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Historic Pledge for a Greener and Economically Strong Future at the Port of New York and New Jersey Signed by Key Government and Port Agencies
Release Date: 01/10/2000
|(#00009) New York, NY -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and several other state and local agencies have signed a historic agreement, setting the course for a greener and economically vital future for the Port of New York and New Jersey. Several key resource and regulatory agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Maritime Resources, the Empire State Development Corporation and the New York City Economic Development Corporation signed the agreement, formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding, which calls for the development of a Comprehensive Port Improvement Plan (CPIP), and an accompanying environmental impact statement (CPIP-EIS). The CPIP will act as a master plan for the expansion of the Port in an environmentally protective manner. This agreement is also the first in the country to bring together this many federal, state and local agencies to prepare a long-term port improvement plan that puts environmental protection at the forefront. One major goal of the CPIP will be to apply "green port" planning principles to the Port, focusing on limiting potential environmental impacts, such as runoff and air pollution from truck traffic, as well as protecting the harbor's aquatic resources.
"The CPIP will lay out a course for preserving the Harbor as a vital natural resource, while keeping the Port economy healthy," said William J. Muszynski, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator. "It will ensure that the Port's surrounding communities will enjoy the benefits of clean air, water and a healthy environment in the future. Working together we can assure that our Harbor continues to be recognized internationally as both a world class port and a rich, productive ecosystem."
Army Corps of Engineers New York District Engineer Col. William H. Pearce said, "The purpose of the process set up by the CPIP Memorandum of Understanding is to ensure that investigation of the environmental impacts of one terminal's development does not take place without consideration of the plans for developing other terminals. The CPIP also ensures that coordination and sharing of information amongst the various regulatory agencies takes place so that the long-term economic and environmental aspects of the Port are effectively addressed."
Another central goal of the CPIP will be to coordinate the many ongoing Port-related studies and plans that have been or are currently being prepared by the agencies that are part of this new cooperative process. These ongoing projects include the New York/New Jersey Harbor Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, developed through EPA's National Estuary Program; the New York and New Jersey Harbor Navigation Study, which is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' analysis of the future need for deeper channels to accommodate the larger container vessels joining the international fleet; the Strategic Port Investment Analysis, a study undertaken by the Port Authority, in cooperation with the states of New York and New Jersey, to determine what investments are needed in marine terminals and related infrastructure to maintain and expand the Port's future share of the international cargo shipping market; and the Strategic Plan for Redevelopment of the Port of New York, prepared by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to identify a series of target investments to develop cargo terminals, as well as improve highway and rail access and public open space facilities. The CPIP will be the mechanism through which these and other Port-related plans will be comprehensively addressed.
As a result of past industrial activities, the Port has suffered environmental degradation. Using the "green ports" approach, all potential environmental impacts from future port and nearby development will be considered, including brownfields redevelopment, minimizing truck traffic and idling, waterfront aesthetics and dredged material management.
The plan will be developed over the next three to five years, with public participation as an integral part of the process. A Stakeholder Committee will be formed to provide all interested parties an opportunity to provide input to and share information with the Steering and Management Committees overseeing the CPIP and CPIP-EIS.
Sixteen additional federal, state and local signatories have been listed on the agreement and encouraged to sign on as committed partners to this cooperative effort. The additional agencies are: the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Surface Transportation Board, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of State, New York State Department of Transportation,
New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Department of City Planning, North Jersey Transportation Planning Agency and the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Council.