Environmental Impact Statement for Dallas-Houston High Speed Passenger Rail Corridor, 36123-36124 [2014-14771]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 122 / Wednesday, June 25, 2014 / Notices was designed in a highly safe manner and was sufficiently tested to verify that fact. FRA approved the use of TrackAccess in autonomous mode for ATN. The railroads assert that since their RSPPs and PSPs contain the same programmatic and technical information as the FRA-approved ATN RSPP Revision 1 and PSP Revision 1, including autonomous TrackAccess operations, these railroads should also be allowed to use TrackAccess in an autonomous mode. Copies of the petitions, as well as any written communications concerning the petitions, are available for review online at www.regulations.gov and in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Docket Operations Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Operations Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested party desires an opportunity for oral comment, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Web site: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Communications received by August 11, 2014 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered as far as practicable. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). See https:// www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:01 Jun 24, 2014 Jkt 232001 or interested parties may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477). Issued in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2014. Ron Hynes, Director, Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance. [FR Doc. 2014–14827 Filed 6–24–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Environmental Impact Statement for Dallas—Houston High Speed Passenger Rail Corridor Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). AGENCY: FRA is issuing this notice to advise the public that FRA and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) intend to prepare an EIS pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for the impacts of constructing and operating a dedicated high-speed rail (HSR) system (Proposed Action) proposed by the private company, Texas Central HighSpeed Railway (TCR), for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor. The EIS will evaluate route alternatives for passenger rail for the corridor between Dallas and Houston, which currently has no passenger rail service. FRA will evaluate alternatives for construction and operation of the Proposed Action consisting of a sealed HSR corridor. DATES: FRA invites the public, governmental agencies, and all other interested parties to comment on the scope of the EIS. All such comments should be provided in writing, within ninety (90) days of the publication of this notice, at the address listed below. Comments may also be provided orally or in writing at the scoping meetings. Scoping meeting dates, times and locations, in addition to related information about the EIS for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor can be found online at https:// www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0700. ADDRESSES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS may be mailed or emailed within ninety (90) days of the publication of this notice to Michael Johnsen, Lead Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Railroad Policy and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00136 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36123 Avenue SE., MS–20, Washington, DC 20590, or michael.johnsen@dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Johnsen, Lead Environmental Protection Specialist at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., MS–20, Washington, DC 20590, telephone (202) 493–1310, email: Michael.johnsen@dot.gov, or Melissa Neeley, Director of Project Delivery Management, Environmental Affairs Division of the Texas Department of Transportation, 118 E. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704. Telephone (512) 416– 3014, email: Melissa.Neeley@txdot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The EIS will be prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing NEPA and the FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts as set forth in 64 FR 28545, dated May 26, 1999 (Environmental Procedures). The EIS will also address Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49 U.S.C. 303), Executive Order 12898 and USDOT Order 5610.2(a) on Environmental Justice and other applicable Federal and state laws and regulations. The EIS will address environmental impact issues of concern and will include: • Describing the purpose and need for the Proposed Action. • Describing the environment likely to be affected by the Proposed Action. • Identifying the reasonable alternatives that satisfy the purpose and need for the Proposed Action. • Describing the no-build or no-action alternative to serve as a baseline for comparison. • Describing the potential environmental impacts associated with the reasonable alternatives and mitigation to address significant impacts. FRA, in cooperation with TxDOT will prepare the EIS for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor. The Proposed Action would connect Dallas and Houston with a dedicated HSR system and establish connectivity with other transportation services in Houston and Dallas. As part of the EIS, the impacts of various alternative HSR route alignments will be analyzed including shared corridors with other existing linear infrastructure corridors such as railroads, roads, and electric utility lines. The HSR system would be dedicated and would not share track or infrastructure with existing trains and rail lines. In addition, the EIS will analyze the potential impacts of E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 36124 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 122 / Wednesday, June 25, 2014 / Notices stations, power facilities, and maintenance facilities to support HSR operations. TCR is a Texas-based company formed in 2009 to bring HSR to Texas as a private-sector venture. Working closely with Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), TCR proposes the deployment of JRC’s N700–I Bullet System based on the world’s safest, most reliable, lowest emission, electricpowered, HSR systems, called the Tokaido Shinkansen System (Shinkansen). Developed and operated by JRC and the former Japan National Railways, the Shinkansen has operated safely for almost 50 years and carries over 400,000 daily passengers. The most current generation Shinkansen train, the N700, runs at speeds up to 186 miles per hour. The EIS will describe an analysis of HSR alternatives in the study area and evaluate the environmental impacts of reasonable alternatives using a combination of Geographic Information System (GIS) data, field investigations and site visits/sampling where necessary. The primary environmental resources located within the study area that may be affected are: agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial properties; streams and floodplains; wetlands and wildlife habitat; and open space. FRA and TxDOT will work with TCR to develop alternatives that avoid and minimize impacts to these resources, as well as cultural resources and protected lands. Minimization and mitigation measures will be identified within the EIS where appropriate. In accordance with the NEPA, the FRA and TxDOT invite comments and suggestions regarding the scope of the EIS from all interested parties to ensure that all issues are addressed related to this proposal and any significant impacts are identified. Letters describing the EIS and soliciting comments will be sent to appropriate federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and private organizations who might have previously expressed or who are known to have an interest in the Proposed Action. Federal agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to potential environmental issues will be requested to act as a Cooperating Agency in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.16. TxDOT will lead the outreach activities beginning with scoping meetings (dates to be determined). Public involvement initiatives including public meetings, project Web site, and outreach will continue throughout the EIS process. Opportunities for public participation will be announced through VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:01 Jun 24, 2014 Jkt 232001 mailings, notices, advertisements, press releases and an EIS Web page, accessible at https://www.fra.dot.gov/ Page/P0700. One or more public hearings will be held after the Draft EIS is released and made available for public and agency review. Public notice will be given for the time and place of public hearings. Comments or questions concerning this Proposed Action and the scope of the EIS are invited from all interested parties and should be directed to the FRA at the address provided above. Authority: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.) Issued in Washington, DC, on June 19, 2014. Michael M. Johnsen, Acting Division Chief, Environment and Systems Planning. [FR Doc. 2014–14771 Filed 6–24–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2011–0093] Petition for Waiver of Compliance In accordance with part 211 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this document provides the public notice that by a letter dated May 14, 2014, Peninsula Terminal Railway (PT) has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for an extension of its waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal hours of service laws contained at 49 U.S.C. 21103(a)(4). FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2011–0093. In its petition, PT seeks relief from 49 U.S.C. 21103(a)(4) that in part requires a train employee to receive 48 hours off duty after initiating an on-duty period for 6 consecutive days. Specifically, PT seeks a waiver to allow a train employee to initiate an on-duty period, each day, for 6 consecutive days followed by 24 hours off duty. In support of its request, PT explained that it has five train and engine service employees covered by the waiver, and these employees have set hours, set days off, and do not lay over at away-from-home locations. PT provided work schedules for the employees covered by the waiver, which shows them working Monday through Friday, reporting at 7:00 a.m., and working an average of 8 hours, with a crew occasionally working on Sunday for 4 hours or less. PT also explained that all employees covered by the waiver work well below the Federal 276-hour monthly limit. Finally, PT PO 00000 Frm 00137 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 stated that all employees covered by the waiver were provided information about the waiver extension petition, and that there were no objections to the waiver extension by these employees. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov and in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Docket Operations Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Operations Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested party desires an opportunity for oral comment, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Web site: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Communications received by August 11, 2014 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered as far as practicable. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). See https:// www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov or interested parties may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477). E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 122 (Wednesday, June 25, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36123-36124]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14771]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration


Environmental Impact Statement for Dallas--Houston High Speed 
Passenger Rail Corridor

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

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

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FRA is issuing this notice to advise the public that FRA and 
the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) intend to prepare an EIS 
pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for 
the impacts of constructing and operating a dedicated high-speed rail 
(HSR) system (Proposed Action) proposed by the private company, Texas 
Central High-Speed Railway (TCR), for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail 
Corridor. The EIS will evaluate route alternatives for passenger rail 
for the corridor between Dallas and Houston, which currently has no 
passenger rail service. FRA will evaluate alternatives for construction 
and operation of the Proposed Action consisting of a sealed HSR 
corridor.

DATES: FRA invites the public, governmental agencies, and all other 
interested parties to comment on the scope of the EIS. All such 
comments should be provided in writing, within ninety (90) days of the 
publication of this notice, at the address listed below. Comments may 
also be provided orally or in writing at the scoping meetings. Scoping 
meeting dates, times and locations, in addition to related information 
about the EIS for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor can be 
found online at https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0700.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the scope of the EIS may be mailed or 
emailed within ninety (90) days of the publication of this notice to 
Michael Johnsen, Lead Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of 
Railroad Policy and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., MS-20, Washington, DC 20590, or 
michael.johnsen@dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Johnsen, Lead Environmental 
Protection Specialist at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., MS-20, Washington, 
DC 20590, telephone (202) 493-1310, email: Michael.johnsen@dot.gov, or 
Melissa Neeley, Director of Project Delivery Management, Environmental 
Affairs Division of the Texas Department of Transportation, 118 E. 
Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704. Telephone (512) 416-3014, email: 
Melissa.Neeley@txdot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The EIS will be prepared in accordance with 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Council on 
Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations implementing NEPA and the FRA's 
Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts as set forth in 64 FR 
28545, dated May 26, 1999 (Environmental Procedures). The EIS will also 
address Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 
4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49 U.S.C. 
303), Executive Order 12898 and USDOT Order 5610.2(a) on Environmental 
Justice and other applicable Federal and state laws and regulations. 
The EIS will address environmental impact issues of concern and will 
include:
     Describing the purpose and need for the Proposed Action.
     Describing the environment likely to be affected by the 
Proposed Action.
     Identifying the reasonable alternatives that satisfy the 
purpose and need for the Proposed Action.
     Describing the no-build or no-action alternative to serve 
as a baseline for comparison.
     Describing the potential environmental impacts associated 
with the reasonable alternatives and mitigation to address significant 
impacts.

FRA, in cooperation with TxDOT will prepare the EIS for the Central 
Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor. The Proposed Action would connect 
Dallas and Houston with a dedicated HSR system and establish 
connectivity with other transportation services in Houston and Dallas. 
As part of the EIS, the impacts of various alternative HSR route 
alignments will be analyzed including shared corridors with other 
existing linear infrastructure corridors such as railroads, roads, and 
electric utility lines. The HSR system would be dedicated and would not 
share track or infrastructure with existing trains and rail lines. In 
addition, the EIS will analyze the potential impacts of

[[Page 36124]]

stations, power facilities, and maintenance facilities to support HSR 
operations.
    TCR is a Texas-based company formed in 2009 to bring HSR to Texas 
as a private-sector venture. Working closely with Central Japan Railway 
Company (JRC), TCR proposes the deployment of JRC's N700-I Bullet 
System based on the world's safest, most reliable, lowest emission, 
electric-powered, HSR systems, called the Tokaido Shinkansen System 
(Shinkansen). Developed and operated by JRC and the former Japan 
National Railways, the Shinkansen has operated safely for almost 50 
years and carries over 400,000 daily passengers. The most current 
generation Shinkansen train, the N700, runs at speeds up to 186 miles 
per hour.
    The EIS will describe an analysis of HSR alternatives in the study 
area and evaluate the environmental impacts of reasonable alternatives 
using a combination of Geographic Information System (GIS) data, field 
investigations and site visits/sampling where necessary. The primary 
environmental resources located within the study area that may be 
affected are: agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial 
properties; streams and floodplains; wetlands and wildlife habitat; and 
open space. FRA and TxDOT will work with TCR to develop alternatives 
that avoid and minimize impacts to these resources, as well as cultural 
resources and protected lands. Minimization and mitigation measures 
will be identified within the EIS where appropriate.
    In accordance with the NEPA, the FRA and TxDOT invite comments and 
suggestions regarding the scope of the EIS from all interested parties 
to ensure that all issues are addressed related to this proposal and 
any significant impacts are identified. Letters describing the EIS and 
soliciting comments will be sent to appropriate federal, state, and 
local agencies, Native American tribes, and private organizations who 
might have previously expressed or who are known to have an interest in 
the Proposed Action. Federal agencies with jurisdiction by law or 
special expertise with respect to potential environmental issues will 
be requested to act as a Cooperating Agency in accordance with 40 CFR 
1501.16.
    TxDOT will lead the outreach activities beginning with scoping 
meetings (dates to be determined). Public involvement initiatives 
including public meetings, project Web site, and outreach will continue 
throughout the EIS process. Opportunities for public participation will 
be announced through mailings, notices, advertisements, press releases 
and an EIS Web page, accessible at https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0700. 
One or more public hearings will be held after the Draft EIS is 
released and made available for public and agency review. Public notice 
will be given for the time and place of public hearings.
    Comments or questions concerning this Proposed Action and the scope 
of the EIS are invited from all interested parties and should be 
directed to the FRA at the address provided above.

    Authority: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.)

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 19, 2014.
Michael M. Johnsen,
Acting Division Chief, Environment and Systems Planning.
[FR Doc. 2014-14771 Filed 6-24-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P