nps sandy hook maintenance buildings

PHOTO: In the days after the storm, Sandy Hook's maintenance buildings were only accessible by boat.  NPS PHOTO by Suzanne McCarthy

SANDY HOOK, NJ Gateway National Recreation Area Begins Planning Process for an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Relocation of Damaged Maintenance Facilities to More Sustainable Locations within the Sandy Hook Unit

 

 The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an Environmental Assessment  (EA) in support of a proposed project to addressdamage to Gateway National  Recreation Area, Sandy Hook Unit maintenance facilities that resulted from  Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The Sandy Hook Unit is located within the Fort  Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark District.

 The purpose of the proposed action is to make Sandy Hook Unit maintenance  and storage facilities resilient to coastal storm surges and flooding through  relocation to more sustainable locations, and where possible, selectively reusing  some existing facilities to improve the efficiency of park maintenance and  recovery operations. The NPS believes this project is needed because existing  facilities, buildings, and equipment within the Sandy Hook Unit were significantly  damaged during Hurricane Sandy resulting in loss of functionality. The new  facilities will provide support to the Gateway maintenance staff and equipment  while greatly reducing the potential for substantial damage during future  catastrophic coastal storm surge or flood events.

 Current maintenance operations within the Sandy Hook Unit are divided  between two locations: the north maintenance area located within Fort Hancock  at the northern end of the peninsula, and the south maintenance area located  near the middle of the peninsula off Hartshorne Drive to the west of the Nike  Missile Launch Pad. Both existing maintenance areas received flood damage  during Hurricane Sandy and continue to be used for maintenance operations,  but with significantly reduced functionality and poor working conditions for  maintenance staff. In addition, due to both design and location, both existing  maintenance facilities would continue to be susceptible to future damage from  severe storm events. This proposed project will evaluate potential opportunities  for a permanent consolidated maintenance facility at a new more sustainable  location within the Sandy Hook Unit, as well as the potential to reuse some  existing facilities for storage of non-critical items and seasonal storage of  equipment.

 The EA will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy  Act of 1969 (NEPA) and other laws, regulations, and policies. In compliance with  NEPA and NPS Director’s Order #12: Conservation Planning, Environmental  Impact Analysis and Decision Making, the NPS will develop a range of  alternatives for the maintenance facility relocation within the Sandy Hook Unit.  The input provided during public and agency scoping will be used to help  develop the alternatives and address potential project impacts. The EA will  document the evaluation of the alternatives as well as public involvement  activities performed for the project.

 The NPS has announced a 30-day public scoping period, from September 22,  2014 to October 22, 2014, to invite public comments on this proposal. During the  scoping period, the public is invited to identify any issues or concerns they may  have regarding the proposed project so that the NPS can appropriately consider  them in the EA.

 As part of the planning process, the NPS will hold a public scoping meeting in connection with the preparation of the EA. The public is encouraged to attend to  learn more about the project and to ask questions. The date, time, and location  of the meeting are as follows:

               Wednesday, October 8, 2014

               6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

               Sandy Hook Chapel

               35 Hartshorne Drive

               Sandy Hook, New Jersey 07732

 Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed project may submit written  comments during this meeting, or you may submit your comments online at  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/gate or via U.S. Mail at:

Office of the Superintendent

               Gateway National Recreation Area

               ATTN: Sandy Hook Unit Maintenance Facilities Relocation EA  Comments

210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10305

 Comments must be received by October 22, 2014. Only written comments  will be accepted.