Parents, teachers and community members have expressed grave concerns about the impact that Jewish Home Lifecare's proposed 20-story tower would have on the health, safetyand educational outcomes of kindergarten and elementary students at PS 163, located just 30 feet from the proposed construction site on West 97th Street, as well as the impact it would have on the health and safety of the entire surrounding Park West community.
JHL's draft environmental impact statement fails to substantially investigate the negative long-term outcomes construction of a 280-foot tower would have on air quality, traffic flow, emergency response, ambient noise levels and respiratory health:
It does not consider how several years of construction and noise would impede children's ability to learn at PS 163, and it does not consider the danger of putting students in close proximity to construction equipment and vehicles.
The DEIS also fails to address soil quality, which tests prove contains toxins such as lead, arsenic and barium.
It does not include a study of added traffic congestion, which would delay first responders in reaching children at PS 163, residents of the proposed nursing home itself, and residents of surrounding apartment buildings in emergency situations.
None of these concerns – raised time and again by the community – can be adequately mitigated as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act.
Finally, the NY State Department of Health had already approved a Certificate of Need for Jewish Home Lifecare to rebuild its facility on its present site in 2008. The draft environmental impact statement does not sufficiently explain why Jewish Home Lifecare cannot remain at West 106th Street, avoiding all of the environmental and physical harms to the children of PS 163 and the residents of the Park West Village neighborhood.
Based on the aforementioned concerns, we the undersigned call on the State Department of Health to reject Jewish Home Lifecare’s DEIS.