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Office Of Transporation Planning Massachusetts Department of transporation
Environmental Review Process

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) if the project significantly affects the quality of the human environment. An EIS provides a full disclosure of the project development process, range of alternatives under consideration, analyses and evaluation of potential impacts, and demonstrated compliance with environmental laws and executive orders.

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To initiate this process, MassDOT - in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) - will submit a Notice of Intent (NOI), which will be published in the Federal Register. This will signal the start of the review process announcing the start of the EIS process. The EIS will then be prepared and circulated to all appropriate agencies and citizens for comment. A Final EIS would then be prepared and submitted to FHWA incorporating all comments and responses and additional analysis as required. The Federal Highway Administration would complete the process with a Record of Decision issued to conclude the process identifying the selected alternative with the basis for the selection documented.

For a more detailed overview of the EIS process, visit FHWA's EIS webpage at: http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/docueis.asp

The state's Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) requires the preparation and submittal of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) when widening an existing roadway for two or more miles and construction of a new roadway for ¼ or more miles. As this project satisfies both scenarios, MassDOT will prepare an EIR, which includes a project summary, description, and alternatives, existing environmental conditions, assessments, and statutory/regulatory requirements, mitigation measures including Section 61 findings, and comments. Similar to the EIS process, the final EIR process requires all comments be addressed and additional analysis be conducted if needed.

For a more detailed overview of the EIR process, visit the MEPA EIR webpage at: http://www.env.state.ma.us/mepa/regs/11-07.aspx

The EIS/ EIR documentation will cover the following topics:
  1. Section 106 - Federal National Historic Preservation Act - historic and archaeological impacts
  2. Chapter 254- Massachusetts State Registry of Historic Places - State historic sites
  3. Section 4(f) - Federal parks and recreation impacts
  4. Article 97 - State open space impacts
  5. Land use, economic development, and business impacts
  6. Traffic and Travel demand collection, modeling, and analysis
  7. Transportation Safety
  8. Noise
  9. Air Quality
  10. Special and Hazardous Waste
  11. Farmland impacts
  12. Visual/ Aesthetic Impacts
  13. Community Impacts - right-of-way, environmental justice, relocations
  14. Water Quality and Supply
  15. Floodplain and floodway impacts
  16. Stormwater/ Drainage
  17. Wetland Resource Impact
  18. Wildlife Habitat
  19. Design criteria/ engineering considerations
  20. Construction impacts
  21. Project Costs
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