Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Critical Atlantic Yards Boo-Boo?

Sometimes the little things can make a big, big difference. That may be the case with yesterday's statement by Empire State Development Corp. Chair Charles Gargano noting that some comments submitted in reponse to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Atlantic Yards "were not included" in the final document. (Such an oversight could legally undermine the entire approval process.) The development is reported by Atlantic Yards Report, which quotes Gargano's statement as saying, "I immediately directed ESDC staff to conduct a thorough quality control review, which is now underway. All comments inadvertently excluded from the FEIS are being carefully considered. The FEIS will be amended to include the substantive comments that had been omitted and responses to those comments, and re-presented to the ESDC Board for consideration. It is essential that the public comment process be faithfully followed in letter and spirit."

We're guessing yesterday wasn't such a good one at ESDC central, where the pressure has been on to get Atlantic Yards finished before George Pataki's lease in Albany expires. What this means is that there may be a delay that makes it impossible to complete the process of approving the Atlantic Yards proposal and forwarding it to the Public Authorities Control Board before the end of Gov. Pataki's term. While Gov.-elect Spitzer supports the project, there is a chance the project could change if it must run the Eliot Spitzer-Sheldon Silver gauntlet.


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