Natural Environment

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires that federally funded transportation projects follow a comprehensive planning process in which socioeconomic and environmental impacts are considered. For a project of this magnitude, NEPA mandates that an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) must be undertaken.

As preliminary alternatives to improving Route 30 are developed, the impacts of the alternatives will be assessed on the following critical features:

  • farmland acreage
  • number of farms
  • historic structures
  • historic properties (acreage)
  • other Section 4(f) lands
  • wetland acreage
  • number and types of wetlands
  • floodplain acreage
  • number of stream crossings
  • relocations by type of use

The displacement of residences and businesses will be identified for any new alignment alternatives as well as the upgrade alternatives. Additional information on these features will be gathered from field investigations and business surveys of the properties in proximity to the relocation alternatives.

And, in accordance with Executive Order 12898Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations, particular attention will be paid to special groups such as the elderly, handicapped, low income and minority groups. Special attention will also be given to the Amish and Mennonite communities. This analysis will be conducted for all alternatives studied in this project.

Direct and indirect impacts on land use will be determined based on the design of the relocation alternatives. Direct impacts involve the land within the designated right-of-way that will be converted to transportation use. Indirect impacts to be evaluated include the modifications in access to and from certain areas that may induce or reduce residential and business growth.