Environmental Impact Statement on Transit Improvements in the Northwest Corridor to Irving/DFW in Dallas, TX, 24856-24859 [05-9389]

Download as PDF 24856 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices 2C1.3(c)(1), and 2C1.8(c)(1) and strikes references to § 2C1.7 in §§ 3D1.2(d) and 8C2.1. Fourth, this amendment clarifies Application Note 5 in the drug guideline, § 2D1.1, regarding drug analogues. The current note suggests that drug analogues are less potent than the drug for which it is an analogue. However, by statute, analogues can only be the same or more potent. Fifth, this amendment redesignates incorrect references in a number of Application Notes in the drug guideline, § 2D1.1. Sixth, this amendment conforms § 2D1.11 (Unlawfully Distributing, Importing, Exporting or Possessing a Listed Chemical; Attempt or Conspiracy) to changes made in the drug guideline, § 2D1.1, in the 2004 amendment cycle (see Appendix C to the Guidelines Manual, Amendment 667). Specifically, the proposed amendment amends the Chemical Quantity Table in § 2D1.11(e) so that the amount of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), at any particular offense level, is the amount that provides a 100 percent yield of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). Seventh, this amendment updates the statutory provisions in § 2K2.1 (Unlawful Receipt, Possession, or Transportation of Firearms or Ammunition; Prohibited Transactions Involving Firearms or Ammunition) to account for redesignations of 18 U.S.C. 924 offenses. Eighth, this amendment corrects a typographical error in § 2M6.1 (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Ninth, this amendment corrects the title to § 5C1.2 (Limitation on Applicability of Statutory Minimum Sentence in Certain Cases) in Application Note 2 of § 5D1.2 (Terms of Supervised Release.). Tenth, this amendment corrects Appendix A (Statutory Index) to account for redesignations of 18 U.S.C. 924 offenses. [FR Doc. 05–9378 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 2211–01–P SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Disaster Declaration #10111 and #10112 [Pennsylvania Disaster Number PA–00001] U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Amendment 1. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This is an amendment of the Presidential declaration of a major VerDate jul<14>2003 16:48 May 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 disaster for the State of Pennsylvania (FEMA–1587–DR), dated 4/14/2005. Incident: Flooding. Incident Period: 4/2/2005 through 4/23/2005. EFFECTIVE DATE: 4/23/2005. Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 6/14/2005. EIDL Loan Application Deadline Date: 1/9/2006. ADDRESSES: Submit completed loan applications to U.S. Small Business Administration, Disaster Area Office 1, 360 Rainbow Blvd., South 3rd Floor, Niagara Falls, NY 14303. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street, Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of the President’s major disaster declaration for Pennsylvania, dated 4/14/2005, is hereby amended to establish the incident period for this disaster as beginning 4/02/2005 and continuing through 4/23/2005. All other information in the original declaration remains unchanged. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers 59002 and 59008.) Herbert L. Mitchell, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance. [FR Doc. 05–9377 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Environmental Impact Statement on Transit Improvements in the Northwest Corridor to Irving/DFW in Dallas, TX AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). ACTION: SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) issue this notice to advise interested agencies and the public of their intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Northwest CorridorIrving/DFW Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project in Dallas and Irving, Texas. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended. The Northwest Corridor-Irving/DFW Line LRT project is the product of the Northwest Corridor Major Investment Study (MIS) completed by DART in PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 early 2000. The MIS identified a Locally Preferred Investment Strategy (LPIS), which included a light rail element with two service lines, the Carrollton Line and the Irving/DFW Line. An EIS evaluating alternatives for the Carrollton Line has been completed, and FTA issued a Record of Decision on this portion of the LPIS on February 5, 2004. The identified primary travel need for the Northwest Corridor-Irving/DFW Line LRT is to serve the general northwest-southeast travel pattern along the Interstate Highway (IH) 35E/State Highway (SH) 114 corridor from downtown Dallas into North Irving. The LPIS alignment addressed this need with an alignment that generally parallels SH 114 through north Irving before terminating on the north side of SH 114, west of Beltline Road. After adoption of the LPIS, significant changes in land use and transportation patterns have occurred in the Irving/ DFW Corridor. Subsequent analyses by DART for the Irving/DFW Corridor have resulted in a refinement to the LPIS alignment. The refined alignment also addresses the primary travel need with an alignment that runs parallel but south of SH 114 through north Irving. Both of these ‘‘Build’’ alternatives will be fully evaluated in the EIS. DATES: Comment due date: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, including the alternatives and impacts to be considered, should be sent to John Hoppie, Project Manager by July 1, 2005. See ADDRESSES below. Scoping Meeting: A Public Scoping Meeting will be held June 29, 2005, at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Dallas— Haggar University Center, 1845 E. Northgate Drive, Irving, Texas. The meeting will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Individuals requiring special assistance to participate fully, such as a translator or sign-language interpreter, should notify DART in advance as indicated under ADDRESSES below. Interagency Coordination Meeting: DART will invite all federal, state and local agencies with a possible interest in any aspect of the proposed project or its impacts to an interagency coordination meeting and will provide scoping materials to these agencies prior to that meeting. The likely cooperating agencies include the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, and North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to John Hoppie, Project Manager, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, P.O Box 660163, Dallas, Texas 75266–7213. E:\FR\FM\11MYN1.SGM 11MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices Telephone: 214–749–2525. Fax: 214– 749–3670. E-mail: jhoppie@dart.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Sweek, Community Planner, Federal Transit Administration, Region VI; phone: (817) 978–0550. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Scoping FTA and DART invite interested individuals, organizations, businesses and federal, state and local agencies to participate in determining the scope of the EIS on the Irving/DFW Line, including alternative alignments and station locations. Comments should focus on suggesting alternatives that may be less costly or have fewer environmental impacts while achieving similar transportation objectives, or on identifying any significant social, economic, or environmental issues related to the alternatives under consideration. Specific suggestions on additional alternatives to be examined and issues to be addressed are welcome and will be considered in the development in the final study scope. Scoping comments may be made orally or in writing not later than July 1, 2005. See DATES and ADDRESSES above. Additional information on the EIS process, the alternatives and anticipated impact issues is contained in a ‘‘Scoping Information Document’’. Copies of the scoping document are available from DART. See DATES and ADDRESSES above. In addition, a project website has been established to provide scoping and other information at http://www.dart.org/ nwdfwcorridor.asp. II. Description of the Study Area and Project Need The Northwest Corridor Study Area covered in the MIS includes a large part of northwest Dallas County. It extends from downtown Dallas on the south, to SH 121 on the west and north, to east of Marsh Lane and IH–35E on the east. The LPIS adopted on the basis of the MIS includes two rail lines, the Carrollton Line and the Irving/DFW Line. Each of the two rail lines has independent utility in meeting the transportation needs of the study area. The Carrollton Line is advancing toward implementation. The Irving/DFW Line is the subject of this notice. The MIS that resulted in the proposed Irving DFW Line is available online at http:// www.dart.org/nwdfwcorridor.asp. The MIS is also available for inspection at DART offices by contacting John Hoppie as indicated in ADDRESSES above. The Irving/DFW Line and its associated stations provide the opportunity to serve several important VerDate jul<14>2003 16:48 May 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 regional activity centers. The proposed rail line will also provide numerous opportunities to interconnect the region’s transit services, including DART’s expanding LRT system, the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail operation, and DART’s local and express bus service. Regional growth has added significantly to the corridor’s congestion, especially employment growth in Dallas County, and population growth in northern Dallas, Northeast Tarrant, and Denton Counties. According to findings of the MIS, in 2020 the northwest quadrant of Dallas County will account for 33.6 percent of employment in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth region. While only 6.4 percent of the region’s land area, the study area is a large net importer of employees. In 1995, jobs outnumbered population by over 200,000. In 2020, the surplus of jobs over population is expected to grow to more than 336,000. Demographic information will be updated by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) during the preparation of the EIS. Land use in the corridor consists of a major concentration of employment near the Las Colinas Urban Center with residential uses occurring west and south of SH 114. Traffic volumes along SH 114 are expected to increase significantly in future years. The EPA designated the nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth region as a moderate nonattainment area for the pollutant ozone under the 8-hour standard in April 2004. The proposed LRT project is part of multi-modal strategy that also incorporates bus service refinements, highway and HOV lane improvements, TSM and TDM strategies, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. This strategy was developed during the preparation of the Northwest Corridor MIS completed by DART in early 2000. III. Alternatives The transportation alternatives proposed for consideration in this project area include: No-Build Alternative—The future NoBuild Alternative is the transit system that will result in the design year (2030) if the project is not pursued. It consists of all transportation projects included in the adopted NCTCOG plan outside the study corridor, and normal growth in bus service inside the corridor, consistent with exiting transit service policies. MIS Build Alternative—The original MIS Build Alternative project consisted of an LRT Line of approximately 13.2 miles. The alignment began at the PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24857 junction with the Carrollton LRT Line north of the Bachman LRT Station and extended southwest on aerial structure over IH–35E and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River parallel to Spur 482. Near the Central Freight property and Texas Stadium parking lots, the alignment turned to the northwest, returned to grade and then elevated to aerial structure to cross over Loop 12, SH 114 and Tom Braniff Drive, landing on the south side of SH 114 and returning to grade. The alignment continued at-grade along the south side of SH 114, and then crossed over both the BNSF RR and SH 114 to enter the Las Colinas Urban Center area. The alignment continued at-grade through the Las Colinas Urban Center in the median of Lake Carolyn Parkway. The alignment then became aerial to cross over Northwest Highway. South of Colwell Boulevard the alignment became at-grade and paralleled Las Colinas Boulevard for a short distance until it turned northward. Adjacent to Royal Lane the alignment turned westerly and crossed over MacArthur Boulevard on aerial structure. Returning to grade, the route continued northwest to the north end of DFW airport with grade separations at SH 161, SH 114, Beltline Road and International Parkway. Seven stations were proposed within the MIS alignment: University of Dallas, South Las Colinas, North Urban Center, Royal Lane, SH 161, Belt Line Road, and DFW North. The University of Dallas station was located south of SH 114. The South Las Colinas Station was proposed in at the south end of the Las Colinas Urban Center, and another station was proposed in the North Urban Center near Northwest Highway. The Royal station was proposed south of Royal before the alignment turned to the west. Another Station was proposed near the junction SH 161 and SH 114. The sixth station was located near Beltline Road and the terminus station was located at the north end of DFW Airport. Refined Build Alternative—The proposed project for environmental review consists of an LRT Line of approximately 9.5 miles. The LRT alignment begins at its junction with the Carrollton LRT Line north of the Bachman LRT Station and extends southwest on aerial structure over IH– 35E and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River parallel to Spur 482. Near the Central Freight property and Texas Stadium parking lots, the alignment turns to the northwest, returns to grade and crosses under Loop 12 on the north side of SH 114. The alignment continues along the north side of SH 114 and crosses under the BNSF RR to enter the E:\FR\FM\11MYN1.SGM 11MYN1 24858 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices Las Colinas Urban Center area. The alignment continues at-grade through the Las Colinas Urban Center in the median of Lake Carolyn Parkway. From the Urban Center, the proposed alignment crosses west over SH 114 and returns to grade north of Hidden Ridge Drive. The alignment turns south, then west with potential grade separations at Hidden Ridge Drive, MacArthur Boulevard and Walnut Hill Lane. Near Walnut Hill Lane the alignment enters into right-of-way that has been preserved for rail access into DFW International Airport. Entering onto airport property, the alignment crosses over SH 114 and Beltline Road before returning grade at the terminus station. Station Locations: Six stations are proposed within the Irving/DFW corridor: University of Dallas, South Las Colinas, North Urban Center, Hidden Ridge, North Lake College, and Belt Line Road. The University of Dallas station is located between the main lanes and service road of westbound SH 114 south of Tom Braniff Drive. The at-grade South Las Colinas Station is proposed in at the south end of the Las Colinas Urban Center, and another at-grade station is proposed in the North Urban Center near Northwest Highway and SH 114. The Hidden Ridge Drive station is proposed to serve the large corporate complexes in the area west of SH 114. A station is located north of the campus to serve North Lake College and the surrounding area. The terminus station is proposed near Belt Line Road. Alignment and station options will be explored further during scoping. Segmentation Analysis: Airport access options extending from Belt Line Road to the DFW Central Terminal Area will continue to be studied and evaluated separately by DART, DFW Airport, and others, but are not proposed to be part of this EIS. Airport access by rail was the subject of the DFW International Airport Rail Planning and Implementation Study (NCTCOG, 2002). This study identified several LRT options that could pivot of the proposed terminus of the Refined Build Alternative to serve the Central Terminal Area of DFW Airport. As DART explored serving the core of DFW Airport as part of this project it became apparent that there were many unresolved issues regarding airport access. As a result there is a growing number of alignment alternatives to serve DFW. Each of these alternatives terminates at one of several proposed locations. Also DFW is planning terminal and taxiway expansions that could potentially impact the DART project. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:48 May 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 As a result of a multi-agency coordination meeting that included the North Central Texas Council of Governments, FTA, FAA, DFW Airport, The-T, DCTA and DART it was decided that it would be prudent exclude airport access as part of this EIS. This would allow DART the opportunity to advance the Refined Build Alternative which vital component of DART’s Transit System Plan while resolving the numerous complex issues associated with serving the Core area of DFW Airport. FTA and DART have determined that terminating the project evaluated in this EIS at Belt Line Road is appropriate. As described below, the Refined Build Alternative and a future alignment that would serve the Central Terminus Area of DFW airport have independent utility. • Refined Build Alternative—The Northwest Corridor to Irving is a 9.5mile corridor serving the City of Irving. Major destinations along the corridor include: the University of Dallas, the Las Colinas Urban Center (one of the largest employment centers in the region), North Lake Community College and several planned developments. In addition the corridor will serve many residential communities in the City of Irving as well as other commuters who regularly use the State Highway 114 corridor. • Future Rail Service to the Central Terminus Area of DFW International Airport—Depending on the selected alignment this will be a 3 to 6 mile independent project that would provide rail access to DFW airport from the entire DART LRT System. It will also provide an interface between DART and The-T and DCTA. Additional Alternatives—Any additional alternatives that emerge during scoping, that reasonably address the project’s purpose and need, and that have not been previously evaluated, will be considered. IV. Probable Effects The FTA and DART will evaluate all significant environmental, social, and economic impacts of the alternatives analyzed in the EIS. Impact areas to be addressed include: Land use, zoning, and economic development; secondary developments; land acquisition, displacements, and relocation of existing uses; cultural resource impacts including impacts on historical and archaeological resources and parklands/ recreational areas; visual and aesthetic qualities; neighborhood compatibility; environmental justice; natural resource impacts including air quality, wetlands, water resources, and wildlife; noise and PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 vibration; hazardous materials; energy; safety and security; utilities; traffic and transportation impacts and airport operations. Potential impacts will be addressed for the long-term operation of each alternative and the short-term construction period. Measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate all adverse impacts will be identified, evaluated, and adopted as appropriate. V. FTA Procedures In accordance with FHWA/FTA guidance on linking the planning and NEPA processes at http:// www.environment.fta.dot.gov/ streamlining/lpn_guidance.htm, the results of the Northwest Corridor Major Investment Study (DART, 2000), The DFW International Airport Rail Planning and Implementation Study (NCTCOG, 2002), and the Northwest Corridor to Irving/DFW Scoping Information Document (DART, 2005) will be scrutinized during scoping, and incorporated by reference into the EIS, as appropriate. All documents pertaining to this study are available on line at http://www.dart.org/ nwdfwcorridor.asp. In addition, information regarding DART’s ongoing System Planning effort can be found at http://www.dart.org/ transitsystemplan2030.asp. The MIS and the DFW International Airport Rail Planning and Implementation Study are expected to contribute to the statement of the project’s purpose and need, and to the evaluation of transportation systems management alternatives. The impacts of each alternative will be assessed, and, if necessary, the alternative will be revised or additional alternatives will be developed to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any adverse impacts. In accordance with FTA policy, all Federal environmental laws, regulations, and executive orders affecting project development, including but not limited to the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508, the joint FHWA/FTA environmental regulations (23 CFR part 771), the project-level conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Endangered Species Act, Section 4(f) of the DOT Act, etc. will be addressed to the maximum extent practicable during the NEPA process. After its publication, the Draft EIS will be available for public review and comment. One or more public hearings will be held during the Draft EIS public comment period. On the basis of the Draft EIS and comments received, the E:\FR\FM\11MYN1.SGM 11MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 11, 2005 / Notices preferred alternative will be further refined as necessary, and the Final EIS will be prepared. Issued on: May 5, 2005. Robert C. Patrick, FTA Regional Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–9389 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [U.S. DOT Docket Number NHTSA–2005– 21068] Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping Requirements National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Request for public comment on an extension for collection of information. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from the public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, Federal agencies must solicit public comment on proposed collections of information, including extensions and reinstatement of previously approved collections. This document describes one collection of information for which NHTSA intends to seek OMB approval. DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 11, 2005. ADDRESSES: Comments must refer to the docket notice numbers cited at the beginning of this notice and be submitted to Docket Management, Room PL–401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Please identify the proposed collection of information for which a comment is provided, by referencing its OMB Control Number. It is requested, but not required, that 2 copies of the comment be provided. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Complete copies of each request for collection of information may be obtained at no charge from Mrs. Johanna Lowrie, NHTSA 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 5311, NVS–111, Washington, DC 20590. Mrs. Lowrie telephone number is (202) 366–5269. Please identify the relevant collection of information by referring to its OMB Control Number. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:48 May 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information. The OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in such a document. Under OMB’s regulation (at 5 CFR 1320.8(d), an agency must ask for public comment on the following: (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g. in submission of responses. In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks for public comments on the following proposed collections of information: Title: Vehicle Information for the General Public. OMB Control Number: 2127–0629. Affected Public: Manufacturers that sell motor vehicles in the United States under 10,000 lbs. Abstract: NHTSA currently collects vehicle information through the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (OVSC) and through the Office of Crashworthiness Standards (OCWS). The information collected by OVSC and OCWS has been useful to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in selecting vehicles for its crash testing programs as well as informing the public of vehicle safety features on the NHTSA Web site (http:// www.safercar.gov). The public is still interested not only in crash test results and other vehicle ratings, but is also interested in information on the benefit and availability of safety features. NHTSA also needs safety feature information when it attempts to analyze petitions for rulemaking asking the agency to mandate certain safety features. Therefore the NCAP is asking SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24859 for an extension of the current Information Collection Request from OCWS (OMB # 2127–0629) ‘‘Vehicle Information for the General Public’’. An example of the type of information we propose to collect includes: Specific advanced frontal air bags information that would include the number if air bag deployment stages; technologies air bag deployment is dependent upon; air bag on/off switch information; child restraint anchorages system information; seat belt information that would include pretensioner, load limiters or other energy management systems for the seat belt, seat belt extenders and adjustable upper belt anchorages; dynamic head restraints; side air bag information that would include where the side air bag is mounted, what type of side bag is mounted and whether the side air bags meet the requirements of the recommendations of the Technical Working Group on Out of Position Occupants (TWG); Automatic Door Lock (ADL) information; Electronic Stability Control (ESC); crash avoidance information, anti-theft devices, and Static Stability Rating (SSF) information. NHTSA will use this information on the NHTSA Web site, in the ‘‘Buying a Safer Car’’ and ‘‘Buying a Safer Car for Child Passengers’’ brochures, other consumer publications, as well as internally for benefit analysis. NHTSA is making this burden easier by sending out formatted electronic files with the information request to facilitate submittal of the data. Estimated Annual Burden: 924 hours. Number of Respondents: 21. Comments are invited on: Whether the extension of the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Issued on: May 6, 2005. Stephen R. Kratzke, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 05–9391 Filed 5–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\11MYN1.SGM 11MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 90 (Wednesday, May 11, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24856-24859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-9389]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Environmental Impact Statement on Transit Improvements in the 
Northwest Corridor to Irving/DFW in Dallas, TX

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS).

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Dallas Area Rapid 
Transit (DART) issue this notice to advise interested agencies and the 
public of their intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) on the proposed Northwest Corridor-Irving/DFW Line Light Rail 
Transit (LRT) Project in Dallas and Irving, Texas. The EIS will be 
prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), as amended.
    The Northwest Corridor-Irving/DFW Line LRT project is the product 
of the Northwest Corridor Major Investment Study (MIS) completed by 
DART in early 2000. The MIS identified a Locally Preferred Investment 
Strategy (LPIS), which included a light rail element with two service 
lines, the Carrollton Line and the Irving/DFW Line. An EIS evaluating 
alternatives for the Carrollton Line has been completed, and FTA issued 
a Record of Decision on this portion of the LPIS on February 5, 2004.
    The identified primary travel need for the Northwest Corridor-
Irving/DFW Line LRT is to serve the general northwest-southeast travel 
pattern along the Interstate Highway (IH) 35E/State Highway (SH) 114 
corridor from downtown Dallas into North Irving. The LPIS alignment 
addressed this need with an alignment that generally parallels SH 114 
through north Irving before terminating on the north side of SH 114, 
west of Beltline Road.
    After adoption of the LPIS, significant changes in land use and 
transportation patterns have occurred in the Irving/DFW Corridor. 
Subsequent analyses by DART for the Irving/DFW Corridor have resulted 
in a refinement to the LPIS alignment. The refined alignment also 
addresses the primary travel need with an alignment that runs parallel 
but south of SH 114 through north Irving. Both of these ``Build'' 
alternatives will be fully evaluated in the EIS.

DATES: Comment due date: Written comments on the scope of the EIS, 
including the alternatives and impacts to be considered, should be sent 
to John Hoppie, Project Manager by July 1, 2005. See ADDRESSES below.
    Scoping Meeting: A Public Scoping Meeting will be held June 29, 
2005, at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Dallas--Haggar University 
Center, 1845 E. Northgate Drive, Irving, Texas. The meeting will be 
accessible to persons with disabilities. Individuals requiring special 
assistance to participate fully, such as a translator or sign-language 
interpreter, should notify DART in advance as indicated under ADDRESSES 
below.
    Interagency Coordination Meeting: DART will invite all federal, 
state and local agencies with a possible interest in any aspect of the 
proposed project or its impacts to an interagency coordination meeting 
and will provide scoping materials to these agencies prior to that 
meeting. The likely cooperating agencies include the Federal Aviation 
Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, and North 
Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to John Hoppie, Project 
Manager, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, P.O Box 660163, Dallas, Texas 
75266-7213.

[[Page 24857]]

Telephone: 214-749-2525. Fax: 214-749-3670. E-mail: jhoppie@dart.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Sweek, Community Planner, Federal 
Transit Administration, Region VI; phone: (817) 978-0550.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Scoping

    FTA and DART invite interested individuals, organizations, 
businesses and federal, state and local agencies to participate in 
determining the scope of the EIS on the Irving/DFW Line, including 
alternative alignments and station locations. Comments should focus on 
suggesting alternatives that may be less costly or have fewer 
environmental impacts while achieving similar transportation 
objectives, or on identifying any significant social, economic, or 
environmental issues related to the alternatives under consideration. 
Specific suggestions on additional alternatives to be examined and 
issues to be addressed are welcome and will be considered in the 
development in the final study scope. Scoping comments may be made 
orally or in writing not later than July 1, 2005. See DATES and 
ADDRESSES above. Additional information on the EIS process, the 
alternatives and anticipated impact issues is contained in a ``Scoping 
Information Document''. Copies of the scoping document are available 
from DART. See DATES and ADDRESSES above. In addition, a project 
website has been established to provide scoping and other information 
at http://www.dart.org/nwdfwcorridor.asp.

II. Description of the Study Area and Project Need

    The Northwest Corridor Study Area covered in the MIS includes a 
large part of northwest Dallas County. It extends from downtown Dallas 
on the south, to SH 121 on the west and north, to east of Marsh Lane 
and IH-35E on the east. The LPIS adopted on the basis of the MIS 
includes two rail lines, the Carrollton Line and the Irving/DFW Line. 
Each of the two rail lines has independent utility in meeting the 
transportation needs of the study area. The Carrollton Line is 
advancing toward implementation. The Irving/DFW Line is the subject of 
this notice. The MIS that resulted in the proposed Irving DFW Line is 
available online at http://www.dart.org/nwdfwcorridor.asp. The MIS is 
also available for inspection at DART offices by contacting John Hoppie 
as indicated in ADDRESSES above.
    The Irving/DFW Line and its associated stations provide the 
opportunity to serve several important regional activity centers. The 
proposed rail line will also provide numerous opportunities to 
interconnect the region's transit services, including DART's expanding 
LRT system, the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail operation, and 
DART's local and express bus service.
    Regional growth has added significantly to the corridor's 
congestion, especially employment growth in Dallas County, and 
population growth in northern Dallas, Northeast Tarrant, and Denton 
Counties. According to findings of the MIS, in 2020 the northwest 
quadrant of Dallas County will account for 33.6 percent of employment 
in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth region. While only 6.4 percent of the 
region's land area, the study area is a large net importer of 
employees. In 1995, jobs outnumbered population by over 200,000. In 
2020, the surplus of jobs over population is expected to grow to more 
than 336,000. Demographic information will be updated by the North 
Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) during the preparation of 
the EIS.
    Land use in the corridor consists of a major concentration of 
employment near the Las Colinas Urban Center with residential uses 
occurring west and south of SH 114. Traffic volumes along SH 114 are 
expected to increase significantly in future years. The EPA designated 
the nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth region as a moderate non-attainment 
area for the pollutant ozone under the 8-hour standard in April 2004.
    The proposed LRT project is part of multi-modal strategy that also 
incorporates bus service refinements, highway and HOV lane 
improvements, TSM and TDM strategies, and bicycle and pedestrian 
improvements. This strategy was developed during the preparation of the 
Northwest Corridor MIS completed by DART in early 2000.

III. Alternatives

    The transportation alternatives proposed for consideration in this 
project area include:
    No-Build Alternative--The future No-Build Alternative is the 
transit system that will result in the design year (2030) if the 
project is not pursued. It consists of all transportation projects 
included in the adopted NCTCOG plan outside the study corridor, and 
normal growth in bus service inside the corridor, consistent with 
exiting transit service policies.
    MIS Build Alternative--The original MIS Build Alternative project 
consisted of an LRT Line of approximately 13.2 miles. The alignment 
began at the junction with the Carrollton LRT Line north of the Bachman 
LRT Station and extended southwest on aerial structure over IH-35E and 
the Elm Fork of the Trinity River parallel to Spur 482. Near the 
Central Freight property and Texas Stadium parking lots, the alignment 
turned to the northwest, returned to grade and then elevated to aerial 
structure to cross over Loop 12, SH 114 and Tom Braniff Drive, landing 
on the south side of SH 114 and returning to grade. The alignment 
continued at-grade along the south side of SH 114, and then crossed 
over both the BNSF RR and SH 114 to enter the Las Colinas Urban Center 
area. The alignment continued at-grade through the Las Colinas Urban 
Center in the median of Lake Carolyn Parkway. The alignment then became 
aerial to cross over Northwest Highway. South of Colwell Boulevard the 
alignment became at-grade and paralleled Las Colinas Boulevard for a 
short distance until it turned northward. Adjacent to Royal Lane the 
alignment turned westerly and crossed over MacArthur Boulevard on 
aerial structure. Returning to grade, the route continued northwest to 
the north end of DFW airport with grade separations at SH 161, SH 114, 
Beltline Road and International Parkway. Seven stations were proposed 
within the MIS alignment: University of Dallas, South Las Colinas, 
North Urban Center, Royal Lane, SH 161, Belt Line Road, and DFW North. 
The University of Dallas station was located south of SH 114. The South 
Las Colinas Station was proposed in at the south end of the Las Colinas 
Urban Center, and another station was proposed in the North Urban 
Center near Northwest Highway. The Royal station was proposed south of 
Royal before the alignment turned to the west. Another Station was 
proposed near the junction SH 161 and SH 114. The sixth station was 
located near Beltline Road and the terminus station was located at the 
north end of DFW Airport.
    Refined Build Alternative--The proposed project for environmental 
review consists of an LRT Line of approximately 9.5 miles. The LRT 
alignment begins at its junction with the Carrollton LRT Line north of 
the Bachman LRT Station and extends southwest on aerial structure over 
IH-35E and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River parallel to Spur 482. Near 
the Central Freight property and Texas Stadium parking lots, the 
alignment turns to the northwest, returns to grade and crosses under 
Loop 12 on the north side of SH 114. The alignment continues along the 
north side of SH 114 and crosses under the BNSF RR to enter the

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Las Colinas Urban Center area. The alignment continues at-grade through 
the Las Colinas Urban Center in the median of Lake Carolyn Parkway. 
From the Urban Center, the proposed alignment crosses west over SH 114 
and returns to grade north of Hidden Ridge Drive. The alignment turns 
south, then west with potential grade separations at Hidden Ridge 
Drive, MacArthur Boulevard and Walnut Hill Lane. Near Walnut Hill Lane 
the alignment enters into right-of-way that has been preserved for rail 
access into DFW International Airport. Entering onto airport property, 
the alignment crosses over SH 114 and Beltline Road before returning 
grade at the terminus station.
    Station Locations: Six stations are proposed within the Irving/DFW 
corridor: University of Dallas, South Las Colinas, North Urban Center, 
Hidden Ridge, North Lake College, and Belt Line Road. The University of 
Dallas station is located between the main lanes and service road of 
westbound SH 114 south of Tom Braniff Drive. The at-grade South Las 
Colinas Station is proposed in at the south end of the Las Colinas 
Urban Center, and another at-grade station is proposed in the North 
Urban Center near Northwest Highway and SH 114. The Hidden Ridge Drive 
station is proposed to serve the large corporate complexes in the area 
west of SH 114. A station is located north of the campus to serve North 
Lake College and the surrounding area. The terminus station is proposed 
near Belt Line Road. Alignment and station options will be explored 
further during scoping.
    Segmentation Analysis: Airport access options extending from Belt 
Line Road to the DFW Central Terminal Area will continue to be studied 
and evaluated separately by DART, DFW Airport, and others, but are not 
proposed to be part of this EIS. Airport access by rail was the subject 
of the DFW International Airport Rail Planning and Implementation Study 
(NCTCOG, 2002). This study identified several LRT options that could 
pivot of the proposed terminus of the Refined Build Alternative to 
serve the Central Terminal Area of DFW Airport.
    As DART explored serving the core of DFW Airport as part of this 
project it became apparent that there were many unresolved issues 
regarding airport access. As a result there is a growing number of 
alignment alternatives to serve DFW. Each of these alternatives 
terminates at one of several proposed locations. Also DFW is planning 
terminal and taxiway expansions that could potentially impact the DART 
project.
    As a result of a multi-agency coordination meeting that included 
the North Central Texas Council of Governments, FTA, FAA, DFW Airport, 
The-T, DCTA and DART it was decided that it would be prudent exclude 
airport access as part of this EIS. This would allow DART the 
opportunity to advance the Refined Build Alternative which vital 
component of DART's Transit System Plan while resolving the numerous 
complex issues associated with serving the Core area of DFW Airport.
    FTA and DART have determined that terminating the project evaluated 
in this EIS at Belt Line Road is appropriate. As described below, the 
Refined Build Alternative and a future alignment that would serve the 
Central Terminus Area of DFW airport have independent utility.
     Refined Build Alternative--The Northwest Corridor to 
Irving is a 9.5-mile corridor serving the City of Irving. Major 
destinations along the corridor include: the University of Dallas, the 
Las Colinas Urban Center (one of the largest employment centers in the 
region), North Lake Community College and several planned developments. 
In addition the corridor will serve many residential communities in the 
City of Irving as well as other commuters who regularly use the State 
Highway 114 corridor.
     Future Rail Service to the Central Terminus Area of DFW 
International Airport--Depending on the selected alignment this will be 
a 3 to 6 mile independent project that would provide rail access to DFW 
airport from the entire DART LRT System. It will also provide an 
interface between DART and The-T and DCTA.
    Additional Alternatives--Any additional alternatives that emerge 
during scoping, that reasonably address the project's purpose and need, 
and that have not been previously evaluated, will be considered.

IV. Probable Effects

    The FTA and DART will evaluate all significant environmental, 
social, and economic impacts of the alternatives analyzed in the EIS. 
Impact areas to be addressed include: Land use, zoning, and economic 
development; secondary developments; land acquisition, displacements, 
and relocation of existing uses; cultural resource impacts including 
impacts on historical and archaeological resources and parklands/
recreational areas; visual and aesthetic qualities; neighborhood 
compatibility; environmental justice; natural resource impacts 
including air quality, wetlands, water resources, and wildlife; noise 
and vibration; hazardous materials; energy; safety and security; 
utilities; traffic and transportation impacts and airport operations. 
Potential impacts will be addressed for the long-term operation of each 
alternative and the short-term construction period. Measures to avoid, 
minimize, or mitigate all adverse impacts will be identified, 
evaluated, and adopted as appropriate.

V. FTA Procedures

    In accordance with FHWA/FTA guidance on linking the planning and 
NEPA processes at http://www.environment.fta.dot.gov/streamlining/lpn_
guidance.htm, the results of the Northwest Corridor Major Investment 
Study (DART, 2000), The DFW International Airport Rail Planning and 
Implementation Study (NCTCOG, 2002), and the Northwest Corridor to 
Irving/DFW Scoping Information Document (DART, 2005) will be 
scrutinized during scoping, and incorporated by reference into the EIS, 
as appropriate. All documents pertaining to this study are available on 
line at http://www.dart.org/nwdfwcorridor.asp. In addition, information 
regarding DART's ongoing System Planning effort can be found at http://
www.dart.org/transitsystemplan2030.asp.
    The MIS and the DFW International Airport Rail Planning and 
Implementation Study are expected to contribute to the statement of the 
project's purpose and need, and to the evaluation of transportation 
systems management alternatives. The impacts of each alternative will 
be assessed, and, if necessary, the alternative will be revised or 
additional alternatives will be developed to avoid, minimize, and 
mitigate any adverse impacts.
    In accordance with FTA policy, all Federal environmental laws, 
regulations, and executive orders affecting project development, 
including but not limited to the regulations of the Council on 
Environmental Quality implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508, the 
joint FHWA/FTA environmental regulations (23 CFR part 771), the 
project-level conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act, Section 404 
of the Clean Water Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the 
Endangered Species Act, Section 4(f) of the DOT Act, etc. will be 
addressed to the maximum extent practicable during the NEPA process.
    After its publication, the Draft EIS will be available for public 
review and comment. One or more public hearings will be held during the 
Draft EIS public comment period. On the basis of the Draft EIS and 
comments received, the

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preferred alternative will be further refined as necessary, and the 
Final EIS will be prepared.

    Issued on: May 5, 2005.
Robert C. Patrick,
FTA Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-9389 Filed 5-10-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P