The Federal Railroad Administration and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) have extended the public comment period on the High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which outlines plans for improving passenger and freight rail service on the Empire Corridor between New York City and Niagara Falls. Public comments will be accepted through Wednesday, April 30.
The public comment period was extended in response to community requests. It was scheduled to close Monday, March 24. It started on January 31, when the DEIS was published in the Federal Register. The DEIS examines the feasibility of higher speed passenger rail service alternatives along the 463-mile Empire Corridor, looking at how five potential alternatives would impact mobility, the environment and economic growth across New York State. Information about the project, including a copy of the DEIS, is available on the NYSDOT website at https://www.dot.ny.gov/empire-corridor.
Comments may be submitted on the project website, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ''Draft EIS.'' Comments also may be mailed to David Chan, Project Manager, New York State Department of Transportation, 50 Wolf Road, Pod #61, Albany, NY 12232.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) completed the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to evaluate proposed system improvements to intercity passenger rail services along the 463-mile Empire Corridor, connecting Pennsylvania (Penn) Station in New York City with Niagara Falls Station in Niagara Falls, New York. The DEIS was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500-1508); FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Federal Register [FR] 28545); and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) and its implementing regulations (6 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations [NYCRR] Part 617).
Six public hearings will be held statewide to present the Tier 1 Draft EIS and receive public comments.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014; Open House 4-8 p.m. and Public Hearing 6-8 p.m. Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, 9 & 12 Vassar Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Each meeting will consist of an open house that will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the public hearing with presentations that will commence at 6 p.m. Persons wishing to comment on the project can submit oral testimony or written comments at the public hearings. The public hearings will be recorded, and commenters can sign up for a public speaking slot, which will be limited to 3 minutes per speaker. Groups are requested to designate a single spokesperson. Stations for oral testimony to be submitted privately to a stenographer will also be available during the open house portion of the public hearings.
Written comments can also be submitted by March 24, 2014 to David Chan, Program Manager, Project Manager, High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Program, New York State Department of Transportation, 50 Wolf Road, POD #61, Albany, NY 12232, can be emailed to email@example.com, or can be submitted online at the project website at www.dot.ny.gov/empire-corridor. All oral and written comments received during the comment period will be addressed in the Tier 1 Final EIS, which will identify the preferred alternative for the program.
Please contact David Chan at (518) 485-1918 at least one (1) week before the public hearing you plan to attend if you require a sign language interpreter, assistive listening system, translator, or any other accommodation(s) to facilitate your participation in the public hearing.
For more information on the Empire Corridor Project and local library locations where the DEIS may be found for review, please visit the NYSDOT’s website at https://www.dot.ny.gov/empire-corridor.