With global climate change becoming a major environmental challenge, Riverkeeper is increasingly concerned with the construction of large, energy-using developments that produce increased levels of greenhouse gasses, storm water runoff, and other waste.
The city of Renssalaear is planning such a large, mixed-use development on its riverfront. The development includes plans for a hotel, stores, offices, residences and a marina. We have recently submitted a second set of comments on the project, noting our concerns about potential impacts to the river, greenhouse gas emissions and their contribution to climate change, storm water runoff and other adverse impacts.
While the city’s Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) includes plans to use Energy Star products and fixtures, “green roofs,” renewable energy standards, as well as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating systems, it does not include a quantitative or qualitative analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and the necessary mitigation measures. Due to the enormous size of this proposed riverfront development project, the mandates of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and the growing awareness of the need to address climate change, the environmental review process should be supplemented to include this analysis.