Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.
The Federal Transit Administration, as lead Federal agency, and the Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System, Inc. (Metro), as local project sponsor and joint lead agency intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate potential benefits and impacts of the NFTA proposed Buffalo-Amherst-Tonawanda Corridor Transit Expansion project (the Proposed Project). The Proposed Project to be evaluated in the EIS would expand high quality transit service in Buffalo, New York to Tonawanda and Amherst, New York. FTA, in coordination with Metro will prepare the EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law and its implementing regulations (SEQR). This Notice of Intent (NOI) initiates public scoping for the EIS, and provides information on the Proposed Project, the Project's purpose and need and the alternatives being considered for evaluation in the EIS. This NOI invites public comments on environmental impacts that may be associated with the Proposed Project and alternatives. Interested members of the public, tribes, and agencies are invited to submit comments on the proposed scope of the EIS, Metro's purpose and need, the identification of alternatives to be considered, the environmental benefits and impacts to be evaluated, and any other project-related issues or analysis. In consideration of the Federal Government's COVID-19 Emergency Declaration dated March 13, 2020, FTA has determined that virtual public meetings and hearings are a permissible and useful tool to provide for public involvement in the NEPA process.