What Does a “Sound Abatement Curtain” Look Like?

On Monday night, Feb. 27th, The Waterfront Committee of Community Board 2 (CB2) met to consider a Department of Transportation (DOT) permit related to Spectra’s proposed plan. Any time the streets of the city are dug up, DOT must issue a permit, and DOT looks to the community boards for input on projects in their district. At Monday’s meeting, Spectra, as the applicant, was allowed to present their usual “safety is our first concern” powerpoint, and answer questions from the board and audience members. It was perhaps not surprising that many members of the community board were, until this meeting, unaware of the project, despite its great impact on the waterfront. Little, besides volunteer efforts, has been done to spread the word. Bloomberg would prefer the project to slip by unnoticed, and City Council speaker Christine Quinn is happy to support Bloomberg, despite intense opposition from her own district. Even so, audience participation at the meeting was fierce.

Missing from Spectra’s presentation was this artist’s rendering, of the “sound abatement curtain” the company proposes to mitigate nighttime construction noise from the neighborhood. Details on the construction and this illustration can be found in a letter to DEC Project Manager, Christopher Hogan, posted to a website promoting the project, called, ironically, “Yes, Gas Pipeline.”

At one point during the meeting, an audience member addressed the Spectra project manager and legal council and asked, “Has it crossed your mind what this project might do to the earth and to climate change?” He was met with confused stares.

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