Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) Evaluation for the I-20 East Transit Initiative Heavy Rail Transit Extension in DeKalb County, Georgia
Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and section 4(f) evaluation.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and an evaluation per 49 U.S.C. 303 and 23 CFR part 774 (``Section 4(f)'') for MARTA's I-20 East Heavy Rail Transit (HRT) Extension project, which would extend the existing Blue Line from the Indian Creek MARTA Station to the Mall at Stonecrest in eastern DeKalb County. The EIS and Section 4(f) Evaluation will be prepared in accordance with regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 4(f), as well as FTA's regulations and guidance implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508 and 23 CFR 771.105). The extension of the existing MARTA Blue Line HRT was selected as a component of a multimodal Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) resulting from the I-20 East Transit Initiative Detailed Corridor Analysis (DCA) completed in April 2012. The LPA also includes new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service along I-20 between downtown Atlanta and a new station at Wesley Chapel Road, east of I-285 in DeKalb County. The NEPA analysis for the BRT project is being advanced separately in an Environmental Assessment (EA). The FTA originally published a NOI to perform federal environmental review for the entire I-20 East Transit Initiative LPA on August 28, 2012 (77 FR 52128). Project scoping activities for the I-20 East Transit Initiative LPA occurred in September 2012. In today's issue of the Federal Register, FTA is rescinding the August 28, 2012 NOI and issuing this notice to advise interested agencies and the public regarding updates to the Purpose and Need of the LPA that have occurred since the scoping activities. Specifically, the Purpose and Need for both the HRT Extension project and the BRT project have been revised to reflect their distinct and independent utility. The revised Purpose and Need for the HRT Extension project is presented later in this Notice.