By Deborah J. Glick
As you may know, Hudson River Park Trust, in partnership with the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, is proposing the creation of a new pier—Pier 55. This would replace Pier 54 currently located between Little West 12th and 13th Streets. Pier 55 is proposed just north of Pier 54, in what is currently undeveloped water. It would rise 71 feet above shore-line and the whole project would involve the drilling of 896 new piles. The project also includes the mooring of a 4,000 square foot barge for events.
Since this plan was first unveiled, I have advocated for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be conducted in order to determine the true impact this project would have not just on the water and wildlife, but also the surrounding community. There are serious concerns that drilling into previously untouched water and riverbed will be detrimental to the sensitive marine habitat. Furthermore, the impact the drastic change of use will have on the surrounding community is yet to be understood.
Prior to being able to move forward with development, this project needs permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The public comment period for the Army Corps of Engineers is open now through November 4th.
I strongly urge you to submit written comments about this project and the potential environmental damage this pier would have for our sensitive marine sanctuary. All comments in writing must REACH the Army Corps offices by November 4th (address below). This will require you to leave time for mail delivery, and so I urge you to attend to this quickly. Please be sure to reference public notice number: NAN-1998-00290.
The Army Corps has acknowledged that “any benefit which reasonably may be expected…must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.” Factors that are considered relevant while evaluating this permit include, but are not limited to: general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife value, flood hazards, recreation and the needs and welfare of the people.
Army Corps of Engineers
New York District
Jacob K. Javitz Federal Building
New York, NY 10278-0090
Attn: Regulatory Branch
I have requested an extension of this timeline, but have not received information that will happen, so please plan to have comments in by November 4th.
A copy of the full notice can be found at here.
Editor’s Note: the deadline has been extended to November 19.