Plan Bay Area begins its Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

Clarrissa Cabansagan Headshot

Bay Area from aboveThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) began their work on a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Plan Bay Area. The EIR will analyze the environmental impacts of land use scenarios and transportation investments that will be considered for Plan Bay Area.

The public has been invited to attend one of five public meetings to comment on the scope and content of the environmental information that will be evaluated. The first meeting in Oakland (June 20) had some active participation from local Tea Party activist that dominated the discussion. The second meeting in San Jose (June 21) that I attended was very productive and had an audience that respected the process. The public was able to make comments and ask questions.  Several members of had the opportunity to ask multiple questions.  We encourage the public to attend the scoping meetings as well as submitting comments in writing (July 11 deadline).  

TransForm just submitted its formal EIR Scoping Comment Letter to Ashley Nguyen (EIR Project Manager to eircomments@mtc.ca.gov ).  The Final Alternatives for review by the Joint MTC Planning/ABAG Administrative Committees and recommendation to the Commision and ABAG Executive Board will occur on July 13 at the MTC Planning Committee with the Association of Bay Area Governments Administrative Committee in the MetroCenter Auditorium at 9:30am.

You can read a copy of the One Bay Area Scoping presentation and submit a comment.  

Discussion topics at the meetings include:

  • What environmental issues should be analyzed?
  • Are there alternatives that should be evaluated?
  • What mitigation measures would help avoid or minimize any negative impacts?
  • How can local jurisdictions and other agencies use this EIR?

The Scoping Meeting Dates are listed below. They will all present the same information so you only need to attend one of the meetings. 

  1. Wednesday, June 20, 2012 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Joseph P. Bort Metro Center MTC Auditorium 101 Eighth Street Oakland, CA 94607
  2. Thursday, June 21, 2012 10:00 a.m. to Noon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library Room 255/257 150 East San Fernando Street San Jose, CA 95112
  3. Monday, June 25, 2012 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Solano County Events Center 601 Texas Street Fairfield, CA 94533
  4. Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:00 a.m. to Noon SF Planning + Urban Research (SPUR) Public Assembly Hall – 2nd Floor 654 Mission Street SF, CA 94105
  5. Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Embassy Suites Hotel Novato/Larkspur Room 101 McInnis Parkway San Rafael, CA

It will be important for the public to keep track of the EIR Schedule. Due to the fact that this is a federal process there are some windows for comments and participation.  The MTC staff did say they appreciate comments throughout the process but made it clear that there are moments with deadlines for comments. They mentioned that the timeline is tight at times, but they will make it work.

TransForm will be submitting a formal comment before the July 11 deadline and will share it on this blog when it is finalized. 

The schedule for the EIR is as follows:

June 8 - Present Draft EIR Alternatives for review by the joint MTC Planning and ABAG Administrative Committees

June 11 – Release Notice of Preparation for 30 day Public Review

June 20-28 – Hold Regionwide Scoping meetings

July 11 – Final day to submit scoping comments to Ashley Nguyen (EIR Project Manager, see link)

July 13 – Present Final Alternatives for review by Joint MTC Planning/ABAG Administrative Committees and recommendation to Commission and ABAG Executive Board

July 19 - Commission and ABAG Executive Board Approve Final Alternatives

July-December -Prepare Draft EIR

December 14 -Release Draft EIR and Draft Plan for 45- and 55-Day Public Review Periods by Joint MTC Planning/ABAG Administrative Committees

January 2013 - Hold Public Hearings on Draft Plan and Draft EIR

February/March - Prepare Final EIR (including Response to Comments)

April 2013 - Commission and ABAG Executive Board Certify Final EIR and Adopt Final Plan.

For more information on the process and how to participate please contact Manolo González-Estay from TransForm at (510) 740-3150 x 315.  

Posted by Manolo González-Estay.

 

About This Blog

TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.