Comment Letter to DEC Division from David Berg, Plaintiff

Dear Mr. Evans:

     Please accept this correspondence as a comment regarding the complete application for DEC ID # 1-2805-00193/00001 – the Glen Cove Creek Waterfront Development Project.

    The SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) review done in 2009 for RXR’s waterfront development project by the lead agency (the City’s Planning Board- which admitted to having no expertise to evaluate such impacts) should now be considered INVALID as critical aspects of the project’s design and scope have changed since then in very significant ways. A SEQRA review of the impacts identified in NYSDEC’s Notice of Completed Application (dated 12/21/2016) has YET TO BE CONDUCTED.

     The original proposed stormwater management plan (SWMP) was redesigned after the DEC expressed concern about infiltration relative to the site and the possibility that pollution from the contaminated soil could flow into Glen Cove Creek. The new SWMP uses collection, treatment by filtration (“Jellyfish” filters) and discharge as opposed to infiltration and retention.

      RXR’s own consultants admitted the new Stormwater Management System will likely be overwhelmed in large storms, prolonged winter flooding and snowmelt- risking the mixing and discharge of polluted and treated water into Glen Cove Creek. This pollution will harm marine wildlife, including our recently resurgent shellfish in the harbor. The overall impacts will be increased nitrogen and phosphorus loadings delivered to the Creek. RXR admitted that the Jellyfish filters will only remove about half the nutrient loadings. The only way to protect the Creek from eutrophication would be to reduce the volume of stormwater being discharged to the Creek by reducing the density of development, and leaving more open space.

      To exacerbate the matter, Nassau County’s waiver of the 8 inch stormwater runoff rule for this project is foolish and does nothing to account for the predicted range of sea level rise as well as higher and more frequent storm surges with greater amounts of runoff. The DEC’s own Tidal Wetlands Guidance Document wisely warns planners and developers to take these factors into account.

      At a public meeting on December 27, 2016 the Glen Cove City Council acknowledged that it doesn’t have the expertise to deal with their own coastal erosion management issues. At the same meeting, the City Council claimed that RXR’s waterfront development project falls under the jurisdiction of the city’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). When questioned further, the city admitted that it does NOT HAVE an approved LWRP.

     I find it concerning that, as noted by both the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, there is a significant amount of radioactive material in the sediment at the bottom of Glen Cove Creek- which has prevented the ACE from completing dredging of the Creek. The construction of new bulkhead and marina before the remediation of this problem and before completion of further pending remediation of pollution on the adjacent land by the EPA would seem, at best, imprudent, ill-advised and tragic for the health of the surrounding environment.

Thanks,

David Berg

Glen Cove, NY

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