February 17, 2017
Jerry Willis, (646) 356-2105
Statue of Liberty National Monument has released an environmental assessment (EA) for public review and comment about a proposal to replace the existing screening tent on Liberty Island with a new facility. This EA examines three alternatives: a no-action alternative (alternative 1), the proposed action to construct a more resilient secondary security screening facility on the east side of the main entrance (alternative 2), and an alternative to construct two screening buildings, one on either side of the main entrance. Implementation of the proposed action would result in a combination of adverse and beneficial impacts on the pending Statue of Liberty National Monument – Liberty Island Historic District (historic district) and beneficial impacts on visitor use and experience. Public comment on these effects is welcomed and encouraged.
Additionally, the National Park Service has worked with the historic preservation offices in the states of New York and New Jersey, the City of New York and interested tribes to develop a plan to minimize the impact the new facility will have on the historic district. This plan is called a memorandum of agreement (MOA) and is in draft form for public comment in Appendix A of the EA.
The purpose of this project is to a provide storm resistant structure to protect expensive and sensitive security screening equipment, reduce operations and maintenance costs, allow for more efficient security screening, promote better pedestrian circulation, and improve important views within the cultural landscape on Liberty Island. The current screening tent detracts from the view toward the back of the Monument, limits the number of people who can be screened at any one time, must be repaired on a regular basis, and has service outages on windy days due to vibrations and tent movement. All of these factors lead to congestion between screening lines and pedestrians on the main mall. A replacement facility is needed to protect the equipment, improve the cultural landscape and visitor experience, and reduce maintenance requirements.
Feedback on both the EA and draft MOA will be taken throughout a 30-day comment period, during which the public is invited to identify any issues or concerns they might have with the proposed project. The National Park Service will consider public comments in making a final decision about how to proceed with the proposal. The EA and directions for how to comment can be found on the project website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/Liberty_Island_Secondary_Screening
About Statue of Liberty National Monument
“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924.