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CTDOT is preparing a joint Federal Environmental Assessment/State Environmental Impact Evaluation (EA/EIE), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA), which will address any potential impacts resulting from the proposed High Speed, Intercity Passenger, and Regional Rail Service improvements along the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor. This environmental document will provide decision-makers with the detailed information they need to advance this project to final design and construction. Approval of the EA/EIE by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), along with concurrence from the Office of Policy & Management in Connecticut is a critical step in obligating the funding that has already been awarded to Connecticut under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and advancing the NHHS rail program.
The EA/EIE will:
The EA/EIE will consider the existing environment and the potential effects of the proposed project on a broad range of resource categories. These include:
A major objective of the NEPA/CEPA process is to provide the public with information about the proposed project and to provide a forum for comments about the project, its impacts and proposed mitigation. Scoping sessions were held for rail improvements along the NHHS in 2008 and 2009, along with various public meetings with town and community leaders. Upon publication of the Draft EA/EIE, there will be a 30-day comment period, during which CTDOT, FRA, and FTA will hold formal public hearings to present detailed findings of the EA/EIE and solicit public comment. Once the dates for these public hearings are determined, they will be posted on the this website and provided to local news media. All comments received during the comment period, whether they are written, sent to the website, or verbally made and recorded at the public hearings, will be addressed and included within the Final EA/EIE document, which is anticipated to be completed and submitted to the FRA and FTA by the end of this year. If FRA and FTA conclude that there are no significant adverse impacts resulting from proposed improvements or that these impacts can be adequately mitigated, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be issued, authorizing the project to advance to final design and construct.