Externalities is a favorite catch-word among environmentalists. One used to say side-effects, but that is probably too general a term, and the desire to have one's own jargon is irresistible (think "collateral damage" and "friendly fire.") The fact that you have to explain it to the uninitiated seems to be irrelevant.
The externalities of the Atlantic Yards project should have been well addressed by the Environmental Impact Report, which after all cost millions of dollars and resulted in thousands of pages of testimony. But to the lay-person (and I almost include myself in that category in spite of having a planning degree because I lack the patience to wade through said thousands of pages of obfuscation,) some seem to be obvious. When the DOT proposed to change 6th and 7th Avenues to one-way traffic two months ago, there was widespread public agreement that Atlantic Yards traffic mitigation (in spite of vigorous denials by the DOT.)
But this one is clear and conceded; from DDDB, "Ratner Will Increase Your Electric Bill. Shocking,"
NY1 is reporting that at a state assembly hearing on a record Con Ed rate hike, ConEd officials said that big projects such as "Atlantic Yards" are necessitating a rate hike that will be at least 17%. But that's news to the Empire State Development Corporation which shockingly said, basically, "Atlantic Yards and the electric grid? No problem." In the state's Environmental Impact Study for Atlantic Yards, completed last December and now under litigation, the Infrastructure Chapter (11) stated:
The proposed project would increase demands on electricity and gas. However, relative to the capacity of these systems and the current levels of service within New York City, these increases in demand would be insignificant.
but: Con Ed came before a State Assembly committee to explain the rate hike. Officials argued Wednesday the system is strapped and that massive projects like the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn will burden the system even more..[emphasis added.].
Another example of this might be that there has been little examination of how AY may affect the local schools; perhaps Ratner intends to rent only those without children? More likely, it is assumed that the city will pick up the costs of expanding or creating addditional school space.