A’s Stadium DEIR and just-released term sheet fail to provide honest, complete analysis of environmental and financial impacts. Stakeholders call on City of Oakland to revise the flawed DEIR and recirculate for public comment
OAKLAND, Calif. – The East Oakland Stadium Alliance today released detailed letters from numerous stakeholders and the East Oakland Stadium Alliance outlining the extensive concerns shared by maritime, labor, industrial and community stakeholders in response to the Howard Terminal Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Alliance members are deeply distressed that the DEIR for this project fails to address critical impacts of the project and does not rise to the level of analysis to which any other project at the Port of Oakland or similarly transformational development would be held.
Despite the length of the document, the DEIR fails to meaningfully address how the Oakland A’s proposed stadium and luxury high-rise and office development would impact the existing and future conditions at the Port of Oakland and West Oakland neighborhoods, provides a faulty description of the operations at Howard Terminal, and barely touches the surface on questions of increased traffic and air pollution, toxics, public safety and project alternatives.
“The City of Oakland cannot and should not be pressured by the Oakland A’s to certify an EIR that fails to adequately analyze the project’s full impact on the neighboring community and port operations. It is incumbent upon the City to identify these conflicts, conduct a proper analysis, and invite the public to have an honest dialogue about whether it’s in the public good to put at risk the operations of the region’s key industrial logistics hub in exchange for moving a baseball stadium from one end of town to another and building luxury waterfront condominiums,” said Mike Jacob, Vice President and General Counsel of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and member of the East Oakland Stadium Alliance.
Among the many concerns shared by members of the Alliance, the following are key deficiencies in the DEIR:
– The DEIR fails to properly analyze the Coliseum location as an Alternative project site – proper analysis would make it plain to the world that the Coliseum is the environmentally superior place for the Oakland A’s to develop a new world-class stadium, to invest in affordable and market-rate housing, to grow new jobs, and reinvest in the East Oakland community.
– The DEIR states that the active freight and passenger rail lines that border Howard Terminal will pose a significant and unavoidable safety hazard for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. Yet, the DEIR refuses to analyze a scenario that fully grade-separates the site from the railroad because the timing conflicts with the A’s desire to open a ballpark by 2024. The City and the A’s are telling Oakland residents and A’s fans that their safety needs to take a bleacher seat to the A’s arbitrary timeline.
– The proposed project will displace 3,200 trucks that use Howard Terminal as a vital multi-modal logistics hub. Yet, the DEIR fails to provide any analysis of the shift in trucking patterns or vehicle miles traveled, and their related greenhouse gas emissions and congestion impacts, because they deem any change “speculative.”
– The DEIR states, “The project would not contribute to cumulative substantial unplanned employment growth in the city or the region.” These employment numbers do not consider the impact on the existing 80,000 high-paying blue-collar jobs that are dependent on day-to-day port operations and are at risk due to the A’s proposal.
On Friday, the Oakland A’s released a “Development Agreement Term Sheet” and called for the city council to take a vote on the Howard Terminal project this summer – well in advance of the completion of the EIR process. The release of this Term Sheet at this juncture calls into question why the analysis required by the $855 million of on-site and off-site infrastructure projects referenced in the Term Sheet has not been included in the DEIR, including the growth-inducing impacts of the project which need to be considered together with other cumulative development reasonably forecasted for the area. The failure to release this information earlier and to provide sufficient detail, as part of the DEIR, is yet another misstep resulting from the A’s desire to act on artificial timelines and short-circuit the public review process.
“The Oakland A’s request of the Oakland City Council to take an early vote on the Howard Terminal Ballpark project before the completion of the DEIR process signals their desire to yet again limit community and industry analysis and input, and to circumvent appropriate and transparent governance,” added Jacob.
Rather than further short-cutting the process as the A’s have once again proposed, the City in order to comply with CEQA needs to revise the DEIR to account for these many deficiencies and then recirculate the revised DEIR to the public for further review and comment before considering any further action on the A’s Howard Terminal project.
The East Oakland Stadium Alliance is a broad and growing coalition dedicated to keeping the A’s at their current Coliseum site and redeveloping a new stadium complex there and which advocates for the preservation of Oakland’s working waterfront. For more information on the coalition supporting the A’s redevelopment of the Coliseum complex and opposing their move to the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, visit the EOSA website.
Post based on press release from East Oakland Stadium Alliance to Zennie62Media.
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