Thirty-day comment periods closing 12 August 2015 to comment on the US 84 widening project, say two Public Advisories from GA-EPD Watershed Protection Branch. One is in the Satilla River watershed, about “two existing open water ponds (outflowing into jusrisdictional[sic] wetlands associated with Lees Branch)”: those ponds are next to the groundwater-contaminating CSX railyard in Waycross. One is in the Upper Suwannee River watershed, about “three existing open water ponds (outflowing into jusrisdictional[sic] waters associated with Greasy Creek and the CSX railroad)”. Maybe the Southern Environmental Law Center letter to GDOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers got some results, although these advisories are from a different state agency.
This paragraph sums it up:
The project’s stated purpose in the EA is “economic development,” as part of the Governor’s Road Improvement Program created in the 1980s. See EA at 4. The NEPA regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) require agencies to examine the indirect impacts of projects — those growth-inducing impacts caused by a project, such as changes in land use and development patterns. 40 C.F.R. Â§ 1508.8(b). Yet over and over, when purporting to examine the project’s potential for indirect impacts on various natural resources, the EA repeats, “The proposed project is not expected to precipitate substantial development along the corridor.”
Other questions include, why not use a narrower median? Why not leave trees on the median?
Below is the full text of the letter Continue reading
GDOT and the Army Corps want to widen U.S. 84 from Homerville to Waycross. Since it appears that US 84 is already four lane from Thomasville through Quitman and Valdosta to Homerville, and from Waycross onwards northeast, this would be the remaining gap. The public notice says little or nothing about why this road work might be needed.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Public Notice, 28 April 2015, SAS-2014-00862 (SP-WMR), Widening and Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 84, with PDF. Since that notice says it expires in a month, there’s also a copy of the PDF on the WWALS website, including this location information: Continue reading