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BROOKLYN     Press Release Main Page


For Immediate Release: November 15, 2006

Atlantic Yards Proposal
ESDC Certifies Final Environmental Impact Statement
Trying to Ram Ratner Plan Forward, State Agency and Ratner
Fail to Make Meaningful Changes or Mitigations


NEW YORK, NY— Trying to rush forward with Forest City Ratner’s “Atlantic Yards” development proposal during the last days of the Pataki administration the Empire State Development Corporation today certified the public release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)­now the official accounting of negative environmental impacts of the 8 million square foot development proposal.

Jeffrey Baker, attorney for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB, the coalition leading the opposition to "Atlantic Yards") said, "Upon our initial review this appears to be a fatally flawed Environmental Impact Statement that has failed to consider reasonable alternatives and has not responded to the detailed substantive comments from the public and experts. As we dig into the FEIS we expect to find that it fails to accurately consider the very real adverse impacts caused by the project and that the proposed mitigations are insufficient. If this is to be the final description of the project, ESDC has failed in its responsibility to assure that adverse impacts have been properly avoided while also meeting legitimate community goals of housing and economic development, not Mr. Ratner's goals."

“We know that the ESDC will rubberstamp this project. So we call on the Public Authorities Control Board to scrutinize ‘Atlantic Yards’­its public cost, its infrastructure and environmental impacts, its security issues, its abuse of eminent domain­as thoroughly as possible, and to postpone any vote until after the federal eminent domain lawsuit filed on October 26th is resolved in the courts,” said DDDB spokesperson Daniel Goldstein. “A major development of this size--the largest proposed by a single developer in the history of New York--must not be rammed through in the dying days of a lame duck Pataki administration. The PACB should ensure that that does not happen.”

Weighty Facts:

The project has not been scaled back. When announced in December 2003 it was 8 million square feet. The project described in the FEIS is approximately the same size.

The FEIS revealed that the project sponsors now claim there will be space for only 1,300 office jobs. This is an 87% job reduction from the 10,000 claimed at the proposal’s unveiling in December 2003, and nearly a 50% reduction from July 2006 when the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released

Of great concern to everyone is the impact that 17,000 new residents and 20,000 arena visitors for 235 arena events per year would have on traffic in an area of Brooklyn that already has a major traffic crisis. There appears to be no serious traffic mitigations in the document.

The FEIS has ignored serious concerns about security and terrorism as they relate to the unique design, use and location of the proposed project. The ESDC, NYPD and NYFD have yet to give a responsible answer to serious questions about the safety of the project and the cost of ensuring safety.

The document does announce that a new school would be built in Phase 2 of the project. It took public comments to convince the developer and the state that a new school would be needed to deal with the influx of approximately 17,000 new residents. Unfortunately there is a shortfall of about 1,100 seats. Additionally the developer should pay for the new school; instead the city would pay, which is an additional public subsidy to a project that already would cost the public at least $2 billion.


DEVELOP DON’T DESTROY BROOKLYN leads a broad-based community coalition
fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing and destroying them

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