Environmental analyses and documentation are part of the overall Project Development process. The CCT project has proceeded in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 (NEPA), which allows for the ability to seek federal funds.
The CCT project has a long history of environmental documentation dating back to 2002 when the transitway was part of a multi-modal study looking at transit and highway improvements in the I-270 Corridor. In May 2002, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)for the I-270/US 15 Multi-Modal Corridor Study for public review and comment. The DEIS evaluated the impacts of 35 miles of highway improvements along the I-270/US 50 corridor and a 15.3-mile long CCT.
In May 2009, the FHWA and FTA circulated an Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Assessmentthat analyzed new highway alternatives and reviewed the previously studied CCT alternatives. In November 2010, the MTA completed a Supplemental EAto provide more detailed environmental and engineering analysis for new CCT alternatives to better serve the proposed developments of Crown Farm, Life Sciences and Kentlands.
In December 2011, FHWA and FTA jointly concurred that the CCT has independent utility from the highway components of the I-270/US 15 Multi-Modal Corridor Study and the CCT could proceed with NEPA compliance separate from the highway alternatives in the Multi-Modal Corridor Study.
The MTA and FTA will be preparing a new NEPA document, an Environmental Assessment (EA) that will focus on the Phase 1, 9-mile CCT project. Environmental planners and engineers will be using the applicable data from previous studies, as well as collecting new data in order to determine the environmental and transportation effects associated with the CCT project. The environmental studies that will be conducted include the following: