The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District has completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to assist in review of a Department of the Army Permit application submitted on May 8, 2008 by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works (currently known as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, or MassDOT).
MassDOT considered several transportation facilities and corridor alternatives to implement the proposed transit service over a distance of approximately 50 to 60 miles. Transportation modes considered included rail (diesel or electric) and rapid bus. Corridors considered included a rail corridor through Attleboro, Stoughton or Middleborough or a rapid bus service along the Route 24 corridor. MassDOT’s preferred alternative is the Stoughton commuter rail alternative (using electric or diesel powered locomotives) which involves using the active freight rail lines from New Bedford and Fall River to Taunton, then using the inactive rail bed north to Stoughton, then using the active commuter rail tracks to South Station in Boston.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that there is no practicable alternative to the Stoughton Electric alternative which would have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, and also does not have other significant adverse environmental consequences.
This document was prepared with the intent to serve as a Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and NEPA document to comply with the procedural requirements of both state and federal law and serve as a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR). The State's environmental review is being conducted simultaneously with the NEPA process.
This FEIS/FEIR compares the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the alternatives on the natural, cultural and socioeconomic environment, including vernal pools and other wetlands; cultural resources; threatened and endangered species; transportation; air quality, including greenhouse gas emissions; noise and vibration; surface water and groundwater; hydrology and water quality; and socioeconomic effects. Mitigation is proposed to offset or reduce the unavoidable impacts of the alternatives. The FEIS/FEIR also provides responses to the public and agency comments received on the DEIS/DEIR, updated technical analyses conducted subsequent to the DEIS/DEIR, and the compliance of the alternatives with various state and federal environmental regulations.
For more information, please contact the Project Manager, by e-mail or by calling 978-318-8214 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts).