Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Reformulation Study
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District (Corps) with (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as local sponsor) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations; Corps' principles and guidelines as defined in Engineering Regulations (ER) 1105-2-100, Planning Guidance Notebook, and ER 200-2-2, Procedures for Implementing NEPA; and other applicable Federal and State environmental laws for the proposed Atlantic Coast of New York, East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. The study is re-assessing the feasibility of coastal storm risk management alternatives to be implemented within the congressionally authorized project area. This overall study area includes the entire Rockaway peninsula as well as the back-bay communities surrounding Jamaica Bay. During Hurricane Sandy, both Rockaway and Jamaica Bay communities were severely affected with large areas subjected to erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and flooding of communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay. Along the Rockaways, the Atlantic Ocean surge and waves exceeded the island height, resulting in flow of water across the peninsula, and contributing to the flooding along the shoreline of the interior of Jamaica Bay. Hurricane Sandy illustrated the need to re-evaluate the entire peninsula and back-bay area as a system, when considering risk-management measures. Acknowledging the amount of analyses required to comprehensively reevaluate the study area considering the influence of the Atlantic Ocean shorefront conditions on the back-bay system, a single Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Report and EIS (GRR/EIS) will be prepared. The Corps will use a tiered process to facilitate project decision-making. The EIS will build upon the extensive Atlantic shoreline alternatives analysis and environmental and technical studies and outreach conducted to date. The proposed tiering approach will allow the study to focus on both broad overall Jamaica Bay-wide issues while simultaneously assessing site specific impacts, costs and mitigation measures for the shorefront and back-bay alternatives. The scope of analysis in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be appropriate to the level of detail necessary for those documents and will receive input from the public and reviewing agencies. The Tier 1 shoreline analysis will provide the basis for the alternatives to problems associated with erosion, storm surge, and wave damage along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline the relationship of the shoreline with the back-bay. The Tier 2 analysis will specifically address the flooding of communities within and surrounding Jamaica Bay.