The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the South Coast Rail project, and MassDOT has adopted the Corps’ document as the state-required Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). In the document, MassDOT identifies the Stoughton rail alternative as its preferred route for providing the best transportation, environmental and smart growth benefits.
The DEIS/DIER release is the culmination of nearly four years of coordination between MassDOT, the Corps, and 10 other state and federal agencies. The DEIS/DEIR is a combined federal and state document that compares eight alternatives for restoring public transit service to the cities of Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford. The document provides information on the transportation benefits of each of these alternatives and the potential impacts of the alternatives on noise, wetlands, rare species, air quality and other social, historic and environmental resources.
MassDOT has identified the Stoughton family of alternatives as its preferred corridor in the Preface to the document. The Corps will not determine the permittable route until later in the environmental process.
After the public comment period has closed on May 27, 2011, the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs will outline a scope of work for the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). The Corps and MassDOT plan to continue coordinating their efforts on the project to produce a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR).
The DEIS/DEIR is available at local libraries throughout the South Coast region and by request from MassDOT.
The South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan estimates the South Coast Rail project will stimulate nearly $500 million in new economic activity each year, while creating at least 3,500 net long-term jobs by 2030, with two-thirds of those jobs in the region. Construction of the rail project will generate an additional 7,000 to 8,000 jobs.
Learn more online at the South Coast Rail project website at www.mass.gov/southcoastrail
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