Hoboken, NJ - Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
In a significant turn of events, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has determined that it will require New York Waterway to undergo a substantially more rigorous and public vetting process prior to allowing operations to commence at the Union Dry Dock site in Hoboken, New Jersey. This determination was made after Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla issued a letter to the USACOE requesting heightened scrutiny of the proposed use.
Specifically, the USACOE issued a notice stating that the NYWW application will be subject to review as an “individual permit application” rather than a national permit application. An individual permit application requires a heightened level of scrutiny, a more open, transparent and public process, and the opportunity for a public hearing at the discretion of the Army Corps of Engineers at a location in proximity of the project site.
As part of this process, the USACOE will also study more suitable alternative locations for the proposed use.
“This is great news for Hoboken,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “We have been advocating for an open and transparent process, so the voices of residents are heard and taken into account. I am grateful that the Army Corps of Engineers will take into consideration public input, including the well documented public detriments of the proposed use. This is a great step towards a regional solution that considers all legitimate interests.”
As part of the review process, residents may – and are urged to – submit comments and request a public hearing in Hoboken.
“I am calling upon the USACOE to convene a public hearing to take place in the City of Hoboken at a convenient day and time for residents,” said Bhalla. “There should be no barrier for our residents to voice their opinions. This is the public process we were promised earlier this year. The Army Corp of Engineers is to be commended for undertaking an open and transparent approach to this matter.”
The individual permit application, as opposed to the less-thorough national permit application, also requires a study to determine the impact of the use on air, water, wildlife, recreation, public safety, and other relevant considerations.