Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the benefits and impacts of the proposed West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions (WSBLE), a light rail transit extension project. The project would improve public transit service along the WSBLE corridor between and through the West Seattle, Downtown, and Ballard neighborhoods in Seattle, King County, Washington. It would respond to a growing number of transportation and community needs identified in the agency's regional transit system plan, Sound Transit 3 (ST3). FTA and Sound Transit will prepare the EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FTA environmental regulations, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), and Washington's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). This Notice initiates formal scoping for the EIS, provides information on the nature of the proposed transit project, invites participation in the EIS process, provides information about the purpose and need for the proposed transit project, includes the general set of alternatives being considered for evaluation in the EIS, and identifies potential environmental effects to be considered. It also invites comments from interested members of the public, tribes, and agencies on the scope of the EIS and announces upcoming public scoping meetings. Alternatives being considered for evaluation include a No-Build alternative and various build alternatives to develop light rail in the WSBLE corridor. The alternatives were developed through a local planning process including a Regional Transit Long-Range Plan, a regional system plan of transit investments (ST3), and a SEPA early scoping and alternatives development process specific to the WSBLE corridor. Results of the SEPA early scoping process, the alternatives development process and findings, and other background technical reports are available at Sound Transit's office located at 401 S Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104-2826, on the project website: www.soundtransit.org/WSBLink, or by contacting the project line at (206) 903-7229.