UPDATE: The report is scheduled for release next Friday, the 21st.
Dave Kaval provided an update on the Howard Terminal EIR to Steve Berman (@BASportsGuy) of The Athletic yesterday. It was unsurprising.
You may remember that Kaval previously said that the EIR was coming around Valentine’s Day and before that, the end of 2019. Or last fall or summer, er late summer. In any case, we’re getting close! Come sometime next week, I hope to spend a good amount of time reading the draft document while I watch some good Cactus League action.
The release of the document will be a momentous occasion, even if the project stalls as so many previous attempts by the A’s have. At this point, I think it’s important to point out what will and won’t be accomplished by the release.
First of all, whether it gets released Friday or next week is mostly a matter of bureaucratic paper shuffling as the report bounces among state and regional agencies. It’s extremely unlikely that there will be some major mitigation step identified, let alone approved, in a week. The important takeaway is that we the public will have better visibility of the issues. Compared to a decade ago when we first started talking about Howard Terminal in earnest, the City of Oakland’s website is better equipped to provide documents as they come out.
Second, while the report will go into great detail about those issues, it won’t describe how much it will cost Oakland or the A’s to deal with them. Outside consultants will provide estimates for some steps, which will be challenged by others who feel such steps don’t go far enough, which will beget other estimates. That’s part of the comment period, which starts once the draft EIR will be released. There’s always a danger of feature creep in the process, lamentably unavoidable in California.
If you’re a regular reader of this site or have been following the Howard Terminal situation for the past year or so, you’ll notice that there has been roughly one article or interview per week published somewhere in Bay Area media, positive or negative. The point of this is to keep HT in the news. When the EIR is released, there will be a avalanche of related news. I’ll do my best to cut the wheat from the chaff. Until then, I have some family in from out of town this weekend. Spring is here, everyone.
And hope springs eternal.
What is the history of an EIR actually sinking a project? Does a case exist?
Fremont’s EIR never got published, partly because of EIR-related concerns and pressure.