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East Side Coastal Resiliency EIS Named NAEP Environmental Excellence Award Winner

The $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project required a comprehensive design, coordinated environmental review, and complex permitting to obtain HUD funding, requiring the project team to develop unprecedented procedures for concurrent design, environmental/public review, and permitting to meet the groundbreaking in March 2020.

Over 70 public hearings and focused stakeholder meetings were conducted in less than one year to ensure stakeholder input, manage public perception, and consider community feedback. A number of innovative engagement strategies were employed, such as live design charrettes, open houses, and public engagement workshops. The project has created a road map for future resiliency projects in New York City.

The ESCR project is unprecedented in scope, involving 30 Federal, State and City agencies. The project team is leading a coordinated effort that includes a tiered environmental review that simultaneously had to meet local (CEQR, ULURP), State (SEQRA, DEC mitigation requirements), and federal (NEPA, HUD-specific funding) requirements.

(NEW YORK, NY - April 7, 2021) - The East Side Coastal Resiliency EIS, led by Hazen (in JV), was recently selected as the winner of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Environmental Excellence Award in the category of NEPA Planning Integration.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) is the largest post-Sandy resiliency project in New York, and the first to be implemented within Manhattan. The $1.45 billion project involves construction of an integrated flood protection system for a 2.4-mile section of Manhattan. The Environmental Impact Statement and permitting team is leading a coordinated effort that balances a tiered environmental review (NEPA, SEQRA, CEQR) with regulatory and design implications under an aggressive schedule. There is no precedent for a project of this size and scope in New York City. Once completed, ESCR will serve as a model for the integration of coastal protection into livable spaces.

The NEPA Planning Integration Awards are given to projects that exhibit an effective systematic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary planning process, with the results clearly explained and well documented, that is used as the basis for making an informed, well-reasoned decisions resolving environmental challenges so as to protect, restore, or enhance the environment for present and future generations of Americans. This award will be presented at the upcoming NAEP 2021 Conference & Training Symposium, taking place virtually May 17 – 20, 2021.