This was the first of two planned events. The second PIC is planned for the fall of 2022.
Traditionally, these are one or more open houses where the public is invited to view various displays set up by the consultants for the meeting. The appropriate consultants attend near the displays to answer any questions the public may have. Generally around 8:00 pm, the public is invited to sit down to see a presentation by the consultants (usually PowerPoint) followed by an open discussion period that usually lasts until all or nearly all questions have been answered. The public is then invited to either fill out and submit comment sheets before they leave or, if they prefer, submit further written comments. PIC’s are usually the only opportunity the public is given to engage in meaningful two way consultation with the consultants.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, PIC 1 fell far short of this standard. In lieu of a physical public meeting, AECOM hosted a ZOOM meeting where they presented a series of informational slides. Thankfully, these slides remained available on the project web site after the ZOOM meeting from April 22 to May 6 2021. Having ready access to these slides is, in our view, a significant positive attribute of this PIC. However, many people ended the ZOOM meeting with a sense of both frustration and anger as the promised, post presentation open forum, was eliminated without any notice or comment. As such we do not believe that AECOM has properly fulfilled its obligation under the Class EA to properly consult with the public.