During the 60-day DEIS comment period, the USCG received oral statements from 18 speakers at formal public meetings and an additional 36 written comments from federal, state, and local agencies, other stakeholder groups and individuals. The comments and corresponding responses are included in a summary report located in Section 8.0 of the FEIS.
A list of the most substantive modifications made between the DEIS and FEIS follows. The FEIS:
- identified the Preferred Alternative;
- provided updated information on project design details, impacts and proposed mitigation, as appropriate;
- presented the results of additional or updated technical studies undertaken since the DEIS was released;
- documented the formal public meetings and the comments received on the DEIS; and
- responded to the substantive comments received from federal, state, and local agencies, as well as stakeholders and individuals.
Specific modifications to the FEIS, which were based on one or more of the primary modifications identified above, included but were not necessarily limited to the following:
- New Sub-Section 22.214.171.124 (Construction Vehicle Access Routes and Staging Areas) – discussion of the potential access routes and staging areas in both New Jersey and New York that would be used during the construction period.
- Sub-Section 3.4.5 (Maintenance and Protection of Traffic (MPT) During Construction) – updated to reflect the need for a temporary U-turn within the I-278 median in New Jersey to maintain traffic during project construction, which would be needed for any of the four Build Alternatives.
- New Sub-Section 3.5 (Identification of the Preferred Alternative) - discussion of the selection of the New Alignment South as the Preferred Alternative for the Proposed Project.
- Sub-Section 126.96.36.199 (Regulated Wetlands) - updated to reflect freshwater wetland delineation conducted within the I-278 median, near Route 1 & 9 in Linden.
- Sub-Section 188.8.131.52 (Endangered and Threatened Species) - updated to reflect all Section 7 Consultation per the Endangered Species Act. Some impact analyses in Section 184.108.40.206 (Wildlife) and Section 220.127.116.11 (Endangered and Threatened Species and Critical Habitats) were also updated.
- Sub-Section 18.104.22.168 (Regulatory Setting and Compliance with Standards) - updated to reflect the inclusion of the GBR Project in the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s State Implementation Plans.
- Sub-Section 5.7.5 (Mitigation of Impacts) & Sub-Section 5.8.5 (Mitigation of Impacts) - updated the discussion of Section 106 Consultation and development of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) per Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
- Sub-Section 5.11.6 (Mitigation of Impacts) - updated to reflect development of the conceptual Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan for both New Jersey and New York.
- Sub-Section 22.214.171.124 (Aquatic Communities) - updated to present revised Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Assessment Report.
- Sub-Section 126.96.36.199 (Vegetative Habitats) & Section 188.8.131.52 (Regulated Wetlands) - revised to reflect impacts of the temporary U-turn within the I-278 median in New Jersey.
- Sub-Section 5.13.5 (Mitigation of Impacts) - updated with information regarding development of the conceptual Wetland Mitigation Plan for both New Jersey and New York.
- Sub-Section 184.108.40.206 (Impact Analysis of 2014 Conditions) - updated to present the traffic impact analysis of future conditions (No-Build, Build and Build with Mitigation) in 2014, the estimated time of completion (ETC), as per New York City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) requirements.
- Sub-Section 5.21.5 (Mobile Source Air Toxics) - updated per current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) guidance.
- Sub-Section 5.21.7 (Construction Impacts) - updated to include discussion of the quantitative construction-phase air quality impact analysis of the Preferred Alternative, per USEPA and CEQR requirements. Section 5.22 (Public Health) was also updated.
- Sub-Section 5.21.8 (Conformity Analysis) - revised to reflect results of the construction-phase air quality analysis for the Preferred Alternative, and the Draft General Conformity Determination.
- Sub-Section 5.23.5 (Noise Impacts During Construction Period) - updated to include discussion of the quantitative construction-phase noise impact analysis of the Preferred Alternative, per CEQR requirements.
- Sub-Section 6.3 (Permitting and Regulatory Agencies) - updated to document coordination meetings that occurred after publication of the DEIS.
- Section 6.5 (DEIS Public Comment Period and Formal Public Meetings) - updated to summarize the formal public meetings and Public Comment Period after publication of the DEIS.
- New Sub-Section 6.6 (FEIS and Record of Decision) - discussion of the remaining steps of the NEPA environmental review process after the FEIS was issued.
- Sub-Section 7.1 (Federal Permits and Approvals) - updated to document the current environmental permitting strategy and status, as of FEIS publication.
- Sub-Section 7.4 (New York City Actions) - updated to document the compliance of this NEPA document with CEQR.
- New Section 8.0 (GBR DEIS Public Comments/Responses Summary Report) - A new section documenting all the comments received on the DEIS during the DEIS Public Comment Period, as well as the USCG’s responses to each comment, including reference to FEIS Sections containing new data and/or information relative to each comment, as appropriate.