This letter and attachments from the Federal EPA, Region I, opposes the expansion of Boston's Logan Airport. The EPA calls for (1) the adequate mitigation of noise and pollution impacts to surrounding communities and the region from existing operations, and (2) adoption of a comprehensive, multi-modal regional transportation strategy, stating that the proposed project and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) fail to address either of these concerns.
The EPA concludes that when the proposal is considered in the context of the already significant burden on surrounding communities and the absence of an underlying regional transportation strategy, the FAA proposal does not pass EPA review. The EPA classifies the project on it scale of "Rating Definitions and Follow-up Action" as "Environmental Objections; Insufficient Information."
The document below is divided into three parts:
1) Comment Letter from John P. DeVillars (EPA) to John Silva (FAA) reviewing FAA and Massport's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in the context of EPA's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Air Act(CAA).
2) Attachment to EPA's Comment Letter, providing support for the Letter's conclusions and raising some additional concerns such as the Federal Environmental Justice Policy.
3) Summary of Rating Definitions and Follow-up Action explaining the EPA's "Environmental Objections; Insufficient Information" evaluation.
United States Environmental Protection Agency
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Boston, Massachusetts 02203-0001
Office of the Regional Administrator
April 22, 1999
Manager, Environmental Programs
Airports Division ANE-600
Federal Aviation Administration
New England Regional
12 New England Executive Park
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
RE: Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report Logan Airside Improvements Planning Project dated February, 1999 (EPA ERP Number D-FAA-B51017-MA)
Dear Mr. Silva:
In accordance with EPA's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 309 and the Clean Air Act, we have reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) for proposed airside improvements at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts.
The project includes construction of a new runway (runway 14/32), new taxiways and taxiway alignments, and reductions in approach minimums on runways 22L, 27, 15R, and 33L. In addition to the no-build alternative, the DEIS analyzes four sets of alternatives and evaluates the relative effectiveness of each in enhancing operational safety and reducing current and future aircraft delay at Logan caused by northwest wind and weather conditions. Airport delays are presented in the context of forecasts for the year 2010 that predict between 37.5 to 45 million passengers a year using Logan, a number substantially greater than Logan's 26.5 million passengers in 1998. The range of alternatives in the DEIS focuses solely on "airside" improvements as a means of eliminating delay.
EPA has long opposed efforts to expand the capacity of Logan Airport without first (1) adequately mitigating noise and pollution impacts to surrounding communities and the region from existing operations, and (2) adopting a comprehensive, multi-modal regional transportation strategy. EPA has raised these concerns each time Massport has proposed improvements to Logan, including in our scoping comments for this EIS in November, 1995. Regrettably, the proposed project and the EIS fail to adequately address either of these concerns. Therefore, when considered in the context of the already significant burden on surrounding communities from existing airport operations and the absence of an underlying regional transportation strategy, I believe the project cannot be justified.
Specifically, my objections are as follows:
Efficient operations at Logan are clearly important to the New England economy. However, efficiency gains through proposed infrastructure improvements should only be advanced if they can be achieved without sacrificing the well-being of the communities around the airport and the region at large. Smart growth requires efficient transportation, but it also requires that we preserve and enhance the livability of established, urban communities. A comprehensive transportation strategy that looks beyond quick fixes at Logan can meet both goals. As discussed in this letter and in the attachment, the current DEIS presents a project with serious impacts in an analysis that lacks adequate consideration of alternate strategies to achieve project goals. I request that Massport and FAA withdraw the DEIS and instead focus on developing a more comprehensive regional approach to transportation in New England. I would be pleased to work with Massport, the FAA, and the affected communities in the region to that end.
Despite the concerns expressed in this letter and the attached analysis, I want to acknowledge the professional and fully cooperative spirit of Massport and the FAA in their work with us since the DEIS was published. Peter Blute, Betty Desrosiers, and their team have demonstrated a total commitment to honest, open dialogue with EPA. They have advanced their arguments professionally and forcefully and without fail have responded thoughtfully to our questions. For this we owe them our appreciation and respect.
Please feel free to contact me or Elizabeth Higgins of my staff at 617/918-1051 if you wish to discuss these comments further.
John P. DeVillars
Governor Paul Cellucci
Peter Blute, Massport
Robert Durland, EOEA
Attachment to EPA's Comment
On Logan Airside Improvements Planning Project
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed airside
improvements at Logan Airport fails to provide an adequate review of the
environmental impacts and the full range of alternatives to the project.
The preceding cover letter summarizes the primary conclusions from EPA's
review of the DEIS. This attachment provides support for these conclusions
and raises some additional technical concerns.
Narrow Scope of DEIS Analysis and Alternatives
Failure to Address EPA's EIS Scoping Comments: The DEIS fails to address fundamental issues raised in the EPA's 1995 scoping letter. Most importantly, the scope of the DEIS with its focus on construction of proposed runway 14/32 and the taxiway improvements, is too limited and fails to seriously consider regional improvements as alternatives to the Logan runway project. The limited scope of analysis represents a missed opportunity for a comprehensive analysis and merely compounds difficult decision making surrounding changes to Logan's operations. As EPA indicated in its previous comments, the DEIS should have identified a targeted regional strategy including both existing and potential capacity, as well as regional pricing and marketing to enhance the capacity and efficiency of, and access to, all New England airports. The FAA, as the federal agency responsible for our nation's air travel, has a responsibility to maximize the regional efficiency of the airport network in New England. In this case, EPA would expect the FAA to coordinate the efforts of Massport and the other regional airports, but also to actively involve other federal counterparts at the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. DOT to explore regional strategies to increase the availability of other airports as an alternative to Logan. Further, Massport has a responsibility to work closely with the appropriate state and federal agencies to develop such a regional strategy.
As EPA indicated in comments on the DEIS scope, the airside and landside projects are functionally linked, and as such, they should be evaluated together in a comprehensive EIS. The current analysis focuses entirely in airside issues with no real analysis of opportunities for Massport to integrate landside and airside planning to enable Logan to improve operations and handle the substantially greater number of passengers anticipated for the coming decades. In response to our scoping comments, the DEIS explains that the analysis is based on background planning information provided in the state Generic Environmental Impact Report (GEIR) and that the DEIS is based on the FAA scope which was developed through a public comment process. Unfortunately, our comments on the appropriate scope of analysis for the EIS were largely discounted, and the GEIR, a document prepared under the rules of state law, does not meet the requirements of NEPA. Thus, reliance on the GEIR to satisfy NEPA's requirements for a cumulative impact analysis is not appropriate.
Need to Focus on Regional, Multi-Modal Transportation Plan: EPA recommends that, rather than proceeding with the environmental review of the taxiway and runway improvements, Massport and FAA focus instead on establishing a strategy to make Logan Airport a more efficient transportation center with less impact on surrounding communities, by improving mass transit access to the Airport and preventing growth in the number of flight operations.
One means to reduce the growth pressures on Logan Airport is to enhance the current intercity transportation options. The DEIS does reflect the fine and successful work by both private enterprise and regional transportation officials to encourage greater use of Green and Manchester Airports and to complete the high-speed rail link with New York. Without question, these efforts will improve travel options for New Englanders and better manage growth at Logan Airport. However, Massport in cooperation with EOTC, U.S. DOT, Amtrak, and other transportation agencies, should take active measures to promote high speed rail as one of the best alternatives to air travel that could help to reduce demands on Logan. These efforts would not be limited to high speed rail but should also encourage and market the use of other regional airports to the benefit of Logan an surrounding communities. Moreover, we believe the EIS should clearly identify mitigation commitments by Massport to improve mass transit to those airports and to solidify transit links among the regional airports similar to the bus links available between Dulles and National LaGuardia and JFK.
In addition, the implementation of peak period pricing should be a piece of the regional transportation strategy. Peak period pricing, implemented with sensitivity to the needs of New England communities served by smaller airports that rely principally on smaller aircraft, could serve to reduce flight operations during peak hours and increase the proportional share of larger aircraft, thereby making the airport more efficient in handling a large volume of passengers with fewer aircraft operations. The DEIS clearly demonstrates that peak period pricing would serve to lessen delays substantially in the high growth future scenarios (e.g., 45 million passengers/high fleet, 45 million passengers/low fleet or 37.5 million passengers/high fleet). However, the DEIS concludes that peak period pricing is not warranted because current flight operations do not exceed 120 operations per hour. Under current conditions approximately 40 percent of the operations at Logan serve approximately 10 percent of the passengers in regional aircraft. If 22 percent of the operations were to handle the same number of passengers, Logan could operate comfortably at 95-100 movements and hour. Additional analysis is critical to determine whether the imposition of peak period pricing now would help send the necessary market signals to ensure that airlines' plans result in the most efficient use of Logan Airport (including smarter use of other regional airports and, for smaller carriers, the use of planes capable of handling more passengers). Massport shares this responsibility with the airlines. Such an evaluation should include an appropriate sensitivity analysis to help determine the operations/hour level where peak period pricing becomes effective.
According to the DEIS, Massport appears willing to consider peak period pricing only when Logan actually experiences over scheduling. For this measure, Massport is prepared to wait and see if peak period pricing is necessary. On the other hand, the DEIS details Massport's argument that it needs a new runway now, despite the exponential growth in passenger traffic through Green and Manchester. Following such logic, EPA questions why Massport doesn't wait on its decision to construct a new runway until it is clear whether the region really needs an expanded Logan, thereby giving the regional airports a chance to capture more traffic, consistent with the impressive gains made at Manchester and Green.
Additional delay reduction benefits may be obtained from managing/prioritizing takeoffs so that large planes with more passengers are given preference over smaller planes during peak periods of delay. Such a change may help to shift the market to fewer larger planes making fewer flights or scheduling changes by smaller planes to avoid periods of peak operation prone to delay.
Finally, the proposed project offers only short term relief (five years) for delay problems it is intended to resolve. Massport should extend the planning horizon for the analysis (currently only at ten years) as part of supplemental efforts to investigate longer term solutions. The solutions should actively integrate Logan operations with regional transportation planning (airside and landside integration).
Air Quality Analysis
General: Because of the substantial growth in operations at Logan Airport, the DEIS generally reflects no significant improvements in air quality attributable to the Airport. Under the future increase from 1998's 26.5 million passengers to 37.5 or 45 million passengers. More significantly, aircraft operations are forecasted to increase from 1998's 507,000 to between 543,000 and 656,000 operations. Increases in aircraft operations projected in the DEIS will result in additional air pollution, offsetting the anticipated benefits of lower-emitting aircraft and other airport-related vehicles. Despite reductions in emissions from individual aircraft, ground finds that emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and carbon monoxide (CO) will remain roughly the same or increase slightly by 2010. Because of the increase in aircraft operations, the affected communities will not share in the full benefits of lower emission levels for many of the individual sources of pollution.
The DEIS's conclusion that the preferred alternative will have the least negative air quality impacts is a result of certain questionable assumptions. The DEIS finds that the preferred alternative (taxiway improvements and Runway 14/32) will result in lower emissions of the pollutants CO, VOCs, and NOx than any of the other alternatives, including the no action alternative. The air quality analysis assumes that the airport-related motor vehicle emissions and the number of flight operations will be identical for all the alternatives. The only variables among the alternatives are emissions attributable to airside delays. Consequently, the preferred alternative, which results in the least delays, inevitably has fewer emissions.
Unfortunately, these assumptions underlying the air quality analysis ignore the possibility that certain alternatives may result in more passengers or more flight operations. If the airport increases its airside efficiency and reduces delays, it is plausible that airlines will choose to increase flights to Logan (as opposed to regional airports such as Manchester, Green or Worcester). Without an analysis of whether an additional runway will affect future growth of flight operations, the validity of the air quality conclusions (that Runway 14/32 and taxiway improvements will result in fewer emissions than the alternatives) are questionable. The DEIS should have analyzed whether increased airside efficiency affects the number of flight operations in the future. If the answer is yes, the air quality analysis should be structured in a way to discern the true comparative impacts of each alternative.
Additional Technical Air Analysis Comments:
National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter: Table 5.3-1 reflects the current NAAQS for criteria pollutants. However, the table contains the incorrect 24-hour NAQQS for fine particulate matter. Rather than 50 ug/m, the standard is 65 ug/m. (Note: While EPA proposed a 24-hour standard of 50, the final standard was set at 65 ug/m.)
Use of Revised Ozone Standard: In Section 126.96.36.199 page (5-41 and 42), the Draft EIS/R reflects ambient levels of criteria air pollutants measured at the three closest Massachusetts DEP monitoring stations. These levels are reflected in Table 5.3-2. The Draft EIS/R compares these ambient levels with one-hour ground-level ozone standard of 0.12 part per million (ppm). In July 1997, EPA revised its ozone standard to an either-hour standard of 0.08 ppm. The DEIS should use this more stringent standard as the point of comparison.
Federal Environmental Justice Policy
The DEIS does not satisfy either the stated intent or the specific directives of the federal environmental justice policy. The obligations of the FAA to address environmental justice issues are grounded in at least three separate mandates: 1. Executive Order 12898 Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations; 2. Department of Transportation Order on Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations; and 3. Environmental Justice Guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act issued by the Council Environmental Quality. In developing a DEIS, these documents direct FAA to
The Executive Order: Under the Executive Order, Federal agencies should identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their activities on minority and low-income populations, and provide meaningful public participation in meeting that objective. The Executive Order articulates two requirements regarding the need to develop data that can be used perform relevant analysis in the NEPA context. First, each federal agency should collect, maintain and analyze information assessing and comparing environmental and human health risks borne by populations identified by race, national origin, or income. An agency then should use that information to determine whether its programs, policies, and activities have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority and low-income populations. Second, each federal agency should collect, maintain, and analyze information on the race, national origin, and income level for areas surrounding facilities expected to have substantial environmental, human health, or economic effects on the surrounding populations.
The DOT Order: Under the DOT Order, activities- including planning activities- with the potential to have disproportionately high and adverse effects1 on human health or the environment are sufficient to trigger the need to consider effects on minority and low-income populations.
Further, the DOT Order explicitly addresses the issue of preventing disproportional and high adverse impacts. In that context, it directs DOT to administer its programs in a manner consistent with requirements under NEPA so as to identify the risk of discrimination early in the program or policy development process. In implementing the requirements under NEPA, the Agency is directed to obtain the following information:
1The DOT Order defines adverse effects very broadly. Adverse effects are the totality of significant individual or cumulative human health or environmental effects including interrelated social and economic effects which may include but are not limited to
In addition, the DOT Order identifies actions to address disproportionately high and adverse effects. DOT agencies are directed to ensure that programs and policies having disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority or low-income populations will only be carried out if further mitigation measures or alternatives avoiding or reducing those effects are not practicable. In determining practicability, the social, economic, and environmental effects of the mitigation will be taken into account.
Finally, the DOT Order contemplates meaningful opportunities for public involvement by minority and low-income communities during the planning and development of DOT activities. Specifically, the agency is to provide the public information addressing the concerns of minority and low-income populations regarding health and environmental impacts.
CEQ Guidance: The CEQ guidance defines key terms in Executive Order 128982. CEQ recommends that the additional guidance be applied with flexibility and that is defined terms be considered "a point of departure rather than conclusive direction in applying the terms of the Executive Order."
The CEQ guidance clearly states that environmental justice principles are "wholly consistent with the purposes and policies of NEPA." Although there is no standard formula for identifying environmental justice issues in NEPA reviews, agencies are expected to address the issues in a clear, concise, and comprehensible manner. In particular, agencies should consider
Because environmental justice issues may arise at any point in the NEPA process, CEQ encourages agencies to consider those issues "at each and every step of the process."
2The defined terms include: low-income population, minority, minority population, disproportionately high and adverse human health effects, disproportionately high and adverse environmental effects.
At the outset, in the scoping phase of the NEPA process, agencies should determine the demographics of the affected area.
In the alternatives phase, if the agency has concluded that a disproportionately high and adverse health or environmental impact on minority or low-income populations will result from the proposed action or alternatives, CEQ directs the agency to consider the distribution of health and environmental impacts among the demographic population groups. The display should be modified to reflect any additional qualitative information obtained through the public participation process.
If an agency has identified potential environmental justice issues, the agency is directed to state clearly and concisely in the DEIS whether a disproportionately high and adverse health or environmental impact on minority and low-income populations is likely to result from the proposed action. The Agency should cite specific information so that the public can understand the rationale for the agency conclusion.
Agencies also are directed to develop effective public participation strategies including active outreach to affected groups and to assure meaningful community representation as early as possible at all stages of the process.
FAA Compliance with Federal Environmental Justice Policy
As stated previously, the DEIS does not satisfy either the intent or the specific directives of the federal government's environmental justice policy as expressed in the Executive Order, the DOT Order, and the CEQ Guidance. The DEIS does not demonstrate an effort to implement that policy proactively. Despite CEQ's statement that its guidance should be applied with flexibility, the DEIS uses extremely narrow definitions of low-income and minority populations. Use of such narrow definitions allows the FAA to conclude that there are no environmental justice issues because so few people fall within the narrowly defined categories. Major deficiencies in the DEIS are identified below.
Data Collection and Analysis: The DEIS presents no detailed demographic data for the communities surrounding Logan Airport nor does it identify the impacted community with any geographic precision. The impacted community is only identified by noise contours presented on a very small-scale map. There is no explanation regarding the issues considered in identifying the study area. There is no map clearly indicating the location of the study area.
Although required by the DOT Final Order, the DEIS does not define the populations served or affected by race, color, national origin, and income level. Table 8.7-1 is the only table presented in the environmental justice analysis. That table does not clearly indicate where the noise-exposed population is located, nor does it provide any detail in describing the demographics of that population. It is impossible for any individual citizen to tell from the table whether he or she is in the noise exposed population. In addition, none of the information is mapped so that the public can see the distribution of health and environmental impacts across population groups.
Adverse Impacts: Contrary to the requirements of the Executive Order and the DOT Order, the DEIS presents little data and analysis on a broad range of potential adverse impacts. Because the environmental justice analysis in the report is brief and provides little basis for its conclusion that noise is the only adverse impact, especially in the context of cumulative impacts, it is impossible to review the rationale or data used in reading that conclusion. Ironically, that is just the circumstance that federal environmental justice policy is intended to remedy.
Cumulative Exposure: The CEQ Guidance directs agencies to consider the potential for multiple or cumulative exposure to health and environmental hazards even if the effects of the cumulative exposure are not within the control of the agency action. The DEIS offers no information regarding the health of the communities surrounding Logan. There is no mention of historical patterns of exposure to environmental hazards. There is no meaningful discussion of multiple of cumulative exposure. And there is no opportunity to review the conclusion regarding cumulative exposure in the DEIS since there is no detailed description of other sources to which low-income and minority communities surrounding Logan are exposed. EPA understands that, for purposes of determining eligibility of homes for soundproofing, FAA may only rely on noise generated by aircraft operations. However, in preparing the environmental justice portion of the DEIS, the cumulative noise impacts from all sources in affected neighborhoods is a critical consideration.
Health Issues: Despite the requirement in the Executive Order, the DOT Order, and the CEQ Guidance that public health issues be examined, there is no discussion of the public health issues often raised by minority and low-income communities, such as asthma, respiratory distress, or attention deficit disorder. Most remarkably, there is no discussion of hearing loss, an obvious health concern to any population exposed to excessive noise. Without any discussion of baseline health conditions, it is impossible to evaluate the incremental impacts or risk associated with the proposed agency action.
Social, Cultural, and Economic Factors: Although it is required by the CEQ Guidance, there is no discussion of interrelated social, cultural, occupational, historical, and economic factors that may increase the environmental effects of the proposed action. The DEIS does not address factors seemingly relevant at Logan Airport, including the physical sensitivity of the community to specific impacts, the effect of any disruption on community structure, and the nature of the impact on the physical and social structure of the community. For example, the DEIS appears to assume that soundproofing completely addresses noise impacts in a neighborhood. There is not mention that over-flights impair residents' use of their porches or yards. Double-pane windows cannot protect the conversations on the street and front stoop that bind a community together.
Public Participation: Rather than responding directly to community concerns, the FAA instead often focuses on its compliance with process requirements. Many substantive issues were raised in comments on the scoping document. Often the response to those comments merely noted the public participation process without responding substantively in a manner indicating that the comment was considered carefully. EPA understands that Masport did have a series of meetings several years ago on these airside improvements. However, several community groups and members of Logan's Citizens Advisory Council complained to EPA that Massport and FAA failed to respond to specific requests made from October 1997 to late 1998 to engage in a concrete discussion with the community about plans for air side improvements at Logan, and that when the consultation did resume, it was just before the release of the DEIS. Community input during this final decision-making period would have been particularly appropriate.
General comments: It remains unclear how Massport and the FAA will be able to comprehensively "guarantee" unidirectional use (over the harbor only) of Runway 14/32. Without such a guarantee, it is uncertain whether assumptions about noise impacts from runway 14/32 accurately characterize future conditions. The EIS argues that the proposed new runway will help Logan to attain PRAS goals. There are two problems with this premise. First, based on the recent public debate concerning PRAS goals, it is not evident that these goals reflect current community interests. Second, the focus on PRAS goals as a benefit of the proposed runway inappropriately shifts the focus away from consideration of alternatives to reduce use of Logan (or air travel for that matter) as a means to eliminate delay. Asserting that the FAA will be able to distribute noise impacts more flexibly across impacted communities does nothing to address the question of whether those noise impacts are necessary or adequately mitigated.
1. Use of 1993 as Base Year: The use of 1993 as the base year is not appropriate. In general, the normal airport analysis starts with a base year that represents the current situation. Clearly, the use of 1993 data does not provide the reader with the current situation, particularly as it related to aircraft type, aircraft operations, populations and residences. While it maybe true that the 1993 noise impacts were a "worst case" due to the large number of stage 2 aircraft, we do not believe that it represents the current situation. Moreover, the comparison of the alternatives with a particularly high noise year may serve to minimize what might otherwise be significant changes from the current 1999 level of noise experienced by nearby community residents. For historic purposes it may be of some use, but it should not replace the current (base) situation. Since the EIS references the fact that newer information exists (see page 5-32, "1997 Annual Update for 1997 contours"), it is unclear why at the very least 1997 was not used as the base/current year.
In addition, the EIS indicated that the noise model used 1990 Census Tiger Files to predict the populations levels in the noise contours for the 1993 noise contours. We recommend that the document provide appropriate justification that 1990 population data is appropriate for use in 1993 without the use of any adjustment. It is also not clear what census data was used for modeling 1999 and 2010 years.
2. Use of 1999 as Operational Year: The use of 1999 as the runway operational year is not appropriate since the new runway will not be operational this year. Therefore, we recommend that FAA provide additional new runway operational year modeling.
3. Noise Contour Maps: Various maps in the noise analysis need to be supplemented. Specifically:
4. Airport Layout Map: Since the basic FAA action is the approval of the modified Airport Layout Plan, the document should contain a copy of both the existing and proposed Airport Layout Plan (an appropriate scale will probably required the use of a fold out map).
5. Greater Detail in Operation and Fleet Mix Information: Detailed operation and fleet mix tables need to be provided for all modeled years. These tables should show: aircraft type, average daily operations, arrivals day, arrivals night, departure day and departure night. These data should match the input data used in the INN. The new tables should be sub-classed by commercial, commuter/air taxi, military and general aviation operations.
6. Discussion of 60 dBA Contours: Although the 60 dBA contours in the technical appendices do provide additional information, this information should be provided in the main volume of the EIS. We recommend that FAA show and discuss any areas within the 60 dBA contour that would experience a 3 dBA increase in accordance with the 1992 FICON guidance.
7. Detailed Grid Point SEL Data: While the noise analysis does provide some Lmax data, we recommend that this information be supplemented with detailed grid point SEL data for selected representative sites.
The DEIS identifies several construction period mitigation measures, including the suppression of fugitive dust. Massport should commit to mitigative measures to control emissions from the heavy-duty engine construction equipment involved in airport improvements. An excellent model for such mitigation is the Central Artery/Tunnel's Clean Air Construction project, a project spearheaded jointly by EPA-New England, several Massachusetts state offices, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Manufacturers of Emission Control Association. Under the Clean Air Construction project, seventy construction machines (including front end loaders, backhoes, excavators, cranes and air compressors) have been retrofitted with pollution control devices (oxidation catalysts or particulate filters) in order to reduce particulate matter, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and toxics. In its construction contracts, Massport should require contractors to participate in this program or retrofitting construction equipment. More information on this construction initiative can be found at NESCAUM's website.
For the reasons discussed above, EPA has rated this EIS
Insufficient Information in
accordance with EPA's national rating system, a description of which is
Summary of Rating Definitions and Follow-up Action
Environmental Impact of the Action
LO--Lack of Objections
The EPA review has not identified any potential impacts requiring substantive changes to the proposal. The review may have disclosed opportunities for application of mitigation measures that could be accomplished with no more than minor changes to the proposal.
The EPA review has identified environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment. Corrective measures may require changes to the preferred alternative or application of mitigation measures that can reduce the environmental impacts. EPA would like to work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts.
The EPA review has identified significant environmental impacts that must be avoided in order to provide adequate protection for the environment. Corrective measures may require substantial changes to the preferred alternative or consideration of some other project alternative (including the no action alternative or a new alternative). EPA intends to work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts.
The EPA review has identified adverse environmental impacts that are of sufficient magnitude that they are unsatisfactory from the standpoint of public health or welfare or environmental quality. EPA intends to work with the lead agency to reduce these impacts. If the potential unsatisfactory impacts are not corrected at the final EIS stage, this proposal will be recommended for referral to the CEQ.
Adequacy of the Impact Statement
EPA believes that draft EIS adequately sets forth the environmental impact(s) of the preferred alternative and those of the alternatives reasonably available to the project or action. No further analysis or data collection is necessary, but the reviewer may suggest the addition of clarifying language or information.
The draft EIS does not contain sufficient information for EPA to fully assess environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment, or the EPA reviewer has identified new reasonably available alternatives that are within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS, analyses, or discussion should be included in the final EIS.
EPA does not believe that the draft EIS adequately assesses potentially significant environmental impacts of the action, or the EPA reviewer has identified new, reasonably available alternatives that are outside of the spectrum of alternatives analyzed in the draft EIS, which should be analyzed in order to reduce the potentially significant environmental impacts. EPA believes that the identified additional information data, analyses, or discussions are of such a magnitude that they should have full public review at a draft stage. EPA does not believe that the draft EIS is adequate for the purposes of the NEPA and/or Section 309 review, and thus should be formally revised and made available for public comment in a supplemental or revised draft EIS. ON the basis of the potential significant impacts involved, this proposal could be a candidate for referral to the CEQ.