Joint Press Conference To Discuss Proposed Third Track Project

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Mayors Robert Lofaro of New Hyde Park, Thomas Tweedy of Floral Park and Nicholas Episcopia of Garden City will be hosting a joint press conference at 12 p.m. at New Hyde Park Village Hall, 1420 Jericho Turnpike, to urge the MTA/Long Island Railroad to prepare and reissue a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment to ensure that the proposed Third Track Project’s environmental review complies with SEQRA’s basic requirements.

Scheduled speakers include:

• New York State Senator Kemp Hannon
• New York State Senator Elaine Phillips
• New York State Assemblyman Edward Ra
• Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicollelo
• Nassau County Legislator Laura Schaeffer
• Town of Hempstead Councilman Edward Ambrosino
• Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, Donald Clavin
• Floral Park Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy
• New Hyde Park Mayor Robert Lofaro
• Garden City Mayor Nicholas Episcopia
• Michael Murphy, Esq. Partner, Beveridge & Diamond, Counsel for the Villages of New Hyde Park, Garden City and Floral Park

As set forth in the Beveridge & Diamond Comment Letter to the DEIS, the MTA/LIRR, by failing to provide crucial information regarding specific impacts and detailed analysis of how impacts will be addressed, have denied the most “impacted communities the ability to meaningfully participate in the environmental review process, as is their right under SEQRA.”

The environmental review process under SEQRA, if conducted responsibly by the lead agency, can afford protections to residents and businesses in the affected area.

The mayors believe that the MTA should be required to demonstrate that this $2 billion, and growing, project is necessary and the benefits outweigh the problems it will cause. If this project is to proceed, the specific impacts and necessary mitigation steps must be identified and incorporated into legally enforceable contract documents for the protection and benefit of our residents and businesses. The MTA/LIRR’s failings, first with respect to the scoping process and now with respect to the DEIS, unjustly prevent such protections from being identified, vetted transparently with the public, and incorporated into the contract documents for the benefit of the public.

A copy of the Beveridge & Diamond Comment Letter may be obtained at: http://fpvillage.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/02/2017-02-14-BD-Comments-to-LIRR-Main-Line-Expansion-Project-DEISFinal.pdf.

—Submitted by Gerard M. Bambrick, Inc. Village of Floral Park Administrator

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