In support of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Harbor Navigation Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the Port Authority retained Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) to characterize existing environmental conditions at the upland portion of six port sites (Port Newark/Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Port Jersey/MOTBY, Howland Hook Marine Terminal, Stapleton, South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, Brooklyn - Red Hook Terminal) in New York and New Jersey.
In Phase 1, HMM identified, assembled, and performed a preliminary review of relevant environmental studies and reports associated with the identified project sites. The documents were those deemed to be of use in describing environmental conditions required as part of the overall assessment of the harbor area. A summary document was prepared which included a listing of the collected documents and a preliminary assessment of their relevance and usefulness with regard to the ongoing Harbor Navigation Study.
In Phase II, HMM continued data collection and assessment and prepared a Baseline Environmental Conditions Report documenting existing upland conditions of the individual port sites and the New York Bay region. The report also included an annotated bibliography and identified “data gaps” with regard to the adequacy of existing information to describe existing conditions. HMM synthesized the body of information generated as part of this project and also provided the information in tabular form along with estimated time frames and costs to fulfill identified data gaps.
Based on the work performed in the preparatory phases of the harbor assessment, the Port Authority retained HMM to continue to provide environmental assessment services at five of the six upland port sites; due to technical issues, one of the original port sites was dropped from further consideration. Additional data collection and interpretive tasks were performed and summarized in a report supporting the September 1999 NY and NJ Harbor Navigation Study NEPA EIS.
HMM’s report described existing conditions pursuant to traditional NEPA evaluation including the following topics: land use, zoning, public policy, socioeconomic issues, community facilities and services, open space and recreational facilities, cultural and historic resources, urban design and visual resources, biological resources, geology and land form, site contamination, infrastructure, solid waste, energy, traffic, air quality, and noise. HMM also identified impacts including cumulative impacts based upon increased productivity and economic activity at each port site and the overall region. HMM received a commendation from the Port Authority’s Port Commerce Department for the quality of work product, availability of personnel, and completing the project within the necessary timeframe.
HMM continues to work on this project through the performance of air quality evaluation and analysis. Baseline emissions are being studied to evaluate methods to decrease emissions in the harbor.