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US 30 Environmental Impact Statement and Phase I Design Report

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Process

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) consists of an eight stage process based on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. The following explains each of the steps in detail.

  1. Initiate EIS – The starting point for an EIS is to publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register. The purpose of the NOI is to advise the public that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), will be preparing an EIS for a transportation project for US 30 in Whiteside County.
  2. Conduct Scoping Process – The scoping process is an early and open process conducted amongst Federal, State and local agencies in order to determine the scope of significant issues associated with a proposed transportation project. These issues can involve environmental, socio-economic and engineering elements of the project.
  3. Determine Reasonable Alternatives - FHWA and IDOT will determine reasonable alternatives by evaluating the environmental and engineering criteria that are considered significant to this project with the help of the public.
  4. Evaluate Reasonable Alternatives In-Depth – IDOT must identify and evaluate in detail those environmental impacts which will likely be precipitated by the construction and operation of the proposed transportation system for each selected reasonable alternative. IDOT will assess this data in-depth and share the data with the public. This will allow for IDOT and the public to determine any fatal flaws within the project area. All reasonable alternatives will be carried forward in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
  5. Provide DEIS for Public Comment – The DEIS will provide an in-depth evaluation of the selected reasonable alternatives. The DEIS document will be made available to the public and a Public Hearing will be held in order to receive comments.
  6. Evaluate & Respond to Public Comments – Once the public comment period has ended, IDOT will address comments received by the public.
  7. Approval of Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) – The FEIS document will recommend a final preferred alternative for the proposed transportation system. This document requires the approval of the FHWA.
  8. Record of Decision (ROD) – A ROD is the final document which ensures that all public and government agencies’ comments have been addressed and that the NEPA process had been fulfilled. Once the ROD is signed by the FHWA, the project will be allowed to move on to Phase II (design), provided funding is available.

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