WPCNR City Evening Star Reporter. By John F. Bailey. June 25, 2002. 12:15 A.M. E.D.T.: The Common Council started deliberating in Executive Session with their environmental attorney, Michael Gerrard, Monday evening at 8:40 PM and at midnight were still at, wrangling over their options. As of midnight, no public vote had been called on the resolution as to whether the Council would accept the New York Presbyterian Hospital Final Environmental Impact Statement.
At 12:10 AM, Tuesday morning, George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, reported to WPCNR that the Common Council had accepted the Final Environmental Impact Statement as complete by a vote of 6 to 1, with Councilman William King abstaining.
FEIS BUSTERS: The usual suspects gather nervously in the Mayor’s Conference Chamber Monday evening to consider with Michael Gerrard the implications and consequences of accepting the New York Presbyterian Hospital draft Final Environmental Impact Statement.
All Photos by WPCNR
In what was billed as the final session of the “Gerrard Talks,” the council got under way with Mr. Gerrard at 7:27 PM, and adjourned to Executive Session at 8:40 PM to get into the hot and heavy issues.
Based on the concerns expressed repeatedly over the first five sessions of the “Gerrard Talks,” WPCNR speculates they were discussing specifically how they could demand more information on the FEIS, and how they could limit the scope and execution of the New York Presbyterian Hospital project, or perhaps deny it all together in their eventual Findings Statement. Obviously after three hours in seclusion with Michael Gerrard, the Council feels comfortable with their options.
Resolution Drawn Up for Public Voting.
The Common Council was required by the Department of Environmental Conservation State Environmental Quality Review regulations to accept as complete or deny as incomplete the Final Environmental Impact Statement by Thursday, June 27. Consequently a 4-page resolution had been drawn up for Council action at the conclusion of the Executive Session for the Council to vote on which they approved at slightly past midnight.
The Resolution concludes, “the Common Council finds that the Final Environmental Impact Statement is adequate and accurate and responds to comments received regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement,”
The Resolution continues, acknowledging that the Council “accepts the FEIS for consideration in making environmental findings.”