U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for more Vetting of Union Dry Dock Property in Hoboken

Article Image

Posted May 15, 2018

According to a press release from the city of Hoboken, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has determined that it will require NY Waterway to undergo a more vigorous and public vetting process prior to allowing work to commence at the former Union Dry Dock site.

NY Waterway purchased the property in uptown Hoboken last November to become its ferry home port for maintenance, refueling, and repairs.

Hoboken wants to acquire the property for public open space.

The Army Corps decision was determined after Mayor Ravi Bhalla sent a letter to them requesting heightened scrutiny of the proposed use, a process that will allow for more public input and force NY Waterway to document the impact of the facility more thoroughly.

The Army Corps 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 near the project site.

As part of this process, the Army Corps will also study more suitable alternative locations for the proposed use.

“This is great news for Hoboken,” said 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 submit comments and request a public hearing in Hoboken.

“I am calling upon the [Army Corps] 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.

Source: Hudson Reporter