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November 27, 2006

FEIS reissued for December showdown; Gargano says speed not atypical

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder reports from the special meeting of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) Board to recertify the Atlantic Yard Final Environmental Impact Statment. ESDC Chairman Charles Gargano tries to convince the public that it's not extraordinary for employees to work through holiday weekends:

Twelve days after they determined the Atlantic Yards Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) complete—and just one week after numerous comments were found missing—the board of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) met and certified a revised FEIS, setting up a December 8 approval.

What went wrong? ESDC Chairman Charles Gargano said the omission of 148 comments—with about 1600 already accounted for—was inadvertent. His explanation was hardly exhaustive, blaming some “very large” comments and others “sent to the wrong person,” but he emphasized the agency’s responsiveness to the news.

Indeed, staffers worked weekends to finish the job, something Gargano asserted is not an extraordinary measure. “We have done that many times, worked weekends, over the 12 years that I’ve been here, on many projects,” he said.

Did the FEIS change? “Not substantially,” said Gargano, deeming them “mostly questions that had been asked previously.”

Click here to read more of Gargano's comments, and to find out what the ringtone is on the Chairman of the Board's cellphone.

Posted by lumi at November 27, 2006 10:48 PM