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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT * LAW OFFICE OF JOE HEATH * NEIGHBORS OF THE ONONDAGA NATION * ONONDAGA NATION * ONONDAGA SHORELINE * SIERRA CLUB IROQUIOS GROUP * SYRACUSE PEACE COUNCIL *
For immediate release:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
For more information contact:
Sarah Eckel, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, 518-339-2853 (mobile), seckel@citizenscampaign.org
Lloyd Withers, Onondaga Shoreline, 315-243-9118 (mobile)
Jack Ramsden, NOON, 315-424-1454 (mobile)

CITIZENS ASK 'WHAT'S THE RUSH?' FOR LAKE AMPHITHEATER

Call For Extended Public Comment Period and Additional Public Hearings

Syracuse, NY –Today, Onondaga County released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Lake Amphitheater. The 654 page document is to be reviewed by citizens and commented upon by August 11th. This one month comment period and the single formal public hearing scheduled on the massive construction project does not provide adequate time for citizens to weigh in and ask questions. Citizens ask, ‘What is the Rush?’ They are calling for a 90 day public comment period and at least two more public hearings.

“Citizens deserve the opportunity to review, ask questions, and comment upon a project that is being funded by tax dollars on a public land,” said Sarah Eckel, Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Asking residents to review a highly technical 654 page document in one month is unrealistic and citizens deserve more time.”

“I am confident that Governor Cuomo expects the citizens of Onondaga County to be given the opportunity to fully participate in the planning of this important project,” said Lloyd Withers, Onondaga Shoreline.

Concerns about the project range from poor site choice to lack of a business plan to noise and traffic impacts to environmental concerns.

Jack Ramsden of the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation steering committee asks “Why is there such a rush to spend so much money on a project that, to our knowledge, no public entity has asked for or expressed a need for? No matter where the money comes from to create this amphitheater on top of a giant wastebed, there other more sensible, and less risky, projects that should have a higher priority in our county. There needs to be a longer than 30 day comment period to consider that public need.”

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement relies on yet-to-be developed plans to mitigate potential harms. For example, the County presumes that human exposure to contaminants on site will be properly controlled through a site remediation plan that hasn’t been drafted yet, let alone reviewed by the public or the Department of Environmental Conservation. Finalizing the environmental impact review for the amphitheatre without a final remediation plan is premature.

“Placing this amphitheater on top of the wastebeds before the remediation plan has been finalized is putting the cart before the horse,” said Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council. “The citizens of Onondaga County deserve a thoughtful review process for both projects.”

Citizens for a Better Plan is a growing coalition of civic and environmental organizations that are asking for an extended public comment period and additional public hearings.


 

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  7/9/14