PA Route 23 EIS Moving Forward with Draft Environmental Impact Statement
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in partnership with Lancaster County, are currently
in the process of preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS)
for the PA Route 23 Project. The Draft EIS is an official document required
by the National Environmental Policy Act that provides a "full and fair discussion
of significant environmental impacts and informs decision-makers and the public
of the reasonable alternatives which would avoid or minimize adverse impacts
or enhance the quality of the human environment." Following the release
of the Draft EIS, a formal public hearing will be held at which time the public
is able to provide oral and written testimony for or against the project and
raise any issues or concerns they may have with the project. The PA 23 EIS
project team has completed the evaluation of each of the seven alternatives
presented at the April 2006 public meeting. The Draft EIS will fully evaluate
three of those alternatives, including the No-Build Alternative, Two-Lane Bareville
Alternative and the Two-Lane Southern Alternative.
Environmental issues to be analyzed include the social, natural and cultural
resources within the area. The social resources include residential and commercial
displacements, community impacts, public opinions and economic impacts. The
natural resources include farmlands, threatened and endangered species, wetlands
and streams. The cultural resources include historical and archaeological resources.
The term "historical resource" refers to any aboveground building,
structure, district or object that relates to our cultural past.
When the DEIS is approved by the Federal Highway Administration, it will be
made available to the public for review and comment. The Draft EIS will be
available for the public review in local libraries and municipal offices. The
public comment period is 45 days. During the 45 day comment period, FHWA, PennDOT,
and LCPC will hold a public hearing during which time all interested parties
may make formal public comments. All comments received at the public hearing
will be recorded.
At the close of the comment period, PennDOT and the project team will address
all the comments in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.