City Council Chair on Resiliency Committee Demands Non-Redacted East River Park Resiliency Report
It took three years and the accompanying community pressure for the city to finally release a critical report on the East River Park reconstruction plan, which it initially claimed did not exist. The heavily redacted output made available to the public is now under even more intense scrutiny.
The Value Engineering Study, as it’s called, was the report Mayor de Blasio cited in 2018 when announcing the sudden change in the flood control plan for East River Park. This new resiliency approach – the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project – roughly doubles the cost and buries the entire park in eight feet of fill.
Yet when East River Park Action, the most vocal opponent of these plans, submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to see the study, the city initially stated the report didn’t exist, but relented upon appeal. The result – a heavily redacted report that yields almost no information.
For instance, among the blocked-out information is who worked on the study, along with a comparison of advantages and disadvantages of alternative construction plans. The latter seemingly outweighing the former.
Now, the Chair of the City Council Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts, Justin Brannan, is getting involved. Demanding that the city release an non-redacted version.
“As you know a heavily-redacted, virtually unreadable copy was released due to FOIL requests,” Brannan wrote in a letter sent to Mayor de Blasio today. “This does not necessarily inspire confidence for those who are merely seeking transparency and information.”
“This is a significant project that will fundamentally change the area and require hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the city,” he continued.