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Environmental Impact Statement: Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, CA; Notice of Intent

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Environmental Impact Statement: Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, CA; Notice of Intent

Cindy Vigue
Federal Highway Administration
24 September 2010

[Federal Register: September 24, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 185)]
[Notices]               
[Page 58466-58467]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24se10-157]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

 
Environmental Impact Statement: Los Angeles and San Bernardino 
Counties, CA; Notice of Intent

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Withdrawal/Revised Notice of Intent (NOI).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FHWA, on behalf of the California Department of 
Transportation (Caltrans), is issuing this notice to advise the public 
that the Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for the proposed New State Route 138 project in Los Angeles 
County, California (Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 16) and the Notice of 
Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 
proposed High Desert Corridor project, State Route 18, in San 
Bernardino County, California (Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 197) are 
being withdrawn. In addition, this notice is being issued to advise the 
public that a draft EIS will be prepared for a proposed expanded High 
Desert Corridor--New State Route 138 project in Los Angeles and San 
Bernardino Counties, California.

DATES: Public scoping meetings will be held in:
    (1) Palmdale, CA on September 27, 2010, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (2) Lancaster, CA on September 28, 2010, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (3) Apple Valley, CA on September 29, 2010, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (4) Victorville, CA on September 30, 2010, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

ADDRESSES: 
    (1) Palmdale--Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 North Sierra 
Highway, Palmdale, CA 93550.
    (2) Lancaster--Lancaster City Hall, Emergency Operations Center, 
44933 Fern Avenue, Lancaster, CA 93534.
    (3) Apple Valley--Town of Apple Valley Development Services 
Building Conference Center, 14955 Dale Evans Parkway, Apple Valley, CA 
92307.
    (4) Victorville--City of Victorville Conference Room D, 14343 Civic 
Drive, Victorville, CA 92393.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald Kosinski, Deputy District 
Director, California Department of Transportation District 7 Division 
of Environmental Planning, 100 South Main Street, Mail Stop 16A, Los 
Angeles, CA 90012.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Effective July 1, 2007, the FHWA assigned, 
and Caltrans assumed, environmental responsibilities for these projects 
pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327. Caltrans, as the delegated National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lead agency, initiated studies on the 
proposed New State Route 138 and High Desert Corridor, State Route 18 
projects. NOIs were published in the Federal Register on January 27, 
2009 (Vol. 74, No. 16) and October 12, 2007 (Vol. 72, No. 197). During 
the course of conducting studies and coordinating with regulatory and 
resource agencies for the proposed projects, it was determined that the 
projects should be combined into one larger High Desert Corridor--New 
State Route 138 project. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be 
prepared for a proposal to construct a new freeway/expressway, and 
possibly a toll way, between SR-14 in Los Angeles County and SR-18 in 
San Bernardino County. The proposed route would run primarily in an 
east-west direction and extend for approximately 63 miles; it would 
roughly follow the alignment of the Avenue P-8 corridor near SR-14 in 
Los Angeles County and Air Expressway near I-15 in San Bernardino 
County. East of I-15, the proposed route would turn south until it 
terminates at SR-18. The development of this corridor is considered 
necessary to provide for the existing and projected traffic demand 
attributed to large-scale growth and increasing population in the 
Antelope, Victor and Apple Valley areas of Los Angeles and San 
Bernardino Counties. This growth has resulted in inadequate capacity 
and accessibility along the existing east-west trending roadways as 
well as an increase in demand for goods movement corridors and access 
to regional airports.
    Alternatives under consideration are: (1)--No-Build; (2)--
Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management (TSM/
TDM). This includes various operational investments, policies, and 
easily implemented, low capital cost improvements aimed at improving 
goods movement, passenger auto and transit travel, and reducing the 
environmental impacts of transportation for cities and operations in 
the High Desert Corridor study area; (3)--Freeway/Expressway. This 
would consist of a route with a controlled-access freeway in some areas 
and an expressway in others, depending on what is warranted by traffic 
demand. Interchange locations will be determined based upon traffic 
projections. Three variations along the main alignment of this 
alternative will be considered. In Variation A, the freeway/expressway 
would run slightly

[[Page 58467]]

south of the main alignment, approximately between 15th St. East and 
Little Rock Wash near Palmdale. In Variation B, the freeway/expressway 
would run slightly south of the main alignment between Oasis Rd. and 
Caughlin Rd. East of the county line. In Variation C, the freeway/
expressway would swing south of the main alignment to tie into SR-18 
near Rimrock Rd.; (4)--Freeway/Toll Way. This would consist of 
engineering geometrics similar to Alternative 3 with alterations made 
in coordination with a Public Private Partnership (P3) analysis. 
Variations A, B and C would also be considered; (5)--Avenue P-8 
Corridor, SR-138 and SR-18 Improvements. This would consist of 
engineering geometrics similar to Alternative 3 between SR-14 and 
approximately 125th St. East. From 125th St. East, the route would 
curve south until it joins the existing SR-138. The existing SR-138 and 
SR-18 would be widened between approximately 146th St. East and I-15. 
One of the segments east of I-15, as described in Alternative 3, would 
also be built as part of this alternative; (6)--Freeway/Expressway with 
right-of-way for a potential High Speed Rail facility. This would 
consist of engineering geometrics similar to Alternative 3 with the 
consideration of additional right-of-way for a High Speed Rail (HSR) 
facility. If an HSR facility is proven to be viable, its engineering 
and environmental analysis would be funded by others at some later 
time, and; (7)--Freeway/Toll Way with right-of-way for a potential High 
Speed Rail facility. This would consist of engineering geometrics 
similar to Alternative 4 with the consideration of additional right-of-
way for a High Speed Rail (HSR) facility. This alternative would 
include a P3 analysis. If a HSR facility is proven to be viable, its 
engineering and environmental analysis would be funded by others at 
some later time.
    It is anticipated that the proposed project may require the 
following federal approvals and permits: A Biological Opinion from the 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service, approval of a PM10 and PM2.5 
Hot Spot Analysis by the Conformity Working Group for transportation 
conformity determination under the Clean Air Act, Section 401, 402 and 
404 permits under the Clean Water Act, and a Farmland Conversion Impact 
Rating under the Farmland Protection Policy Act.
    Letters describing the proposed action and soliciting comments will 
be sent to appropriate Federal, State and local agencies, Participating 
Agencies, Tribal governments, and to private organizations and citizens 
who have previously expressed or are known to have an interest in this 
proposal. NEPA requires the lead agency to conduct an early and open 
process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for 
identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action. In 
compliance with NEPA, formal scoping meetings will be held at the 
dates, times and locations as described above. Public notice will be 
given of the times and place of each meeting. To ensure that the full 
range of issues related to this proposed action are addressed and all 
significant issues identified, comments and suggestions are invited 
from all interested parties. Comments or questions concerning this 
proposed action and the draft EIS should be directed to Caltrans at the 
address provided above.

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

    Issued on: September 20, 2010.
Cindy Vigue,
Director, State Programs, Federal Highway Administration, Sacramento, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2010-23920 Filed 9-23-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P

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