hours of a community member’s nighttime noise complaint, an impartial monitor will take the necessary steps to validate the community concern, and if valid take the maximum necessary steps practicable to mitigate the problem. (DSBA, BrooklynSpeaks)
The size, timeline, logistics, and complications arising from building on decking over the rail yards (adding challenges in its own right) demands impartial oversight so that the neighborhood can function in a somewhat normal way. (Greenfield)
The City and State has an opportunity to stop this harassment of Dean Street residents by appointing an individual or committee with true oversight. (Mann, C.)
Where were the "paid construction monitor(s)" during the construction of the arena and reconfiguration of the rail yards? If the monitors were around they would have observed the impacts and took action to remedy or even worse they weren't around enough! Why was it possible for the community to document well over 1,000 incidents and the monitors didn't find anything, because if they did then why didn't the impacts stop? Why did the community need to create the Atlantic Yards Watch web site to document well over 1,000 incidents and report the recurring daily construction impacts? The community does NOT get paid to monitor nor report nor follow up to ensure that the impact is not recurring the very next day! Isolated incidents they are not! The community commissioned the Sandstone Environmental Report because residents should not have to continually document and prove the inactions of the State, City, developer and the "paid construction monitors!" Now residents ask themselves, "Why should residents have to plan to continue to be the "unpaid construction monitors" for 15-25 or more years? (Bailey)
It is the State of New York's job to ensure FCRC and their contractors comply with environmental commitments. Unfortunately, for long stretches in the history of this project, the State has not had the ability, focus, and perhaps inclination, to understand its own project, most especially as it unfolds on the ground. Both the State and the developer depend on documentation gathered by FCRC's On-site Environmental Monitor to understand day-to-day construction at the site. But we have documented problems that extend over hours, days and weeks. We have no trust in the On-site Environmental Monitor system, or in fact any system that relies on data generated by the developer and contractors, will effectively identify non-compliance. It is long since past time for impartial and motivated construction monitoring on site. In this DSEIS context, with the State acknowledging some adverse construction impacts may last for 25 years instead of 10, how can anything less be justified? (Krashes)
The DSEIS sugarcoats the performance of the OEM, and there are numerous examples of where obvious problems are identified by the community but are not identified by the OEM, or are responded to slowly. (Derryberry, S.) For example,
• The DSEIS states that HDR reports the construction site was connected to the electrical grid as early as practicable, but HDR states in its own reports the power grid was not made available until the year following the ground breaking of the arena. (Derryberry, S.)
• Until community members consistently documented problems, truck behavior at the site continued to be disruptive, and there was considerable idling. (Derryberry, S.)
• In September 2011, only hours before FCRC's OEM publicly stated protocols for trucks had been "significantly improved" at the construction site, a community member documented a large number of violations of protocols. (Derryberry, S.)
The Atlantic, the website, is a model for some aspect of the oversight we’re seeking. I think it’s terrible that we citizens have had to create that and work very hard at it. I also found it sort of frustrating that when I’ve used the atlanticyardswatch, I found so much to bring to the attention to the powers that be and so little that could be done. . . (Ettinger)
As a result of our community’s oversight, it was identified the On-site Environmental Monitor (OEM) has rarely if ever monitored during extended hours work. (DSBA, BrooklynSpeaks)
The DSEIS should confirm that the OEM and the MEs are assigned full- time to ensuring compliance with the MEC, or if they are not, describe their other duties and the hours per week those other duties require. (BrooklynSpeaks)
All types of traffic lights including stop and street lights knocked down. Tearing down and changing of traffic signs to enable illegal parking by construction workers.
Throughout the build of the arena and the work on the Vanderbilt Yards, we in ground zero suffered unrelenting adverse effects including late night construction; early morning construction; noise; dust; noise; trucks idling; all-night-lighting even when work was not being done. As bad as these effects have been, the lack of a compliance monitor and review board gave us no remedy. Beyond that, with many steps in the process, the builders (FCR and ESD) started as bad neighbors. Noisy generators without sound-proofing that ran all day and night ultimately were improved - but it took unrelenting work on the part of the residents to force action. Pile driving was the same. The issue that comes back again and again is need for a compliance monitor with teeth, who can act quickly. If good fences make good neighbors, with this process, a strong monitor might at least result in some state-of-the-art building techniques to be used; promises to be kept; and the mitigation of significant adverse effects. (Mann, J.)
The once high quality of life on Dean Street is plummeting due to lack of oversight and carelessness of those being allowed to build these monstrosities in my neighborhood. (Mann, C.)
On occasions, construction went on well past the time we were told it would cease. The air quality was noticeably worse. Streets were sometimes closed and traffic re-routed without notice. Pacific Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton Avenue became visibly dirtier, and I personally witnessed Barclays Center construction workers littering the block with debris as they traveled to and from the work site, as well as during their lunch. . . (Callender)
ESD's response (emphases added):
As described in Chapter 3A, “Construction Overview” of the DSEIS, the project sponsors are obligated to implement a wide variety of measures pursuant to the MEC, including a number of measures to minimize the effects of Project construction on traffic conditions, air quality, noise, and other issues of concern in the surrounding area. As discussed below, these obligations are monitored and enforced by responsible professional staff reporting to the project sponsors and ESD.
The project sponsors have assigned an On-site Environmental Monitor (OEM) to oversee, enforce, and document compliance with the construction-related requirements set forth in the MEC. The OEM staff consists of one lead OEM and two mitigation engineers (MEs) employed by the project sponsors’ contractor, McKissack, to assist with the enforcement of the MEC.
In 2007 ESD retained a technical consultant, Henningson, Durham & Richardson Architecture and Engineering, P.C. (HDR), in the role of an MEC compliance monitor, to coordinate with the project sponsors’ OEM and monitor compliance with the MEC. HDR is a well-respected architectural and engineering firm, employing 8,500 professionals working in 200 locations around the world. HDR is licensed to practice engineering in New York State and brings to the Project HDR staff holding professional engineering licenses with significant training and experience in environmental engineering and construction management. The HDR staff engaged in the monitoring effort has included air pollution engineers and analysts, noise specialists, hazardous materials remediation professionals, traffic engineers, and staff familiar with the construction methods and equipment used at the Project site. In total, approximately 19,000 hours of HDR’s professional time have been spent in their monitoring responsibilities for the Atlantic Yards Project.In addition to the OEM staff and ESD’s MEC compliance monitor, a Community Liaison Office (CLO) was established per the MEC to provide a direct point of contact between the local community and the project sponsors during the construction of the Project. The CLO opened in February 2007. Informational signs about the CLO have been posted around the project construction site to inform the community of the purpose, location, and contact information of the CLO. Information about the CLO and how to make inquiries is also listed on the Atlantic Yards website, and has been from website inception. Additionally, the CLO uses the Atlantic Yards website to send out email notifications to the community and to post updated construction information.
The CLO has a rotating staff with at least one person on-site each day, from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM. There are three direct ways to contact the CLO: visit the CLO office during normal business hours, call the toll-free number (866-923-5315), or email communityliaison@atlanticyards.com. Infrequently, the CLO was not physically staffed on site as a result of office movements and activities. However, the public was able to access the CLO via email or phone during those times. To date, of the approximately 1,750 of communications received by the CLO office, approximately 113 construction-related complaints have been registered with the CLO. Generally, the CLO has responded to inquiries within 24 hours of receipt. These approximately 113 complaints included 25 related to nighttime noise, 16 related to utility service outages, 13 related to construction trucks, 8 related to rodents, 7 related to vibration, 7 related to garbage, 6 related to damage to property, 5 related to parking, 5 related to safety, 4 related to dust, 3 related to aesthetics, 3 related to construction workers, 3 related to snow removal, 2 related to air conditioners/windows, 2 related to night lights, 2 related to sidewalks, and 2 related to trees. It should be noted that certain of these complaints do not relate to potential non-compliance with the MEC. For example, the 2006 FEIS disclosed that nighttime construction activities would be intrusive even when carried out in accordance with the NYC Noise Code and other applicable requirements.
Since the commencement of Project construction, HDR has conducted more than 370 site visits (some during extended and night time hours for specific construction activities), reviewed Project documentation, held weekly coordination calls or meetings with the project sponsors’ staff, and prepared weekly and quarterly reports of its findings relative to compliance with the MEC. In addition, HDR has reviewed look- ahead construction activity summary reports, plans for the maintenance and protection of traffic (MPTs), air quality monitoring logs, LEED certification checklists, and site logistics plans to allow for early identification of actual and potential non-compliance issues and the refinement of compliance strategies, and the development of measures to correct instances of non-compliance. HDR will continue to conduct site visits, including random site inspections, and review Project documentation as construction continues.
The MEC compliance program is among the first of its kind that has been imposed by ESD and is one of the first to be used by either a City or State agency in New York. As with any new initiative, there has been an initial learning period as the program has been implemented. Recognizing that there were incidents where non-compliance was experienced in the early stages of construction, once the Arena was completed, ESD, with the assistance of its consultant undertook an assessment of the effectiveness of the program.
As part of this review, HDR reviewed its quarterly construction reports and further reexamined in detail the project sponsors’ compliance with the construction-related requirements of the MEC. HDR advised ESD that the project sponsors were generally in compliance with those requirements. In the areas that the project sponsors were not fully in compliance, HDR noted that prompt action was generally taken by the project sponsors to address the non-compliance issues. However, HDR noted that improvements could be made to processes and protocols to improve compliance with the MEC program. HDR’s assessment has resulted in further refinements and adjustments to the MEC program, which will improve compliance going forward, as described in Chapter 3A, “Construction Overview.” The compliance measures outlined in the revised MEC will be required for all future Project construction. In addition, after publication of the DSEIS, the project sponsors have agreed to pursue the services of a qualified outside engineering firm or construction management firm to serve as the OEM for the Project pursuant to a scope to be reviewed by ESD and that thereafter, the OEM function would not be moved in-house without prior approval by ESD.In response to public comment, HDR has carefully reviewed the approximately 1,000 reported incidents on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site by examining the information available for each incident, including the incident description and the supporting materials for some of the incidents (i.e., photos, videos). It should be noted that some reported incidents could involve multiple categories of non-compliance (i.e., one single incident has the potential to be MEC non-compliant for both air quality and noise and would therefore be considered to result in two potential incidents of MEC non-compliance). HDR determined that more than half of the approximately 1,000 reported incidents were not associated with Project-related construction activities. For example, there were a large number of reported incidents involving Project- related operations, such as tour bus and limousine idling and illegal parking. The remaining number of reported incidents of potential MEC non-compliance includes approximately 202 related to construction trucks, approximately 103 related to construction noise, approximately 100 related to air quality, approximately 65 related to vibration, and approximately 28 related to rodent control. To put these numbers into perspective, an immense amount of work has taken place at the project site over the past few years. According to the 2006 FEIS analysis, the construction of the Arena alone involved approximately 45,000 truck trips and the utilization of a large number of pieces of equipment performing thousands of operations. Assuming that all of the incidents reported on the Atlantic Yards Watch website represent MEC violations, such violations would represent a tiny fraction of the work conducted at the project site. It should be noted that many of the reported incidents do not necessarily constitute a violation of the MEC. For example, construction trucks may use local streets to drive to the construction site from DOT-approved truck routes; some of the truck incidents involved appropriate truck movements in the vicinity of the site. Similarly, perceptible construction noise is acknowledged in the 2006 FEIS and SEIS as likely even with the application of MEC measures, and the 2006 FEIS also disclosed that during Phase I of the Project, significant construction activities would often occur during evenings and weekends.
Details regarding compliance with the MEC measures for noise, air quality, truck protocols, and rodent control are described in further detail in the responses to Comments 3A-9, 3A-10, 3A-12, and 3A-13 below.
As is the case on all large urban construction projects, construction activities can be intrusive, even when the activities are performed in accordance with all applicable regulatory and project-specific requirements. While there may have been MEC non-compliance incidents not reported to the CLO, the ESD community liaison, or on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site, based upon the number of reported
incidents, the advice given to ESD by its environmental compliance monitor, and the level of effort that has gone into the compliance monitoring, ESD believes that, the measures that it put into place in 2009 have succeeded in assuring that construction activities have been performed in substantial compliance with the MEC. Nevertheless, a number of adjustments proposed by ESD and HDR will be incorporated into the MEC to further improve the environmental compliance program (many of which are refinements to the requirements that are already in the MEC). Additional and refined measures to improve the compliance program as the Project goes forward are described in Chapter 3A.Finally, ESD suggests that the community should in the future present their concerns directly to the CLO and/or the ESD community liaison for an efficient and direct response. Neither the OEM nor ESD utilize the Atlantic Yards Watch web site as a means to monitor MEC compliance.
Comments on the failure to fulfill oversight:
The Program Improvements described in the DSEIS tweak existing oversight and monitoring mechanisms under the same oversight structure that has failed to hold the developer accountable in the past. The DSEIS must acknowledge this failing, and compare environmental compliance with other projects that are overseen by dedicated subsidiaries whose boards include outside directors appointed in conjunction with local elected officials, ensuring that community concerns are represented in project policy and decision-making. (DSBA)
The DSEIS details the oversight structure (including MEC components like the Construction Protection Plan and the Construction Air Quality Measures mitigation plan) as a means of describing how compliance is monitored and enforced. It also details “Program Improvements,” some of them in response to problems the community identified for the State. The “Program Improvements” do not remove the dependence of the State on the project sponsor for information about conditions on the project site. The following problems with construction oversight must be taken into consideration in the environmental analysis of the DSEIS because they support the notion the State is not empowered enough, or chooses not to enforce FCRC’s requirement in the Development Agreement to comply with the MEC: 1) There have been gaps in staffing and plans; 2) ESDC relies too heavily on FCRC and contractors to report on compliance; 3) FCRC and the contractors are not reliable; 4) the OEM office has not been compliant with the MEC [While the DSEIS describes the OEM as “developed in compliance” with the MEC, it is likely the OEM office was not in compliance with the CAQM (part of the MEC) until, apparently, the CAQM was updated following the arena opening. The FCRC employee with the title of OEM has an office elsewhere and works on other projects. Instead, the OEM has been staffed by two employees of a contractor, not FCRC.]; 5) FCRC’s Community Liaison has not been responsive or effective; 6) Penalties for non‐compliance are implemented with a delay and are nominal. (DSBA)
The DSEIS acknowledges some construction-related activity has not complied with environmental commitments and that construction oversight has been flawed. It does not state non-compliance has been minimized to the extent that is possible. As part of our comments on the draft scope for the SEIS, BrooklynSpeaks included “Evaluation of Construction Air Quality and Noise Commitments and Mitigations, Atlantic Yards, Brooklyn, NY, ” prepared by Sandstone Environmental Associates for the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council in June 2012. The report prepared by Sandstone was based on quarterly reports provided by Empire State Development Corporation, some of which (it was discovered after the report’s release) had been edited prior to being provided to Sandstone, incident reports submitted by nearly 100 separate community members to the website Atlantic Yards Watch, and a construction log kept by the Dean Street Block Association that predates the website. Nearly 1,000 construction-related incident reports were filed on Atlantic Yards Watch in the period between its founding in mid-2011 and the opening of Barclays Center in September 2012. Documentation of non-compliance with the MEC has continued since. The DSEIS describes the oversight structure as a means of describing how compliance is monitored and enforced. It also details “Program Improvements,” some of them apparently in response to recommendations made in the Sandstone report. However, the “Program Improvements” do not remove the dependence of the State on the project sponsor for information about conditions on the project site. The following problems with construction oversight should also be taken into consideration in the environmental analysis of the SEIS because they support the notion ESDC has at times chosen not to enforce FCRC’s compliance with the MEC:
• There have been many gaps in staffing and plans.
• Construction oversight is more complex than the FEIS anticipated.
• ESDC relies too heavily on FCRC to report on compliance with environmental commitments.
• FCRC’s Community Liaison has not been responsive or effective.
The DSEIS presents no explanation for why oversight mechanisms defined in various project agreements were not followed or sufficient. The Program Improvements described in the DSEIS tweak existing oversight and monitoring mechanisms under the same oversight structure that failed to hold the developer accountable in the past. The DSEIS must acknowledge this failing, and compare environmental compliance with other projects that are overseen by dedicated subsidiaries whose boards include outside directors appointed in conjunction with local elected officials, ensuring that community concerns are represented in project policy and decision-making. (BrooklynSpeaks)
The Construction Overview chapter notes that ESDC and FCRC have implemented “many” of the mitigations in the MEC. The DSEIS should list which measures described in the MEC have not been implemented, explain why they have not, and describe any negative consequences resulting from the omission. (BrooklynSpeaks)
ESD's response:
The oversight mechanisms put into place in the MEC have been successful. The vast majority of construction activities have conformed to the MEC. As noted in Response to Comment 3A-7, the number of non-compliance incidents represents a small fraction of the total amount of construction activities that have occurred at the Project site, and are not indicative of significant deficiencies in the oversight program. Nevertheless, a number of adjustments proposed by ESD and HDR will be incorporated into the MEC to improve the environmental compliance program. The compliance measures outlined in the revised MEC will be required for all future Project construction. Additional and refined measures to improve the compliance program as the Project goes forward are described in Chapter 3A.
Comments on noise:
For two weeks at 6th Ave and Atlantic Ave there was "night time work" that started at 10pm until 6am with the constant 'beeping' from construction vehicles, blaring lights and digging/banging noise that keeps residents up all night long! IT IS NEVER ENDING!!! (Bailey)
Minimize nighttime work. Make public a detailed log of actual nighttime work. (Anonymous1, Heda)
[During construction of the arena] I wound up taking sleeping pills every night simply to improve my chances at falling back to sleep each time I was awakened. My health and sanity and that of all the people who call this neighborhood home, shouldn't be made to suffer... FOR YEARS... because a developer is trying to keep a schedule or save a buck. (Lopenzina)
Chapter 8: Response to Comments on the DSEIS
There have been extended periods when the construction went on well into the night, sometimes as late as 3:00 in the morning. (Freidson)
I have complained about the noise many times to no avail as nothing is ever done about it. (Jacobs) When the big bright stadium like lights are on it floods my room with so much light it is impossible to sleep. (Jacobs) That coupled with the noise of building works and digger trucks that go on till late at night and often all through the night is so invasive and so noisy that even when using the best earplugs on the market I can still hear the noise extremely loudly. This constant noise has really affected my quality of life as I am unable to sleep and it affects how I operate on a daily basis. (Jacobs)
The drilling, trucks, lights, and general construction noise is keeping us all up overnight. This has got to stop. My home faces both the LIRR rail yard and Atlantic Avenue. Both areas are prone to nighttime construction work. The amount of work at night must be reduced, and we need better noise attenuation for our windows. There is little monitoring, none of it transparent, of vibrations in our homes caused by the construction. My apartment actually shakes when they are out there. I don't think damage to our homes is of much concern to the developer. (Hetsrony)
As a result of our community’s oversight, it was identified the On-site Environmental Monitor (OEM) has rarely if ever monitored during extended hours work. (DSBA, BrooklynSpeaks) The DSEIS details that the number of OEM staff will now be adjusted according to the level of construction activity, including any after-hour and/or weekend construction work, to ensure a proper level of monitoring coverage is maintained. (DSEIS, 3A-11). The DSEIS should detail specifically how much oversight is to be provided and who is providing it. The degree of staffing, the employer, and the amount of time required to be on site is not explained. The Sandstone Report recommends as a project improvement that nighttime work should be minimized, and that the State’s Environmental Monitor and the OEM should visit the site during extended hours work one or more times per week using an unpredictable schedule. A log of extended hour work, including the time, type of work, etc., should be included in quarterly reports. The justification for the need for extended hours work should be documented, and the rationale should be part of the construction notices to the community. The Construction Noise Mitigation plans, like all plans and equipment standards used on site, should be updated when NYC and other relevant standards are updated.
The lack of presence from oversight during nighttime work has shifted the onus of response to the community who must follow up on their own. And for the community, getting concerns validated can be difficult, especially if the decision to respond lies with the project sponsor or the contractor. The State should ensure there is a way for community concerns to be validated punctually. The new amended MEC should specify that within 24 hours of a community member’s nighttime noise complaint, an impartial monitor will take the necessary steps to validate the community concern, and if valid take the maximum necessary steps practicable to mitigate the problem. (DSBA, BrooklynSpeaks)
The numerous incident reports filed by the community are not necessarily in conflict with the determination of HDR cited in the DSEIS that the project sponsor was “generally in compliance” with air quality related MEC commitments. “Generally in compliance” is not a quantitative term. We do believe the OEM and HDR were not aware of many of the construction-related problems at the site. This is a problem that DSEIS should analyze, not ignore. (BrooklynSpeaks)
Noise from construction vehicles and from the construction machinery is literally just 60 feet from my windows. Even with my heavy duty, double-paned windows closed it is too loud to carry on a conversation when it is going on. I have called in several 311 noise complaints, the most recent being in February 2014 when without any notice, the noise began at midnight and continued for more than 2 hours. More often than not, the 311 operator tells me that "NYC has no jurisdiction over the LIRR railyard" and although I am permitted to file a complaint, it does not appear ever to be acted on. The noise disturbs my sleep, but I cannot afford to replace my 12 large windows with windows that have better sound insulation. We shouldn't have to tolerate so much noise at such unreasonable hours for the next twenty years. And we should have effective oversight so that we have recourse to file complaints when the noise exceeds reasonable levels or spills into unreasonable time periods. (Freidson)
ESD's response:
As described in Chapter 3A, “ Construction Overview,” no regular nighttime work is expected to be required for Phase II construction except at limited times when foundation and construction work for the platform deck over the existing LIRR yard is required to avoid interference with yard operations of the LIRR. Extensive nighttime work was involved in the construction of the Arena and the reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge. The FEIS disclosed that nighttime construction activities would be performed and that they would be intrusive even when carried out in accordance with the NYC Noise Code and other applicable requirements. Noise generated during
nighttime construction activities does not necessarily constitute a violation of the MEC.
When work is required outside of normal construction hours, the proper approvals have been and would continue to be obtained from the appropriate agencies (e.g., DOB, DEP, NYCDOT, and/or LIRR, depending on the type and location of work to be done). In addition, a noise control plan is required to be developed and implemented. The Construction Noise Mitigation Plan (CNMP) would include such restrictions as a prohibition, where practicable, against placing generators at the property line and engaging in unnecessary loud activities at night. Further, to minimize noise during construction, where practicable and feasible, the project sponsors will be required to use sound-mitigated backup alarms on construction-related trucks and equipment used during extended nighttime work or nighttime modular deliveries.
As described in Response to Comment 3A-7 above, HDR has carefully reviewed the incident logs on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site and of the incidents reviewed, identified a total of approximately 103 reported noise incidents with a potential for MEC non-compliance. Some of these involve construction activities that would not constitute an MEC violation, such as nighttime work that complies with the MEC requirements. Other incidents do involve potential MEC violations by Project contractors. The 103 reported incidents included approximately 55 reported incidents of after-hour construction noise.
In addition, at ESD’s request, the project sponsors have performed a review of the Notices of Violation (NOVs) that have been issued by city agencies with respect to the Project Site since January 2006. The project sponsors identified a limited number of construction-related noise NOVs that also amounted to MEC non-compliance. (In addition, two noise violations were issued in October 2012 and one in March 2013 relating to Arena operations.) The reported number of MEC non- compliance incidents on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site and NOVs represents a tiny fraction of the total amount of construction activities conducted at the Project site since 2007. The construction noise analysis included in both the 2006 FEIS and the SEIS examined the reasonable- worst case noise levels during construction and used conservative assumptions for the analysis. Therefore, the few instances of noncompliance with the MEC noise requirements would not affect the conclusions of the noise analyses for Phase II construction presented in the SEIS.
As discussed in Chapter 3A, “Construction Overview,” HDR has found that the project sponsors generally complied with the noise requirements of the MEC, including compliance with source controls and path controls specified in the New York City Noise Code, construction equipment location restriction, installation of appropriate noise mitigation barriers, and offer to provide double-glazed windows or storm windows and/or air conditioning units at eligible affected sensitive uses identified in the 2006 FEIS. Nevertheless, a number of adjustments proposed by ESD and HDR will be incorporated into the MEC to improve the environmental compliance program to meet the noise requirements of the MEC. Additional and refined measures to improve the compliance program as the Project goes forward are described in Chapter 3A. The effects of nighttime lighting are discussed in the Response to Comment 3A-13. Also see Response to Comment 3A-7.
Comments on air quality:
A pattern of poor implementation of environmental commitments as they relate to air quality, combined with inadequate monitoring of fugitive airborne dust is a grave concern of our block association. The primary means of ascertaining compliance with the dust suppression measures is through daily spot inspections by FCRC's On-site Environmental Monitor and the Site Superintendents. Despite the oversight provided by the OEM, 192 individual incident reports citing air quality impacts, many of them associated with construction, have been filed on Atlantic Yards Watch since it was started in mid 2011.
Among the air quality related violations the community has documented that put us at risk are idling trucks, malfunctioning equipment, uncovered stockpiled materials and failure to mist unpaved surfaces. Unbelievably, it was the community, not the State, that identified there was no monitoring presence, and no air monitors, during virtually any extended hours work. (Derryberry, S.)
While the DSEIS states HDR found the project sponsors were “generally in compliance with the air quality requirements set forth in the MEC,” they also found a wide range of areas in which there was non-compliance. HDR found room for improvement, or problems with nearly all categories for which the project’s OEM is responsible to monitor. The DSEIS notes that in a review it was found the OEM and contractors did not always meet CAQM construction air quality requirements. If during the course of construction HDR and the State were unable to make the OEM follow the CAQM Compliance Plan requirements, the SEIS should detail on what basis it is to be expected there will be improved supervision in the future. The DSEIS also states that in October 2012, following the arena and Carlton Avenue Bridge openings, the Project Sponsors, ESD and HDR met “to identify strategies to better implement the requirements of the CAQM Compliance Plan.” Among the improvements were improved contractor training and “modification to some forms.” In 2014 the CAQM Compliance Plan was updated “to reference the contractors and personnel working at the project site and to reflect current protocols and procedures.” The DSEIS should disclose whether (and how) staffing related to air quality compliance changed in the 2014 updated CAQM compared to the plan that was in effect at the time of arena construction. (BrooklynSpeaks)
There are numerous documented incidents of fugitive dust events on Atlantic Yards Watch. As the Sandstone report notes, fugitive dust emissions were the result of multiple sources: Vehicles that exceed the 5 mph speed limit (especially on Pacific Street); Malfunctioning equipment for extended periods of time; Lack of watering of unpaved surfaces; Failure to cover or mist stockpiled materials; Insufficient or absent dust suppression during demolition and construction; Failure to cover, mist, or otherwise contain stockpiled soil; Absent or inadequate spraying during loading of dry materials; Uneven wheel washing wheel- washing stations absent at some exits. (BrooklynSpeaks)
The Sandstone report notes that HDR found deployment of air monitoring equipment provided insufficient coverage at times. The community recorded the placement and timing of air monitors for several weeks in 2012 during a period of intense construction. The monitors were not regularly placed on a daily basis, and no monitors were placed during extended hours work, some of which entailed earth moving. Atlantic Yards Watch has numerous incident reports about fugitive dust events in which no air monitors were visible. The DSEIS should describe any changes in compliance procedures with respect to air quality monitoring that would indicate the issues noted by HDR will not recur in the future. (BrooklynSpeaks)
Despite the extraordinary amount of extended hours work during the phase of construction that included the arena, the temporary rail yard and the Carlton Avenue Bridge, apparently little or no air monitoring took place during extended hours work, because the OEM was not present during extended hours work. What solution does the DSEIS propose for capturing fugitive dust blown off the site when no OEM is present? (Brooklyn Speaks)
The Sandstone report recommends the following improvements in relation to air monitoring not included in the Project Improvements: Deploy monitors during extended hours work; Use more than three to five monitors where the work area is large or where activities are ongoing at multiple locations; Use a state-of-the art monitoring system with built-in data loggers that send information wirelessly to a computer program that can evaluate the locations and wind data and identify which monitors are “upwind” or “downwind”; Install at least one permanent PM2.5 monitor to ascertain 24-hour and annual concentrations of PM2.5 in the vicinity of the work sites; and Set the audible alarm to also ring the cell phone of an employee who will respond to the monitor. The DSEIS should explain why these recommendations were not adopted. (BrooklynSpeaks)
ESD's response:
As described in Response to Comment 3A-7, HDR has carefully reviewed the incident logs on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site and of the incidents reviewed, identified a total of approximately 100 potential incidents involving reported activities that could involve noncompliance with the MEC air quality requirements. These 100 potential incidents of MEC non-compliance included approximately 88 related to fugitive dust, approximately 6 related to emissions reduction requirements, and approximately 6 related to the Community Air Monitoring Plan (CAMP). The number of reported non-compliance incidents on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site represents a tiny fraction of the total amount of construction activities occurring at the Project site since 2007. Moreover, given the limited number and nature of the reported incidents, the excess emissions resulting from these reported events were negligible. The construction air quality analysis examined the reasonable-worst case emission levels during construction and used conservative assumptions for the analysis. Consequently, the analysis was conservative in assessing increases in emission levels. Therefore, the few instances of noncompliance with the MEC air quality requirements would not affect the conclusions of the air quality analyses for Phase II construction presented in the SEIS.
With regard to air quality monitors, HDR reviewed the CAMP logbooks available on-site and found that PM levels were measured for 4,653 hours between June 7, 2009 and July 19, 2013, and were found to be below the CAMP action levels (imposed pursuant to criteria established by the New York State Department of Health) 99.8 percent of the time. Based on the information available to HDR, there were 16 separate events totaling 7.25 hours over this timeframe in which the monitors recorded PM10 levels in excess of the 150 μg/m3 level specified in the CAMP (over a 15 minute period). Based on HDR’s observations and review of the visual observations recorded by the OEM in the CAMP logbook, HDR has advised ESD that the project sponsors generally investigated and when required, implemented proper corrective measures to address the monitored exceedances. Nevertheless, the project sponsors have procured five new particulate monitors with real- time alert systems to allow for quicker responses in the event that action levels for PM10 recommended by NYSDOH are reached during construction activities.In addition, at ESD’s request, the project sponsors have performed a review of the Notices of Violation that have been issued by city agencies with respect to the Project Site since January 2006. The project sponsors identified a limited number of construction-related air quality Notice of Violations that also amounted to MEC non-compliance.HDR found that there were improvements to processes and protocols during the course of construction, which resulted in improved compliance. A Construction Air Quality Measures (CAQM) Compliance Plan was finalized and implemented before the commencement of major Project construction activities to provide the necessary strategies to meet the construction air quality requirements. However, HDR observed that a number of the provisions in the CAQM Compliance Plan were not being fully implemented. Subsequently, the CAQM was revised in March 2014 to be more detailed and defined so as to remove any ambiguity and improve the effectiveness of the Compliance Plan. For example, the CAQM was updated to require the OEM to perform a minimum of three daily spot inspections at the activity areas to confirm that the air quality requirements specified in the MEC are being met during Project construction; and the inspection checklist was updated to detail the OEM’s responsibilities for each of the MEC requirements during the inspection walkthrough.
Further, a number of adjustments proposed by ESD and HDR will be incorporated into the MEC to improve the environmental compliance program to meet the air quality requirements of the MEC. Additional and refined measures to improve the compliance program as the Project goes forward are described in Chapter 3A. See also Response to Comment 3A-7.
Comments on truck routes:
Daily arrival of diesel powered trucks and equipment using non- approved truck routes or not using routes identified and agreed to in the first EIS by the ESD and FCRC; both always reply, "isolated incidents, sorry we can't do anything about it." (Bailey)
Atlantic Yards construction vehicles have blocked traffic on Pacific Street for over two hours, indicating that construction vehicles are not staging in the official staging area. (Bailey)
The constant deluge of chaotic arrivals of construction delivery/dump trucks; 95% use the SE corner of Pacific St & 6th Ave instead of official FCR staging area and illegally idle for hours on end; The most serious instances that affect the adjoining residents health is the illegally idling of the construction trucks from as early as 4am to 6am, that illegally idle for hours, beeping, blasting music, yelling, ALL next to the Newswalk a 171 unit family residential building on Pacific St between 6th Ave and Carlton Ave. One remedy available to the ESD should have used is to require FCRC to ban using the offending trucking contractor or vendors, it is well documented that the same trucking companies were never were banned and FCRC continues to use these truckers for B2 construction today. (Bailey)
Moving violations of construction vehicles approaching the project site are frequent. (Derryberry, D.)
Trucks idle early in the morning, waiting to get into the construction area (Phillips)
The DSEIS should recognize that for the experience of the community, especially those areas where truck violations repeat, the experience is a pattern. The DSEIS should then propose measures which would improve compliance with truck protocols across the scope of the project site. (BrooklynSpeaks)
ESD's response:
As described in Response to Comment 3A-7 above, HDR has carefully reviewed the incidents logs on the Atlantic Yards Watch web site and of the incidents reviewed, identified a total of approximately 202 reported incidents involving activities that could involve non-compliance with the MEC truck protocols. These 202 potential MEC non-compliance incidents included approximately 144 incidents where construction trucks reportedly queued or idled in areas other than the designated area on Pacific Street and approximately 58 incidents where construction trucks reportedly did not use DOT-approved truck routes. It should be noted, however, that construction trucks may use local streets to drive to the construction site from DOT-approved truck routes; some of the truck incidents involved appropriate truck movements in the vicinity of the site. It should also be noted that construction trucks that require the continuous use of their engines to operate (e.g., concrete mixing trucks) are permitted to idle for more than three minutes on-site. In any event, even if all of the reported incidents were MEC violations, they would represent a small fraction when compared to the approximately 45,000 truck trips associated with Arena construction estimated in the 2006 FEIS.During the course of construction, HDR worked with the project sponsors to improve truck protocols and contractor compliance with those truck management measures which resulted in improved compliance. For example, as described in Chapter 3A, “Construction Overview,” some of the actions taken to effectively improve truck protocols included the installation of “No Idling” signs, the distribution of laminated truck protocol documents, and the employment of an additional flagger both at the entrance and at the egress point of the queuing area. Further, a number of adjustments proposed by ESD and HDR will be incorporated into the MEC to improve the environmental compliance program to meet the transportation requirements of the MEC. Additional and refined measures to improve the compliance program as the Project goes forward are described in Chapter 3A. Also see Response to Comment 3A-7. 

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