For studies that will have a significant impact, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires an EIS document that will provide an examination of environmental impacts for each of the proposed route alternatives. The team will evaluate hazardous materials, cultural and biological resources, socioeconomic and geological conditions, land ownership, air quality, noise impacts and water resources.
Additional information about the NEPA process
List of Environmental Acronyms
Once the study team has narrowed down possible route alternatives, they will study them more in depth during the preparation of the L/DCR. The L/DCR will identify a preferred route alternative, define initial right-of-way needs and present an implementation plan. Project costs and preliminary design plans will also be included.
Once the study team has narrowed down the possible route alternatives, they will present them to the public for review and comment at public meetings that are anticipated to take place by late 2011.
After public input the team will then study the route alternatives more in depth in a Location/Design Concept Report (L/DCR) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The L/DCR will document a preferred alternative route, define initial right-of-way requirements and include an implementation plan. Project costs and preliminary design plans will also be included.
Once the draft EIS is approved, a public hearing will be held for final public review and comment. This is anticipated to take place late 2012.