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Revise Notice of Intent for an Environmental Impact Statement: North-South Corridor Study: Interstate 10 to U.S. Highway 60, Pinal County, Arizona

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Revise Notice of Intent for an Environmental Impact Statement: North-South Corridor Study: Interstate 10 to U.S. Highway 60, Pinal County, Arizona

Karla S. Petty
Federal Highway Administration
3 October 2016

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 191 (Monday, October 3, 2016)]
[Pages 68095-68096]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23784]



Federal Highway Administration

Revise Notice of Intent for an Environmental Impact Statement: 
North-South Corridor Study: Interstate 10 to U.S. Highway 60, Pinal 
County, Arizona

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), United States Department 
of Transportation (USDOT).

ACTION: Revised Notice of Intent (NOI).


SUMMARY: A NOI to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was 
published in the Federal Register on September 20, 2010. The FHWA is 
issuing this notice to advise the public of a change to the 
environmental review process for the proposed North-South Corridor. The 
FHWA and the project sponsor, the Arizona Department of Transportation 
(ADOT), intend to use a tiered process in which a Tier 1 EIS will be 
prepared to evaluate potential corridor alternatives, along with a No-
Action alternative, for a future project-specific alignment.

[[Page 68096]]

    The proposed tiering approach will allow FHWA and ADOT to evaluate 
a range of potential corridors within the North-South Corridor Study 
(NSCS) area boundaries and to broadly evaluate social, economic, and 
environmental impacts and mitigation approaches in the Tier 1 EIS. In 
addition, the NSCS area will be expanded to include an adjacent State 
Route 24 (SR 24) corridor study resulting in an updated study area 
encompassing the original study area between Interstate 10 (I-10) and 
U.S. Highway 60 (U.S. 60) and adding the extension of SR 24 from 
Ironwood Drive to the North-South Corridor in Pinal County, Arizona.
    The Tier 1 analysis will utilize technical data obtained thus far 
in the environmental review process and collect other information as 
required. If the Record of Decision identifies an Action (Build) 
corridor alternative, subsequent projects will complete a Tier 2 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review where the agencies will 
evaluate project-level, site-specific impacts, and required mitigation 
and commitments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aryan Lirange, Senior Urban Engineer, 
Federal Highway Administration, 4000 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1500, 
Phoenix, AZ 85012, Telephone: (602) 382-8973, Email: 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 20, 2010, at 75 FR 57327, FHWA, 
in cooperation with ADOT, issued an NOI to prepare an EIS on a proposed 
40-mile-long project along a new route located between U.S. 60 on the 
north and I-10 on the south, in Pinal County, Arizona. The project is 
considered necessary to achieve a transportation objective identified 
in Pinal County's 2008 Regionally Significant Routes for Safety and 
Mobility. The Study would address current and future transportation 
needs in an area that currently exceeds existing road capacity and is 
expected to continue to worsen with the projected increase in traffic 
demand associated with regional growth. The project scope also 
incorporates the extension of SR 24 from Ironwood Drive to the NSCS 
boundary. Information and documents regarding the environmental review 
process will be made available for the duration of the Tier 1 EIS 
process on the following Web site: https://www.azdot.gov/projects/south-central/north-south-corridor-study.
    The Tier 1 EIS will use all existing data including the NSCS 
Alternatives Selection Report completed in October 2014 and 
engineering, environmental, and socioeconomic data collected since the 
issuance of the original NOI. The FHWA intends to issue a single Final 
Tier 1 EIS and Record of Decision document pursuant to Fixing America's 
Surface Transportation Act Section 1311 requirements, unless FHWA 
determines statutory criteria or practicability considerations preclude 
issuance of a combined document.
    Stakeholder and Public Involvement: Stakeholder and public outreach 
will continue throughout this Tier 1 EIS process to provide 
opportunities for agency and public input on the study. A public 
hearing will be held upon release of the Tier 1 Draft EIS for public 
and agency review.
    Alternatives: Corridor alternatives with widths appropriate for the 
evaluation of the full range of potential impacts will be developed 
within the updated study area. The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate a 
reasonable range of ``Action'' corridor alternatives and the ``No 
Action'' alternative.
    Environmental Review Process: The Tier 1 EIS will be developed in 
accordance with Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 
Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] part 1500 et seq.) implementing NEPA 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and FHWA regulations. The FHWA and ADOT will 
use a tiered process, as provided for in 40 CFR 1508.28 and in 
accordance with FHWA guidance, in the completion of the environmental 
    If the Record of Decision indicates that FHWA has selected one of 
the corridor alternatives as the environmentally preferred alternative, 
the evaluation of a specific highway alignment within the selected 
corridor would occur in a subsequent phase of the study. Subsequent 
Tier 2 assessment(s) would address a proposed highway alignment to be 
developed within the corridor alternative selected in the Tier 1 EIS, 
and would incorporate by reference the Tier 1 data, evaluations, and 
findings. The Tier 2 NEPA evaluation(s) would concentrate on site-
specific issues and alternatives relevant to implementing a new highway 
alignment within the selected Tier 1 alternative corridor, and would 
identify the environmental consequences and measures necessary to 
mitigate environmental impacts at a site-specific level of detail.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, 
Highway Research, Planning and Construction. The regulations 
implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental 
consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this 

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 315; U.S.C. 771.123.

    Issued on: September 27, 2016.
Karla S. Petty,
Arizona Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-23784 Filed 9-30-16; 8:45 am]

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