Massachusetts Department of Transporatation Massachusetts Bay Transporatation Authority
Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative

Environmental & Design

Notice of Project Change (NPC) - Spring 2017 Update

MassDOT filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC) with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office in March 2017 to adopt a new phased approach to South Coast Rail service. The NPC provides an overview of proposed changes to the Project that would enable the MBTA to begin service to southeastern Massachusetts on a shorter timeline. Learn more in the April 2017 Fact Sheet. The public comment period on the NPC ended on May 19.

The Secretary of Environmental Affairs issued a Certificate on the NPC on May 26. The Certificate outlines the information MassDOT must include in a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR).

Environmental Process History

The US Army Corps of Engineers and MassDOT filed the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report in September 2013. The combined document satisfied state (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) and federal (National Environmental Policy Act) requirements. The FEIS/R was a more than 2,000 page in-depth analysis of the project, detailing the preferred alternative, anticipated impacts and proposed mitigation, response to comments, the public engagement process and much more.

The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued a Certificate on November 1, 2013, to complete the state process. The Certificate states that the preferred alternative “emerged from a robust and detailed alternatives analysis” and notes the extensive stakeholder involvement. It requires additional technical analysis to identify wetland replication/restoration sites and develop detailed mitigation plans to address rare species.

The federal process will be completed when the US Army Corps of Engineers issues a Section 404 Permit and Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD is expected to be issued after completion of the wetlands mitigation plan and the final Programmatic Agreement (PA). The PA establishes a process for reviewing cultural resource impacts and mitigation, and approving wetland mitigation plans.

Visit the Documents page for more information on the environmental process, including reports, facts sheets, and more.

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