Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Is AKRF coming out of the shadows?

Yesterday The Observer published an article on AKRF, "The Enviro-Consultants Everyone Calls."
AKRF now employs a staff of 240 in five locations along the Eastern Seaboard and evaluates, by its own estimates, the majority of public projects in New York City and a number of the private ones as well.

AKRF has become so ubiquitous that this low-key firm, headquartered on Park Avenue South, is no longer as invisible as it would like to be. In May, a handful of City Council members attacked the firm at a public session when it failed to find evidence that a downtown Brooklyn street was once on the Underground Railroad. In June, a state judge suggested that AKRF had a conflict of interest because it was working simultaneously for both Columbia University and the state agency overseeing the school’s expansion into West Harlem.
AKRF was chosen by the NYC Economic Development Corporation without competitive bid to analyze the historical claims of Abolitionist and Underground Railroad activity in Downtown Brooklyn. Our public authorities may give AKRF a free pass, but hopefully the citizens will not.