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Environmental Impact Statement: Dane County, WI

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Environmental Impact Statement: Dane County, WI

Johnny M. Gerbitz
Federal Highway Administration
August 6, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 151 (Monday, August 6, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46790-46791]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19090]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Environmental Impact Statement: Dane County, WI

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this NOI is to update the notice issued in the 
Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 112, Monday, June 12, 2006, Notices. The 
FHWA and WisDOT are updating this notice to advise the public that an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is continuing to be prepared for 
proposed transportation improvements on the United States Highway (US) 
51 corridor in the Madison Urban Area, Dane County, Wisconsin. The 
general location is between U.S. 12/18 (Madison South Beltline Highway) 
and Wisconsin State Highway (WIS) 19. The EIS is being prepared in 
conformance with 40 CFR 1500 and FHWA regulations. The NOI is being 
updated to reflect the current status of the environmental study, 
changes in contact information, and significant coordination efforts 
etc that have been completed since the revised NOI was issued in June 
2006.
    The project was placed on ``Hold'' by the WisDOT in the Summer of 
2010 because it was determined the type and cost of the improvements 
being considered met the revised definition of a WisDOT ``Major 
Project'' requiring approval by the Wisconsin Legislature's 
Transportation Projects Commission (TPC). In November 2011, the TPC 
approved the EIS study for the project as part of WisDOT's Majors 
Program, and efforts to continue with the EIS study were initiated in 
April 2012. The Project limits, Purpose & Need, and Range of 
Alternatives being evaluated have not changed

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Johnny Gerbitz, Field Operations 
Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, 525 Junction Rd, Suite 8000, 
Madison, Wisconsin, 53717-2157, Telephone: (608) 829-7500. You may also 
contact Rebecca Burkel, Director, Bureau of Technical Services, 
Wisconsin Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 7965, Madison, 
Wisconsin, 53707-7965: Telephone: (608) 516-6336.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded by using a 
computer, modem and suitable

[[Page 46791]]

communications software from the Government Printing Offices' 
Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. Internet users may 
reach the Office of Federal Register's home page at: http://www.archives.gov/and the Government Printing Offices' database at: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

Background

    The FHWA, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of 
Transportation, is continuing to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) on proposed improvements to address safety, operational 
and capacity concerns on an approximate 11-mile (17-kilometer) portion 
of U.S. 51 between Terminal Drive/Voges Road (Village of McFarland) and 
WIS 19 (Village of DeForest) in Dane County. These improvements are 
being considered to address existing and future transportation demand 
on U.S. 51 as identified in the 2003 Stoughton Road Needs Assessment 
Technical Report; safety and operational concerns documented in the 
2010 Traffic, Safety and Needs Report; and to identify land which may 
need to be preserved for future transportation improvements.
    FHWA's decision to prepare an EIS is based on the initial 
environmental assessment that indicates the proposed action is likely 
to have significant impacts on the environment, including wetlands. The 
EIS will evaluate the social, economic, and environmental impacts of 
the alternatives including no build, improvements within the existing 
highway corridor, and possible improvements on new location.
    Information describing the proposed action and soliciting comments 
has been sent to appropriate Federal, State, and Local agencies, 
American Indian Tribes, private agencies and organizations, and 
citizens who have expressed or are known to have an interest in this 
proposal. Coordination will continue to be solicited through public 
information meetings, agency coordination meetings, and other meetings 
with interested parties throughout the environmental analysis process
    During the Needs Assessment activities, coordination was conducted 
with State and Federal review agencies, and there was extensive 
coordination with Local Officials. Several ongoing focus group meetings 
and workshops have been held since 2002. A Policy Advisory Committee 
(PAC) consisting of neighborhood & business representatives and elected 
officials has met periodically when their input on new information 
seems appropriate since the study began in 2002. A Technical Advisory 
Committee (TAC) comprised of technical staff from Local, State, and 
Federal agencies with stakeholder interests has also been actively 
involved in the development of alternatives and their impacts since 
2004. A Pre-Consultation/NEPA 404 Merger Scoping Meeting was held with 
State and Federal agencies in April 2005. Later, the project Purpose 
and Need (NEPA/404 Concurrence Point 1) and the Range of 
Alternatives (NEPA/404 Concurrence Point 2) were also 
concurred in by State and Federal resource agencies in 2005. The 
expanded coordination procedures provided under Section 6002 of the 
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A 
Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) as codified in 23 U.S.C. 139 were 
implemented in 2007. Opportunities to be a Participating and/or 
Cooperating Agency and to provide input on the project's Coordination 
Plan (CP) and Impact Assessment Methodology (IAM) were afforded to all 
Local, State, and Federal agencies and American Indian Tribes with 
interest in the project area. Public input was obtained on the draft 
project CP and IAM plan at the October 2007 Public Information Meeting 
(PIM). The completed project CP and IAM plan was issued in October 
2008. A follow-up Agency Coordination Meeting and PIM are planned for 
2012 in order to update all interested parties on the current status of 
the EIS study and the issuance of an updated CP and IAM plan.
    Two PIMs were held in 2006 and 2007 before the project was placed 
on ``hold'' by the WisDOT. At least two additional PIMs are planned 
while the Draft EIS is being written in order to up-date the public on 
the current status of the EIS study and to obtain additional public 
input. Following completion and publishing of the Draft EIS, a Public 
Hearing will be held to address the impacts of each alternative. Public 
notices will be given announcing the time and place of the meetings, 
and the Draft EIS will be available for public and agency review and 
comment prior to the Public Hearing. After the Draft EIS is circulated 
for comment, and comments from the Public Hearing are evaluated, the 
State and Federal resource agencies will be asked to concur in the 
Preferred Alternative selected by WisDOT (NEPA/404 Concurrence Point 
3). Information on the Preferred Alternative, anticipated 
impacts, and proposed mitigation measures are also be planned to be 
shared with the public at another PIM before the Final EIS is published 
and distributed. Any additional substantive comments received on the 
Final EIS will be addressed in the Record of Decision (ROD).
    This study shall comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and 
of Executive Order 12898, which prohibits discrimination on the basis 
of race, color, age, sex, or country of national origin in the 
implementation of this action. To ensure that the full range of issues 
related to this proposed action is addressed, and all substantive 
issues are identified, comments and suggestions are invited from all 
interested parties.
    In order to ensure that the full range of issues related to this 
proposed action is addressed, and all substantive issues are 
identified, comments and suggestions are invited from all interested 
parties. Comments or questions concerning this proposed action and the 
draft EIS should be directed to FHWA or the Wisconsin Department of 
Transportation at the addresses provided under the heading FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, 
Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing 
Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on 
Federal programs and activities apply to this program).


    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 315; 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on: August 1, 2012.
Johnny M. Gerbitz,
Field Operations Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, Madison, 
Wisconsin.
[FR Doc. 2012-19090 Filed 8-3-12; 8:45 am]
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