Environmental Impact Statement
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is the lead Federal agency under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The District Department of Transportation (DDOT), as project sponsor, is a joint lead agency. FRA and DDOT will prepare the Long Bridge Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) consistent with NEPA; the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508); FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 FR 28545); and 23 U.S.C. § 139. After release and circulation of a Draft EIS for public comment, FRA plans to issue a single document consisting of the Final EIS and a Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) pursuant to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (Pub. L. 114–94, section 1304(n)(2)), unless it determines that statutory criteria or practicability considerations preclude issuing a combined document.
The EIS will document compliance with other applicable Federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations, including but not limited to: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966; the Endangered Species Act (ESA); Executive Order (EO) 11988 and USDOT Order 5650.2 on Floodplain Management; EO 11990 on Protection of Wetlands; the Magnuson-Stevens Act related to Essential Fish Habitat; the Coastal Zone Management Act; and EO 12898 on Environmental Justice (EJ).
FRA published the Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS for the Project in the Federal Register on August 26, 2016. The EIS will provide the FRA, cooperating and participating agencies, and the public with information to assess alternatives that will meet the Long Bridge Project’s purpose and need; evaluate the potential environmental impacts; and identify potential avoidance and mitigation measures.
The Long Bridge Corridor
The EIS Project area extends approximately 3.2 miles from the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Crystal City Station in Arlington, Virginia to Virginia Interlocking near 3rd Street SW in Washington, DC (Long Bridge Corridor). The Long Bridge Corridor includes Federal parkland managed by the National Park Service; historic and cultural properties; the Potomac River; residential buildings, offices, and hotels; and transportation facilities (VRE L’Enfant Station, Long Bridge, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority [WMATA] Metrorail right-of-way and bridge, five other railroad bridges, four roadway bridges, and numerous pedestrian and bicycle trails).
The EIS will analyze the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of the alternatives on the social, economic, and environmental resources in the Project area. Environmental resources include, but are not limited to:
- Social and economic conditions;
- Property acquisition;
- Parks and recreational resources;
- Visual and aesthetic resources;
- Historic and archaeological resources;
- Air quality;
- Aquatic navigation;
- Greenhouse gas emissions and resilience;
- Noise and vibration;
- Ecology (including wetlands, water and sediment quality, floodplains, and biological resources);
- Threatened and endangered species;
- Contaminated materials; and
- Environmental Justice.