Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy of NJ, Inc.
P. O. BOX 6217
Hoboken, NJ 0703
Mr. Lawrence Baier
Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Enforcement
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State Street
P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
March 30, 2016
Re: Settlement Agreement among: New Jersey Department of Environmental Conservation, IMO River Lookout Associates, LLC, 1275 River Road Associates LLC and Fred Daibes,
Dear Mr. Baier:
The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy ("HRWC") understands that one of the public comments (the "Comment") on the proposed above-captioned settlement agreement (the "Settlement Agreement"), asks for information about the source of the fill that was placed in the Hudson River by the Respondents named in the Settlement Agreement. We also understand that the Respondents have not responded to this Comment and that finalization of the Settlement Agreement is being delayed until the information provided in the Comment is provided by the Respondents.
While the information requested in the Comment may be germane to any actions which the Department may choose to pursue in the future against the Respondents for any prior misconduct which may be uncovered, and the HRWC does not want to dissuade the Department from pursuing such information and any actions you may decide to pursue separate from the Settlement Agreement, the HRWC sees no value in delaying finalization of the Settlement Agreement pending the receipt of such information. In relation to development of the Walkway and restoration of the waterfront, the relevant facts which such information could contain can be obtained more expeditiously merely by requiring sample testing of the fill material on the site, which would not cause further delay in approval of the Settlement Agreement.
This Comment actually provides Respondents with a perverse incentive not to respond in a timely manner since it will delay the time at which they must incur expenditures and make payments required under the proposed Settlement Agreement.
Consequently, the HRWC recommends that the Department proceed with approval of the Settlement Agreement without delay, notwithstanding the lack of response in connection with the Comment which the Department may pursue outside the context of the Settlement Agreement or by substituting our suggestion to sample test previous fill material.
Very truly yours,
Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy