What is a General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS)?
General management plans are required by law of all national parks and serve as long-term plans to guide the management and use of park lands, whether they are natural areas or historic sites such as Governors Island. The 1978 National Parks and Recreation Act requires the National Park Service (NPS) to complete a general management plan (GMP) for each unit of the National Park System. As Governors Island National Monument is a relatively new unit of the National Park System, this is its first GMP/EIS.
What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and why is it part of the GMP?
By preparing a Draft GMP for Governor’s Island National Monument, the NPS is charting and recommending a course for the management of a national park for the next 15–20 years. When a federal agency proposes to take an action, such as spending federal funds or deciding how to manage federal property, the responsible agency must follow the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). For the Draft GMP, the NPS is required to prepare an EIS to meet the requirements of NEPA. The EIS describes the existing environment of the national park prior to taking any action, proposes several alternatives for taking action, and analyzes the potential environmental impacts of implementing each alternative.
What is in Governors Island’s Draft GMP/EIS?
The Draft GMP/EIS for Governors Island describes the resource conditions and visitor experiences that should exist at the National Monument over the next 15 to 20 years, in addition to an environmental impact statement (EIS), which assesses the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the plan on the monument’s resources, visitor experience and surrounding area. The GMP presents NPS’s preferred approach to managing Governors Island National Monument, as well as three other viable alternatives considered during the planning process.
How can I review and comment on the Draft GMP/EIS?
The Draft GMP was available for public review and comment for a period of 60 days beginning January 16, 2008 and ending March 18, 2008. During the review period, the National Park Service received over 6000 comments.
The document can still viewed by visiting the National Park Service planning web site at https://parkplanning.nps.gov .
Printed copies or CDs may be obtained by calling 212-825-3041 while supplies last.
Copies are also available at the following public libraries:
455 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Science, Industry and Business Library
188 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
New Amsterdam Branch Library
9 Murray Street
New York, NY 10007
Bronx Library Center
310 East Kingsbridge Road
New York, NY 10458
St. George Library Center
5 Central Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301
280 Cadman Plaza West at Tillary St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Carroll Gardens Library
396 Clinton St. @ Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Red Hook Library
7 Wolcott St. at Dwight St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432
41-17 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Jersey City Public Library
472 Jersey Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St., P.O. Box 0630
Newark, NJ 07101-0630
New Jersey State Library
185 W. State St., P. O. Box 520
Trenton, NJ 08625-0520
After the public review and comment period is over, then what happens?
The NPS will carefully consider all public comments received during the public review period. The NPS will then publish a Final GMP/EIS that includes the public comments received during the 60-day draft review period and the NPS responses to those comments. The Final GMP/EIS will identify the NPS’s final preferred alternative, which will incorporate the results of public review and comments. The Final GMP/EIS will be made available to the public for a 30-day “no action” period, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. After 30 days from the release of the Final GMP/EIS, the Northeast Regional Director will review and sign a “Record of Decision” making the plan final. Once the Record of Decision is signed, the park will begin implementing the final GMP/EIS.