August 2, 2006

Charles A. Gargano, Chairman
Empire State Development Corporation
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Chairman Gargano:

I am writing to urge you to extend the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Yards Arena and Re-Development Project.

As you know, the project at Atlantic Yards is one of the largest single private developments in the history of New York City and there will be significant environmental impacts on my district and throughout Brooklyn. The DEIS, which addresses these problems, is 1,400 pages long and is almost as overwhelming as the project itself. I strongly believe that the public cannot fully examine and respond to this document in the limited amount of time that your agency has set forth. Additionally, the hearing date, which is currently set for August 23, 2006, will further limit the number of people who will be able to respond to the DEIS, as many will not have returned from summer vacations. Also I would like to point out that historically it is not uncommon to extend the public response period during the DEIS review process. For example, in the Belair project in the Catskills, the community was given 140 days to respond to the DEIS.

For these reasons I strongly urge you to postpone the public hearing on August 23, 2006 by at least 30 days, and extend the deadline for written comments accordingly. Encouraging public participation is essential to improving the proposed project and mitigating the detrimental effects of development on the surrounding communities.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Joan L. Millman
Member of Assembly