[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 56 (Tuesday, March 24, 1998)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14074-14075]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-7621]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army; Corps of Engineers


Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) 
for the New York and New Jersey Harbor Navigation Study: Feasibility 
Phase

agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

action: Notice of intent.

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summary: The New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is 
preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to ascertain 
compliance with and lead to production of a National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) document in accordance with the President's Council 
of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Rules and Regulations, as defined and 
amended in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 1500-1508, Corps' 
Principles and Guidelines as defined in Engineering Regulation (ER) 
1105-2-100 and ER 1105-1-200 and other applicable Federal and State 
environmental laws for the proposed deepening and navigation 
improvements to the New York and New Jersey Harbor.
    The study area includes the Federal Navigation waterways Ambrose 
and Anchorage Channels; New York and New Jersey Channels (the Kill Van 
Kull and Arthur Kill to Gulfport); Newark Bay Channel (from the Kill 
Van Kull to Elizabeth Channel); Bay Ridge and Red Hook Channel; 
Buttermilk Channel; and the Stapleton, Red Hook and Gravesend 
Anchorages; and the non-federal Port Jersey and Claremont Channels.

for further information contact: Jenine Gallo, Project Biologist at 
(212) 264-4740 (4559), Planning Division, Corps of Engineers, New York 
District, 25 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278-0090.

supplementary information: This study is authorized by Section 435 of 
the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 which reads: ``The 
Secretary shall conduct a comprehensive study of navigation needs at 
the Port of New York-New Jersey (including the South Brooklyn Marine 
and Red Hook Container Terminals, Staten Island, and adjacent areas) to 
address improvements, including deepening of existing channels to 
depths of 50 feet or greater, that are required to provide economically 
efficient and environmentally sound navigation to meet current and 
future requirements''.
    The study area is the Harbor of New York/New Jersey (hereinafter, 
the Harbor) which contains the largest port on the east coast, the port 
of New York and New Jersey, and is among the largest in the United 
States in terms of volume of commerce. Thirty billion gallons of 
petroleum are handled by the Port each year and make it the largest 
petroleum port in the country. The Port is also the third largest 
container port in the United States and the largest on the east coast 
of North America. The Port provides more than 166,000 port-related 
jobs, $20 billion in economic activity, and serves more than 17 million 
consumers in the States of New York and New Jersey. The Port handles 
this large volume of commerce despite the fact that it lacks sufficient 
depth to serve fully loaded ships of the latest designs to enter 
service.
    1. The study area, located in the western Atlantic Ocean, consists 
of existing Federal Channels and Anchorages. Channels are: Ambrose; Bay 
Ridge; Red Hook; Buttermilk; Kill Van Kull; Claremont; Port Jersey; 
Newark Bay (including Port Newark and Elizabeth Channels); and Arthur 
Kill. Anchorages are Stapleton, Bay Ridge and Gravesend.
    The Port of New York and New Jersey is also included in the study 
area. The study area has been divided into six ``paths,'' having the 
Ambrose and Anchorage channels as common elements: the Kill Van Kull/
Newark Bay to Port Newark and Elizabeth; the Kill Van Kull and Arthur 
Kill to Howland Hook; the remaining Arthur Kill path and Arthur Kill to 
Howland Hook; the remaining Arthur Kill path from Howland Hook to 
Gulfport; the Stapleton, Bay Ridge, Red Hook and Buttermilk channels; 
the Port Jersey Channel and Claremont Terminal channels; and the Red 
Hook, Stapleton and Gravesend Anchorages.
    2. Areas to be analyzed include the navigation channels and 
anchorages, and water areas adjacent to navigation channels and 
anchorages. A National Economic Development (NED) Plan will be 
developed to support container and petroleum facilities. Various depth 
alternatives will be evaluated for each channel and design vessel 
depths in excess of 50 feet of petroleum reaches will be analyzed and 
estimated quantities of material to be removed will be developed for 
each channel. The study assumes that the Arthur Kill Channel/Howland 
Hook Project, the Kill Van Kull Project, and the Port Jersey Project 
will have been dredged to -41, -45, and -41 feet MLW respectively prior 
to the construction of the Harbor Deepening project.
    Three types of environmental analyses will be conducted; impacts

[[Page 14075]]

associated with Land-Based Facility Improvements, impacts associated 
with Navigation Improvements, and analyses required for mitigation 
planning purposes.
    3. Public scoping meetings are expected to be scheduled in April/
May 1998. Six meetings will be held in Brooklyn, Staten Island, 
Manhattan and New Jersey. Results from the public scoping meetings with 
the District and the Environmental Work Group (EWG), and federal, state 
and local agency coordination will be addressed in the DEIS. Parties 
interested in receiving notices of public scoping meetings or copies of 
the Scoping Document should contact: Jenine Gallo, USACE, New York 
District, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0090.
    4. Federal agencies interested in participating as a Cooperating 
Agency are requested to submit a letter of intent to Colonel Gary 
Thomas, District Engineer at the above address.
    5. Estimated Date of the DEIS availability: September 1999.
Gregory D. Showalter,
Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 98-7621 Filed 3-23-98; 8:45 am]
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