CHAPTER 21: COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES

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1 CHAPTER 21: COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES 21.1 INTRODUCTION In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality s implementing procedures under Title 40, Part 1502 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), any Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared pursuant to NEPA must include an analysis of both the relationship between short-term uses of the environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and of any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources that would occur should the action be implemented (see 40 C.F.R ). This chapter addresses both of these matters for the No Action Alternative and the two (2) Full Build Alternatives, Alternatives 9 and 10, under consideration for the Fulton Street Transit Center (FSTC) (see Chapter 3: Alternatives, for further details of each Alternative). This chapter presents a discussion of the comparison between the permanent commitment of resources and the benefits of the project. That discussion is followed by an evaluation of the potential costs of consumption of environmental resources during the short-term construction phase of the FSTC compared to the longer term productivity and environmental benefits associated with the operation of the FSTC IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES Resources that would be irreversibly and irretrievably committed to the FSTC include construction materials, energy, labor, funds and land. However, based on social and economic studies undertaken for the analysis of potential impacts as a result of the FSTC, these are not considered to be in limited supply. Thus, the use of such resources in the construction of the FSTC would not adversely impact the availability of such resources for other projects both now and in the future. It is estimated that over 1,300 construction-related and secondary jobs would be generated over the estimated four (4)-year construction period of the FSTC (see Section 7B.4.1 Social and Economic Conditions). Thus, the use of labor for the construction of the FSTC would be considered a positive effect and consistent with Federal, State and City plans for the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The No Action Alternative for the FSTC would result in some irreversible or irretrievable commitment of resources associated with maintenance and potential rehabilitation activities that could be taken over the short- and long-term. The No Action Alternative would require a greater commitment of a variety of resources in the future as the deficiencies of the existing Fulton Street Broadway Nassau Subway Station Complex would continue and the opportunity would be lost to contribute to the revitalization of Lower Manhattan following the events of September 11. For both Alternative 9 and Alternative 10, the total commitment of Federal funds for the construction of the FSTC, including easements and other property interests and acquisitions, is $750 million in 2003 dollars. This commitment of financial resources represents a substantial infusion of capital investment into New York City and New York State, and would add to local and regional economic activity directly through labor and capital expenditures for construction and, secondarily, through the flow of these monies within the local economy. These benefits would take the form of increased demand for goods and services provided locally, earnings of local employees, jobs, and state and local tax revenues (see Section 7B.4 Social and Economic Conditions). The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) would minimize the use of resources, and reuse resources, wherever practicable for either Alternative 9 or Alternative 10. To that end, it would implement its established Environmental Management System (EMS) pursuant to ISO (an internationally recognized set of guidelines for the management of environmental programs) to demonstrate control over key issues related to raw materials consumption, energy usage, emissions, waste 21-1

2 products, transport, distribution and services. The EMS requires not only a continuing compliance with relevant legislation, but also that NYCT remain committed to achieving improvements in these key issues. Among other policies for the FSTC, NYCT has adopted Design for the Environment (DfE) Guidelines for use during the project s design phase under both Build Alternatives, with the goal of creating an environmentally responsible FSTC. Among the DfE guidelines are protocols to achieve energy efficiency and to conserve materials, resources and water. The protocols would include Environmental Performance Commitments (EPCs) that would be proactively implemented to aid in the avoidance and minimization of adverse impacts. Chapter 2: Analysis Framework, and Appendix A, provide further details on the EPCs as they are currently conceived. These EPCs would include design elements, construction techniques and/or operating procedures to lower the potential for adverse environmental impacts. The EPCs would be codified in an explicit Construction Environmental Protection Program (CEPP) and related plans for the FSTC that would consistently, effectively, and routinely assure that EPCs are met and exceeded. The FSTC would be constructed both above and below street-level. Following construction, areas of excavation and construction, including utilities, would be fully restored to normal function. At certain locations, existing and new easements beneath or through private property would be utilized for entrances, ventilation facilities, support structures, utilities and other subway related facilities. Under Alternative 9, five (5) privately-owned properties would be acquired for construction of the Entry Facility and the Dey Street Access Building. Alternative 10 would acquire these same five (5) properties, and would also acquire the Corbin Building for integration within the FSTC Entry Facility. Because of the historic value of the Corbin Building and the qualitative value it provides to the character of the neighborhood, the building s façade and other of its historic features would be preserved. The activities currently performed at these private properties are not unique in Lower Manhattan and could be accommodated elsewhere in Lower Manhattan, based on the projected vacancy rates in the area in 2005/2006. Owners of these properties would be compensated in accordance with State and Federal regulations (see Chapter 10: Displacement and Relocation). Residual development rights associated with the acquired properties would be maintained by NYCT and could be transferred as appropriate, after construction of the FSTC has been completed. As a result, the economic development capacity of the parcels to be acquired would be preserved for Lower Manhattan. This development potential would remain available for future use following construction and thus would not be irreversibly committed or consumed by the FSTC. With the exception of the easements, surface structures would remain in their current use or be available for other commercial or residential uses following construction, and thus would not be irreversibly committed to the project. Historic resources could potentially be affected by the construction of the FSTC. However, as described in Chapter 11: Cultural Resources, analysis was undertaken to assure avoidance and mitigation of adverse impacts on historic resources, in accordance with the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (23 C.F.R ). Archaeological deposits or features are not considered likely to be found in the study area given the extent of construction disturbances that have historically occurred in the area. There are seven (7) historic properties within the study area including the Corbin Building, and one (1) historic district. Under Alternative 9, an underground slurry wall or similar structure would structurally isolate the building from the Entry Facility and Dey Street Passageway and underpinning is likely needed to ensure structural stability. No direct impacts to the Corbin Building are anticipated under this Alternative, although indirect impacts related to vibration during construction could occur. Under Alternative 10, the Corbin Building would be underpinned and used as part of the Entry Facility. Alternative 10 would thus cause an adverse effect on the Corbin Building (see Chapter 11). A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) developed in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and executed by the SHPO, Federal Transit Administration (FTA), MTA and NYCT (see draft MOA in Appendix H) would establish the processes for ongoing historical assessment and mitigation implementation as appropriate for the Build Alternatives. 21-2

3 Development of the FSTC would result in a temporary increase in energy and fuel consumption during construction. The operation of the FSTC may result in a slight increase in energy consumption (due to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and operational needs) compared to the No Action Alternative but would be expected to result in a decrease in energy consumption, through increased transit operation. Overall, the resources used to construct and operate the FSTC would be committed to benefit residents, visitors and commuters and support economic recovery within Lower Manhattan, as per established public policy at the Federal, State and local levels of government. The commitment of these resources would also benefit other residents of the State and region by an improved transportation system and from the contribution of the FSTC to the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. The FSTC would offer improved accessibility and savings in travel time, improvements to the Existing Complex, reduced train crowding and improved operational flexibility of the existing subway lines. There are no other known resources that would be committed as a result of the construction of the FSTC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SHORT-TERM USES OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE MAINTENANCE AND ENHANCEMENT OF LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY The construction of a project can result in short-term effects on the environment. Long-term effects relate to the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity in particular, the consistency of the project with long-term economic, social, regional and local planning objectives, including sustainability. The short-and long-term effects of the FSTC Alternatives are summarized below SHORT-TERM USES The No Action Alternative would not require construction and thus would not result in any short-term impacts. The two (2) Build Alternatives of the FSTC would have greater impacts during the construction period (see Chapter 4: Construction Methods and Activities, and 2005/2006 environmental impacts discussions of Chapters 5 through 19) than the No Action Alternative. Short-term construction impacts of the FSTC would be predominantly associated with the economics of affected and displaced businesses; traffic; subway and pedestrian access; on-street parking; noise and vibration; air quality including dust; and the effects of these impacts on neighborhood character. As discussed in each chapter related to the foregoing resources, NYCT would endeavor to reduce these impacts wherever practicable. The FSTC construction would create economic benefits during construction, in the form of jobs and the direct and indirect demand for goods and services associated with construction activities (see Chapter 7: Social and Economic Conditions) LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY The role of public transportation systems in the economic prosperity of major residential, commercial and employment centers is an important component in economic growth and productivity as well as a key factor in the quality of life in urban neighborhoods. Restored and improved transportation services, as would be provided by construction and operation of the FSTC, have been identified by Federal, State, and New York City levels of government as essential to the continued restoration and revitalization of Lower Manhattan (see Chapter 1: Purpose and Need). Indeed, the President s March 21, 2002 funding request for the FSTC and other Recovery Projects noted that such funds were to provide for emergency expenses to support the war on terrorism, homeland security, and economic revitalization activities as the Nation continues to recover and rebuild following the September 11 terrorist attacks. 21-3

4 The events of September 11 destroyed critical portions of the Lower Manhattan transportation system, compounding existing deficiencies and jeopardizing the area s sustainability as a Central Business District, emerging residential area and key tourist destination. Rebuilding the Lower Manhattan transportation network is critical to revitalization. Agencies involved with the revitalization of Lower Manhattan recognize that improving access to Lower Manhattan in support of economic recovery and resumed growth may cause short-term construction impacts, but that improved public transportation would provide benefits to Lower Manhattan s environment and economy as a result of these construction efforts. As discussed in Section 7B.4.3, by 2025, employment in Lower Manhattan is expected to reflect a level of economic growth projected pre-september 11, with much of the restored economic activity and associated employment anticipated to utilize the improved subway access and efficiencies that would be provided by the FSTC. By improving the existing transportation services in Lower Manhattan, the FSTC would help return Lower Manhattan, and New York City, to its pre-september 11 growth forecast as a global center of finance, commerce, media and culture. Furthermore, since the City contributes greatly to the economy of the tri-state metropolitan region and New York State as a whole, these areas would experience long-term productivity benefits from the FSTC. Long-term benefits to economic activity in Lower Manhattan associated with the construction and operation of the FSTC under the Build Alternatives would, in aggregate, be due to the FSTC achieving the following goals, which are also described in further detail in Chapter 1: Purpose and Need and in Chapter 7: Social and Economic Conditions: Facilitated access, improved wayfinding and streamlined transfers; Allowance for intermodal connectivity (Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), ferry service); Promotion of system flexibility in the event of service disruption; Improved east-west pedestrian connectivity across Lower Manhattan; Promotion of safety and reduced congestion at heavily trafficked street crossings; Support for current land use, recovery and rebuilding of Lower Manhattan through improved transit infrastructure, support to the revitalization of downtown and the creation of opportunity for positive local and regional benefits; and, Improved travelers perception of, and experience with, the transit system. In the achievement of these goals, FSTC would also improve travel conditions and efficiency, reducing travel time into and within Lower Manhattan, thus contributing to long-term productivity SHORT-TERM USES VERSUS LONG-TERM PRODUCTIVITY Local short-term impacts in the use of resources resulting from the construction of the FSTC would be consistent with the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity for the City of New York, the State of New York, and the region as a result of the restoration and revitalization of Lower Manhattan. Some resources that would be valuable in the short-term would be used to achieve higher productivity per unit resource in the long-term. By currently investing these resources in future productivity, fewer resources over the long term would be needed to achieve the same productivity COST AND FUNDING The FSTC is one (1) of three (3) currently identified priority transit projects meant to address the urgent need for comprehensive transit improvements in Lower Manhattan in response to the events of September 11. The two (2) other priority projects are the Permanent WTC PATH Terminal, sponsored by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), and the South Ferry Subway Terminal Project, sponsored by the MTA and NYCT. These priority projects were formally identified by New York Governor George Pataki as the Lower Manhattan Transportation Recovery Projects through a coordinated process conducted in late 2002 and early 2003 by the Transportation Working Group, a group 21-4

5 of local decision-makers which includes the State of New York, the City of New York, MTA, PANYNJ and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC). In 2003, the Federal government allocated $4.55 billion in funding for these and other transportation improvement projects, to be administered by the FTA. Of this amount, $750 million (2003 dollars) was allocated for the FSTC. This cost includes construction of the Entry Facility, construction of the Dey Street Access Building and Dey Street Passageway, widening of the AC mezzanine under Fulton Street, and construction of numerous other project elements, including new and improved subway entrances, improved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access, and subsurface connections. Once the preliminary engineering is complete, the FTA has issued a NEPA decision signifying the completion of the environmental process, and the project budget remains with the allocated amount of $750 million, FTA and MTA will provide an update on the status of the project to the Governor of New York. Sometime during final design and before construction commences on the project or project segment, FTA and MTA will enter into one (1) or more Construction Agreements, finalizing the project scope, schedule, budget and total amount of Federal funds to be allocated to the project. In the unlikely event the scope or schedule for the project changes to such a degree that the project cost exceeds the $750 million allocation, the FTA will either seek a decision from the Governor or designee concerning allocation of additional funds to the project from the overall $4.55 billion Lower Manhattan recovery funds, or direct the MTA to identify and secure additional Federal, State or local funds to adequately finance the additional project costs without further assistance from the $4.55 billion of Federal recovery funds. 21-5

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