Date: May 07, 2012
Press Release Number: 64-2012
Most Recent Investment Preserves One of Staten Island’s Last Remaining Open Space Areas
As part of its ongoing commitment to serve as a good steward of the region’s environment, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is continuing an extensive initiative that preserves open space habitat and wetlands with public access on both sides of the Hudson River.
The Port Authority’s $60 million Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resource Program has protected more than 340 acres for public uses over the past decade in New Jersey and New York, helping to ensure both the region’s long-term quality of life and its vital business needs.
At its most recent public meeting on April 26, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners renewed its commitment to the program, approving a contribution of up to $4 million to help acquire a nearly 43-acre conservation easement on Staten Island. The Board’s action will protect an easement that is part of the 113.6-acre William H. Pouch Scout Camp. Along with $1 million from the city of New York, the Port Authority’s investment will preserve one of the borough’s last remaining large swaths of open space from potential future development. The action will enable greater public access and ensure continued use by the region’s Boy Scouts for generations to come.
Since launching the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resource Program in July 2001, Port Authority investments have protected eight properties in New York City and ten properties in New Jersey, totaling more than 340 acres, much of it waterfront property. The investments have resulted in the creation of important public spaces, while also protecting critical wildlife habitat, including woodlands and wetlands for migratory birds and other wildlife.
“The Port Authority serves an important role in the region by investing in transportation infrastructure and driving economic growth, but it has an equally important responsibility to work with the communities within the Port District to improve the environment,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “We take that responsibility seriously, and this investment is just one example of the efforts we have undertaken to make our operations more sustainable and environmentally sound.”
“This Board has over time shown its steadfast commitment to the region’s communities not only through our investments on key transportation infrastructure, but also critical capital to help preserve the environment and the limited green space remaining in the New York New Jersey region,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler.
“Investments, like the one to Camp Pouch on Staten Island, demonstrate our continued commitment to the environment,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “This program has allowed us to preserve hundreds of acres of property in both states—land that otherwise could be subject to future development. I applaud the Board’s vision, which will allow the public more opportunities to experience the great outdoors.”
Other Port Authority investments through the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resource Program include $7 million in 2006 for 20 acres of Butler Manor Woods on Staten Island, New York; $3.5 million in 2010 for the former Blissenbach Marina, also on Staten Island; $5.04 million in 2008 for improvements to the Barge Club property in Carlstadt, New Jersey; and $4 million in 2009 for the Hackensack Riverfront Park, in Jersey City.
The Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resource Program is a key part of the Port Authority’s overall environmental strategy. Another of the Port Authority’s green initiatives is the agency’s Clean Air Strategy, which incorporates both the Regional Truck Replacement Program (RTRP) and the Ocean-Going Vessel Low-Sulfur Fuel Program.
The $34 million RTRP is intended to encourage owners of trucks with 2003 or older engines that serve Port Authority marine terminals to purchase newer, more environmentally friendly vehicles. The $6 million Low-Sulfur Fuel Program provides financial incentives to operators of ocean vessels for up to 50 percent of the cost differential between conventional high-sulfur bunker fuel and low sulfur fuel. Switching to low-sulfur fuel reduces emissions of fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. Perhaps the most significant benefit from these programs is the contribution to improving public health.
Working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps), the Port Authority also is helping to fund the Corps’ $18.8 million Hudson-Raritan Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. To date, the work has identified measurable objectives, defined short and long-term goals, evaluated restoration opportunities within the Port District, prepared a Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) for the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resource Program, and initiated several restoration projects. A revised CRP, incorporating stakeholder comments and refining restoration data, is scheduled for release in summer 2012.
The agency’s One World Trade Center aims to be one of the most sustainable office buildings of its size and achieve LEED Gold certification standard. These standards will result in lower energy expenses, lower operating expenses, access to natural light through floor to ceiling glass windows and highly filtered air.
Starting in 1983, the Port Authority, partnering with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has provided funding for a school soundproofing program under which 77 schools in New York and New Jersey have received nearly $285 million in Port Authority funds for soundproofing measures. In order for a school to be eligible, it must meet criteria set by the FAA, which typically contributes 80 percent of the funding. The Port Authority administers the program and provides the balance of the funding. Soundproofing has successfully reduced aircraft noise levels by at least 50 percent in affected classrooms.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Hunter Pendarvis, 212-435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. This includes John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.