NEWS RELEASE: California Issues First NEPA Action: Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Central Valley Wye

Sep 11 2019 | Sacramento

Taking the first significant action under NEPA Assignment, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is releasing a draft supplemental environmental impact statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) entitled “Merced to Fresno Section: Central Valley Wye Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement” (referred to below as “Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS”). The Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS is available for a 45-day NEPA review and public comment period beginning Friday, September 13, 2019 through Monday, October 28, 2019. The next action under NEPA assignment will occur with the issuance of the Record of Decision for the EIS for the Bakersfield Locally Generated Alternative in October.

The Authority is issuing this document under NEPA pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective as of July 23, 2019, between the State of California and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under a program commonly known as NEPA assignment (the MOU assigned FRA’s responsibilities for the project to the State of California).

The Authority completed the public review of the Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in May and June 2019 and is now releasing the same document for NEPA public review. The Authority will respond to comments received during this present NEPA review period at the same time as it responds to comments that were received in May and June in response to the comment period conducted under the CEQA. The Authority will respond to comments received during both the NEPA and CEQA comment periods in a Final Supplemental EIR/EIS, planned for issuance in 2020.

This document supplements the 2012 Final EIR/EIS for the Merced to Fresno Project Section and is focused on the Central Valley Wye portion of the alignment that would create the east-west connection between the San Jose to Merced Section to the west and the approved Merced to Fresno alignment. The 2012 Final EIR/EIS identified the Hybrid Alternative as the preferred alternative for the north/south alignment of the high-speed rail, but did not select a preferred alternative for the Central Valley Wye.

The Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS provides a detailed environmental impact analysis of the Central Valley Wye between the cities of Merced and Madera and evaluates four alternatives: State Route (SR) 152 (North) to Road 13 Wye, SR 152 (North) to Road 19 Wye, Avenue 21 to Road 13 Wye, and SR 152 (North) to Road 11 Wye.

There are several ways to submit a NEPA comment regarding the Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS for the Merced to Fresno Project Section including:

  • Online via the Authority’s website (www.hsr.ca.gov)
  • Via email at CentralValley.Wye@hsr.ca.gov with the subject line “Merced to Fresno Section: Central Valley Wye Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS Comment.”
  • Mail your comment to:

Attn: Merced to Fresno Section: Central Valley Wye Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS
California High-Speed Rail Authority
770 L Street, Suite 620 MS-1

• A Public Hearing will be offered to receive public comments.

Public Hearing
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Chowchilla-Madera Fairgrounds Little Theatre
1000 S. Third Street
Chowchilla, CA 93610

Verbal and written comments received during the public comment period will be reviewed and will be addressed in the Final Supplemental EIR/EIS document.

To view the contents of the Draft Supplemental EIR/EIS, please visit: http://hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Environmental_Planning/draft_supplemental_merced_fresno.html

Materials from the 2012 Final EIR/EIS for the Merced to Fresno Project Section can be reviewed or requested at:
http://hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Environmental_Planning/final_merced_fresno.html

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Contact

Toni Tinoco
559-445-6776 (w)
559-274-8975 (c)
Toni.Tinoco@hsr.ca.gov

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