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The Empire State Development Corporation released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Yards project - and the ESDC board gave the plan preliminary approval to move ahead. The public comment period starts now, and if you read the 1000-page document, you'll see it admits:

“The overarching goal of the proposed project is to transform a blighted area into a vibrant mixed-use community, incorporating principles of environmental sustainability. However, these social and economic benefits cannot be achieved without some adverse environmental impacts. There would be significant adverse impacts as a result of the operations of the proposed project."

Think traffic problems, the need to build more public resources and services, and many opens parts of downtown Brooklyn cast with shadows. A public hearing will be held on August 23 in Brooklyn.

Some notable things: The project will now cost $4.2 billion and the ESDC might consider reductions to the 8.7 million square foot plan (the DEIS looks at two different plans - one with more office space, the other with more apartments) but probably only to placate critics. The NY Times has graphics showing traffic congestion spots - imagine Saturday home games for the "Brooklyn" Nets - and the Real Estate looks has a very apt comparison of what's being proposed with the city's current most-dense area - and says the Atlantic Yards would be much worse.

Have you been reading the DEIS?