In the Network Plan submitted to Congress in 2008 to fulfill the requirements of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the Postal Service said,
“As required by §302(c)(3)(D)(ii), each AMP public summary narrative highlights anticipated changes in the affected service area, including but not limited to retail or business mail entry, service standard upgrades or downgrades, collection box pickup times, postmarking practices and retail access.”
Not so. None of the recent Area Mail Processing Plans did. The AMP section on “Service Standard Impacts” was left blank and the changes in collection box pickup times before and after plant consolidations were not discussed. How can communities provide meaningful input without this information? These omissions were intentional.
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act Section 302 (c)(5) says,
“Effective on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2006], the Postal Service may not close or consolidate any processing or logistics facilities without using procedures for public notice and input consistent with those described under paragraph (3)(D).”
(i) provide adequate public notice to communities potentially affected by a proposed rationalization decision;
(ii) make available information regarding any service changes in the affected communities, any other effects on customers, any effects on postal employees, and any cost savings;
(iii) afford affected persons ample opportunity to provide input on the proposed decision; and
(iv) take such comments into account in making a final decision.
One glaring omission by the Postal Service was their failure to notify and consult the communities GAINING additional mail processing work. Phase 2 consolidations will mean AROUND-THE-CLOCK mail processing. Adverse impacts include additional day-time vehicle traffic, trucks waiting in streets for dock space and a lack of facility parking during the peak times when tours overlap. The neighborhoods around the gaining mail processing plants will be filled with postal employee vehicles and waiting mail trucks.