The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision-making process by evaluating the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives. Because the B&P Tunnel Project is partially funded through a grant from the FRA, the project is subject to compliance with NEPA regulations.
The project involves development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary evaluation of environmental effects, and will consider reasonable alternatives, including the "No Action" alternative. Coordination with the public and federal, state, and local agencies will be an integral part of the study and provide valuable input for project decision-making.
The EIS will document an alternatives analysis – prepared by FRA and MDOT – for identifying the best engineering solution in consideration of potential impacts on the community and environment. Engineering support for the alternatives analysis will be provided separately by Amtrak. The project will also be subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.
FRA Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts
Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508)
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP): Working with Section 106