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.