Project Section Environmental Documents

Merced to Fresno: Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/S)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) has prepared the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIR/EIS) for the Merced to Fresno section of the High-Speed Train (HST) project. The Final EIR/EIS has been made available to the public and public agencies pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Authority is the project’s lead agency under CEQA. The FRA is the project’s lead agency under NEPA.

The Authority’s Board of Directors certified the Final EIR/EIS under CEQA on May 3, 2012, at the Fresno Convention Center.  The Board also approved the Hybrid Alternative for the north/south alignment of the high-speed train and the Downtown Merced and Downtown Fresno Mariposa Street station locations, adopted CEQA findings of fact and a statement of overriding considerations, and adopted a mitigation monitoring and reporting program.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) under NEPA on September 18, 2012. Through the Record of Decision, the FRA approved the Hybrid Alternative and Downtown Merced and Downtown Fresno Mariposa Street station locations, consistent with the Authority’s decision in May.

The Final EIR/EIS for the Merced to Fresno section includes the following:

  • Volume I – Report
  • Volume II – Technical Appendices
  • Volume III – Alignment Plans
  • Volume IV – Comments on the Draft EIR/EIS and Responses to Comments

The following documents are available for review, and a full list of documents associated with the Final EIR/EIS are below. Additional documents supporting this EIR/EIS, and materials from the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement, are available upon request. The Authority encourages written requests submitted via our Public Records Portal.

Approval Documents

  • Final Approved Resolution #HSRA 12-19
  • Final Approved Resolution #HSRA 12-20
  • Exhibit A to Resolution #HSRA 12-20 CEQA Findings of Fact and Statement of Overriding Considerations
  • Exhibit A1 to Resolution #HSRA 12-20 Revision to CEQA Findings of Fact and Statement of Overriding Considerations
  • Exhibit B to Resolution #HSRA 12-20 Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program
  • Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program: Revision 1, December 2012
  • Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program: Revision 2, August 2013
  • Mitigation Monitoring and Enforcement Plan: Revision 1, April 2014
  • Categorization of Proposed Mitigations (MMRP Traffic Memo)
  • Notice of Determination (May 4, 2012)
  • FRA Record of Decision (September 18, 2012)
  • FRA Record of Decision Federal Register Notice
  • FRA Record of Decision Appendices
  • FRA Final Air Quality Conformity Determination

Addendum and Errata

  • Addendum 2013-1 to the Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS
  • #1 #2 #9 #10 Addendum to the Merced to Fresno Final Project EIR/EIS
  • #1 #2 #9 #10 Errata to the Merced to Fresno Final Project EIR/EIS
  • #1 #2 #9 #10 Errata to Volume IV of the Merced to Fresno Final Project EIR/EIS
  • #9 – Staff Response to Issues Raised on Merced to Fresno Section Final EIR/EIS

Educational Materials

  • Brochure about the Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS
  • Folleto sobre la versión final del Informe/Declaración de Impacto Ambiental para la sección de Merced a Fresno
  • Executive Summary for the Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS
  • Resumen Ejecutivo de la versión final del Informe/Declaración de Impacto Ambiental para la sección de Merced a Fresno
  • Highlights of the Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS
  • Aspectos Relevantes de la versión final del Informe/Declaración de Impacto Ambiental para la sección de Merced a Fresno

Notices

  • Public Notice for Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS
  • Aviso Público para la versión final del Informe/Declaración de Impacto Ambiental para la sección de Merced a Fresno
  • FRA Federal Register Notice of Availability of Merced to Fresno Final EIR/EIS
  • FRA Federal Register Notice of Availability of Final General Conformity Determination

Volume II - Technical Appendices

  • Cover and Table of Contents
  • 2-A Proposed Roadway Activities Along HST Alternatives
  • 2-B Project Footprint
  • 3.3-A Potential Impact from Induced Winds
  • 3.3-B Draft Federal General Conformity Determination
  • 3.4-A Noise and Vibration Mitigation Guidelines
  • 3.5-A Applicability of Laws, Regulations and Standards for EMI/EMF
  • 3.6-A Water Consumption Technical Memorandum
  • 3.6-B Drawdown Calculations for 35 Gallons per Minute Well in Chowchilla Area
  • 3.6-C Energy Usage Comparison
  • 3.7-A Special-Status Plant and Wildlife Species with Potential to Occur in the Project Vicinity
  • 3.7-B Special Status Plant and Wildlife Species Potentially Affected by the HST Alternatives
  • 3.7-B Special Status Species Data – Exhibit 1
  • 3.8-A Berenda Reservoir Technical Memorandum
  • 3.10-A Potential Impacts on Schools from Hazardous Materials
  • 3.11-A Safety and Security Data
  • 3.11-B Existing and Proposed Railroad Crossings
  • 3.12-A Relocation Assistance Documents
  • 3.12-B Effects on School District Funding and Transportation Bus Routes
  • 3.12-C Children’s Health and Safety Risk Assessment
  • 3.12-D Summary of Issues/Concerns Affecting Schools
  • 3.13-A Land Use Plans, Goals, and Policies
  • 3.13-B Land Use and Communities Technical Memorandum
  • 3.14-A Results and Findings of Land Evaluation and Site Assessment Pursuant to the Farmland Protection Policy Act
  • 3.14-B Impacts on Confined Animal Agriculture Technical Memorandum
  • 3.14-C High-Speed Train Noise Disturbance on Grazing Lands
  • 3.17-A Programmatic Agreement
  • 3.18-A Planning Area Boundaries
  • 3.19-A Planned and Potential Projects and Plans
  • 3.19-B Planned and Potential Transportation Projects
  • 5-A Operations and Service Plan
  • 5-B Operating Cost Memorandum

Volume III - Alignment Plans

  • Section A1: Alignment Plans – UPRR/SR 99 Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section A2: Alignment Plans – UPRR/SR 99 Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section B1: Alignment Plans – UPRR/SR 99 Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section B2: Alignment Plans – UPRR/SR 99 Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section C1: Alignment Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section C2: Alignment Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section D1: Alignment Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section D2: Alignment Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section E1: Alignment Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section E2: Alignment Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section F1: Alignment Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section F2: Alignment Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section G1: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – UPRR/SR 99 with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section G2: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – UPRR/SR 99 with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section H1: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – UPRR/SR 99 with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section H2: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – UPRR/SR 99 with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section I1: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section I2: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section J1: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section J2: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – BNSF Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section K1: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section K2: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 24 Wye
  • Section L1: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section L2: Roadway and Grade Separation Plans – Hybrid Alternative with Ave 21 Wye
  • Section M: Station Plans

Volume IV - Comments and Responses

  • Chapter 15 – 32 Cover and Table of Contents
  • Chapter 15 Introduction
  • Chapter 16 Standard Responses
  • Chapter 17 Response to Comments from Federal Agencies
  • Chapter 18 Response to Comments from State Agencies
  • Chapter 19 Response to Comments from Local Agencies
  • Chapter 20 Response to Comments from Businesses and Organizations
  • Chapter 21 Response to Comments from Individuals A-C
  • Chapter 22 Response to Comments from Individuals D-F
  • Chapter 23 Response to Comments from Individuals G-J
  • Chapter 24 Response to Comments from Individuals K-M
  • Chapter 25 Response to Comments from Individuals N-R
  • Chapter 26 Response to Comments from Individuals S-U
  • Chapter 27 Response to Comments from Individuals V-Y
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 8-23-2011
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 8-24-2011
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 8-25-2011
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 9-14-2011
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 9-15-2011
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 9-20-2011
  • Chapter 28 Response to Comments from Public Meetings and Hearings 9-28-2011
  • Chapter 29 Response to Comments from Federal Agencies Post Comment Period
  • Chapter 30 Response to Comments from State Agencies Post Comment Period
  • Chapter 31 Response to Comments from Local Agencies Post Comment Period
  • Chapter 32 Response to Statewide Comments

Technical Reports

  • Aesthetics and Visual Quality Technical Report
  • Aesthetics and Visual Quality Technical Report Appendix A
  • Aesthetics and Visual Quality Technical Report Appendix B
  • Aesthetics and Visual Quality Technical Report Appendix C
  • Air Quality Technical Report
  • Air Quality Technical Report Appendices A – I
  • Archaeological Survey Report (REDACTED)
  • Archaeological Survey Report Appendix A (REDACTED)
  • Archaeological Survey Report Appendix B
  • Archaeological Survey Report Appendix C (REDACTED)
  • Archaeological Survey Report Appendix D (REDACTED)
  • Archaeological Survey Report Appendix E
  • Biological Assessment (REDACTED)
  • Biological Resources and Wetlands Technical Report (REDACTED)
  • Biological Resources and Wetlands Technical Report Appendices A – F (REDACTED)
  • Capital Cost Estimate Report
  • Community Impact Assessment
  • Geology, Soils, and Seismicity Technical Report
  • Hazardous Materials-Wastes Technical Report
  • Hazardous Materials-Wastes Technical Report Appendix A
  • Hazardous Materials-Wastes Technical Report Appendix B
  • Hazardous Materials-Wastes Technical Report Appendix C
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report Appendix A
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report Appendix B
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report Appendix C
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report Appendix D
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report Appendix E
  • Historic Architectural Survey Report Appendix F
  • Historic Property Survey Report (REDACTED)
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix A-1 (REDACTED)
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix A-2
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix B (REDACTED)
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix C Part 1
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix C Part 2
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix D
  • Historic Property Survey Report Appendix E
  • Hydraulics and Floodplain Technical Report
  • Hydraulics and Floodplain Technical Report Appendices A – C
  • Noise and Vibration Technical Report
  • Noise and Vibration Technical Report Appendices A – D
  • Paleontological Resources Technical Report
  • Ridership and Revenue Model
  • San Joaquin River Crossing Memo
  • Special Status Plants Survey Report (REDACTED)
  • Special Status Plants Survey Report Appendices A – G (REDACTED)
  • Stormwater Management Plan
  • Transportation Technical Report
  • Transportation Technical Report-Appendices A – E
  • Transportation Technical Report-Appendix F Part 1
  • Transportation Technical Report-Appendix F Part 2
  • Wetland Delineation Report (REDACTED)
  • Wetland Delineation Report-Appendices A – K (REDACTED)

Checkpoints

Checkpoint A

Checkpoint B

Checkpoint C

  • Checkpoint C Summary Report Cover Letter
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix A
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix B (REDACTED)
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix C
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix C Permit Attachment
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix D
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix E (unpublished-REDACTED)
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix F
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix G1 (redirect)
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix G2 (redirect)
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix H
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix I
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Appendix J (redirect)
  • Checkpoint C Summary Report-Attachments 1 – 9
  • Checkpoint C Western Madera Alternative Screening Memo Outline
  • Checkpoint C Western Madera Alternative Point 1 Screening Memo
  • Checkpoint C Western Madera Alternative Response
  • Checkpoint C Concurrence Letter-EPA
  • Checkpoint C Concurrence Letter-US Army Corps of Engineers

Brief Explanation of Each Chapter

Volume I – Report

Chapter 1.0, Project Purpose, Need, and Objectives explains why the project is proposed and provides a history of the planning process.

Chapter 2.0, Alternatives, describes the proposed Merced to Fresno section alternatives and design options, HST station options, and heavy maintenance facility options, as well as the No Project Alternative used for purposes of comparison. It contains illustrations and maps and provides a review of construction activities. These first two chapters help the reader understand what is being analyzed in the remainder of the document

Chapter 3.0, Affected Environment, Environmental Consequences, and Mitigation Measures is where the reader can find information about the existing transportation, environmental, and social conditions in the area of the proposed project, and the potential for the proposed HSR project alternatives to adversely impact those conditions, along with methods to reduce these impacts (called mitigation measures).

Chapter 4.0, Section 4(f)/Section 6(f) Evaluation summarizes parks, and historic properties in accordance with Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 and Section 6(f) of the Land and Water Conservation Funds Act. It describes avoidance alternatives and measures to minimize harm to these resources.

Chapter 5.0, Project Costs and Operations, summarizes the estimated capital and operations and maintenance costs for each Merced to Fresno section alternative evaluated in the Project EIR/EIS, including funding and financial risk.

Chapter 6.0, CEQA/NEPA Decision Process and Other Considerations, summarizes the project’s significant adverse environmental effects, including those that cannot be avoided if the project is implemented.  It also summarizes the significant irreversible environmental changes that would occur as a result of the project or irretrievable commitments of resources or foreclosure of future options.

Chapter 7.0, Preferred Alternative and Stations, identifies the preferred HST alternative for the Merced to Fresno section.

Chapter 8.0, Public and Agency Involvement, contains summaries of coordination and outreach activities, with agencies and the general public.

Chapter 9.0, EIR/EIS Distribution identifies individuals and organizations informed of the availability of the Final EIR/EIS.

Chapter 10.0, List of Preparers provides the names and responsibilities of the authors of the Final EIR/EIS.

Chapter 11.0, References/Sources Used in Document Preparation, cites the references and contacts used in writing this document.

Chapter 12.0, Glossary of Terms, provides a definition of certain terms used in the Final EIR/EIS

Chapter 13.0, Index, provides a tool to cross-reference major topics used in the Final EIR/EIS.

Chapter 14.0, Acronyms and Abbreviations, defines the acronyms and abbreviations used in this document.

Volume II – Technical Apendices

These appendices provide additional technical information that supports the analysis and conclusions in Volume I of the Final EIR/EIS.

Volume III – Alignment Plans

These are the engineering plans that detail the routes of the three alternatives: UPRR/SR 99 Alternative, BNSF Alternative, and Hybrid Alternative. Volume III also includes the station plans.

Volume IV – Comments on the Draft EIR/EIS and Responses to Comments

Volume IV includes all comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS and the responses to those comments.

Green Practices

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CONTACT

Environmental
(916) 324-1541
info@hsr.ca.gov

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