National Park Service September 22, 2010 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment and Scoping; President's Park South Security Re-Design and Landscaping Preservation and Permanent Closure of E Street, the Ellipse Roadways, South Executive Avenue, State Place and West South Executive Avenue, and Hamilton Place and East South Executive Avenue, to Unauthorized Vehicular Use
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321, (NEPA), and applicable regulations and policies, the National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Secret Service (USSS), as joint lead agencies, are preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA will aid the USSS in deciding whether to permanently close E Street, South Executive Avenue, and the Ellipse roadways within President's Park South to unauthorized vehicular traffic, and State Place and West South Executive Avenue and adjacent sidewalks (contiguous to First Division Monument) and Hamilton Place and East South Executive Avenue and adjacent sidewalks (contiguous to Sherman Park) to unauthorized vehicular and unauthorized pedestrian traffic. The EA will further inform the USSS as it considers replacing existing security elements in the area, such as jersey barriers, provisional guard booths, canopy tents, bike rack, concrete planters and standing canine vehicles. These security elements, while effective, are visually unattractive and may detract from the iconic and historic nature of the area. The USSS would seek to install security elements that are both durable and more aesthetic at the vehicle checkpoints and along the street closures. The NPS will utilize the EA to assist in its consideration of landscape and infrastructure changes to President's Park South that respond to USSS security requirements and conform to the area's historic features, its iconic status and popularity as a visitor destination. The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) is a cooperating agency in this EA and is assisting in the development of potential alternatives by holding a limited competition for design concepts that integrate USSS security requirements and NPS cultural landscape preservation policies and guidelines. Other government agencies are invited to serve as cooperating agencies. Interested agencies are asked to contact the Office of the National Park Service Liaison to the White House at (202) 619-6344 at the NPS as early as possible in this process. Compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), including NHPA Section 106, and other laws and requirements, will be coordinated with this EA process, and government agencies that are affected by the proposed actions or have special expertise will be consulted, whether or not they are cooperating agencies. This notice also serves as an announcement of scoping on both proposed actions, and comments are sought from the public, government agencies and other interested persons and organizations. Scoping is used to gain insight into the issues to be addressed and to identify other significant issues related to the proposed actions. For comments to be most helpful to the scoping process, they must be received within 45 days of this notice. During scoping, a public meeting will be held to present information and obtain input from attendees. The NPS and USSS will describe the proposed actions and how the planning will be conducted, and NCPC will describe the design concepts competition it is conducting. All comments submitted during scoping, including at the meeting, will be considered by both the NPS and USSS. The date for the public meeting will be announced through the news media and through the National Park Service's Planning, Environment and Public Comment Web site. [When the meeting date is announced, if you require additional information or special assistance to attend and participate in this meeting, please contact the Office of the National Park Service Liaison to the White House at (202) 619-6344.] There is always the possibility that the NPS and USSS might proceed to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed actions instead of an EA. If this occurs, comments submitted now will be considered for any EIS that is developed.