Sierra Club calls for City Council oversight hearing on ESCR

Grand Street Dems last month called for the suspension of work on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project until the City would allow a full and independent engineering review of the project.

Since then, the City finally released the document it had previously said did not exist — the report from the value engineering study in 2018 that led to the current plan — with heavy, unexplained redactions.

Now the Sierra Club is calling on the City Council to conduct oversight hearings to get to the bottom of the “secrecy, inadequacy, and sequence of events and information releases [that] have left many perplexed and disturbed.”

As the Sierra Club’s letter makes clear, redacted sections of the report include “critical information” such as the names of outside “technical team members”; pro/con comparison of eleven “significant proposals” and five “recommendations”; process for arriving at cost estimates (which is a huge part of the City’s justification for its preferred plan); and discussion of alternatives.

“The Sierra Club feels certain that you recognize that it remains the duty of the City Council with its subpoena powers to investigate what is going on as millions of dollars are being spent and bids are being placed on a quasi-secret $1.4 Billion plan. Most importantly, it remains the Council’s responsibility to safeguard the public health and uphold our City’s environment.”