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56128 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No.

190 / Tuesday, October 2, 2007 / Notices

Accountable, Flexible, Efficient plans to develop the Draft EIS/EIR to Impact Statement and Section 4(f)
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for satisfy the required planning Evaluation.
Users (SAFETEA–LU), call for public Alternatives Analysis. The New Starts
involvement in the EIS process. Section regulations also require the submission SUMMARY: The Federal Transit
6002 of SAFETEA–LU requires that FTA of certain project-justification Administration (FTA) and Valley Metro
and LACMTA do the following: (1) information to support a request to Rail, Inc. (METRO) intend to prepare an
Extend an invitation to other Federal initiate preliminary engineering. This Alternatives Analysis (AA)/
and non-Federal agencies and Native information is normally developed in Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
American tribes that may have an conjunction with the NEPA process. and Section 4(f) Evaluation on proposed
interest in the proposed project to Pertinent New Starts evaluation criteria high capacity transit improvements,
become ‘‘participating agencies;’’ (2) will be included in the EIS. including a potential light rail transit
provide an opportunity for involvement The EIS will be prepared in (LRT) line and/or bus rapid transit
by participating agencies and the public accordance with NEPA and its (BRT) in the Interstate 10 (I–10) West
to help define the purpose and need for implementing regulations issued by the study area between the Central Phoenix/
a proposed project, as well as the range Council on Environmental Quality (40 East Valley LRT Starter Line on Central
of alternatives for consideration in the CFR Parts 1500–1508) and with the Avenue and State Route 101 extending
EIS; and (3) establish a plan for FTA/Federal Highway Administration through the cities of Phoenix and
coordinating public and agency regulations ‘‘Environmental Impact and Tolleson in Maricopa County, Arizona.
participation in, and comment on, the Related Procedures’’ (23 CFR part 771). The proposed study area is bounded by
environmental review process. An In accordance with 23 CFR 771.105(a) State Route 101 on the west; Thomas
invitation to become a participating or and 771.133, FTA will comply with all Road on the north; 7th Street on the
cooperating agency, with scoping Federal environmental laws, east; and Buckeye Road on the south.
materials appended, will be extended to regulations, and executive orders Transit improvements and alignments
other Federal and non-Federal agencies applicable to the proposed project within the I–10 right-of-way will be
and Native American tribes that may during the environmental review considered among the alternatives. The
have an interest in the proposed project. process to the maximum extent AA/EIS will be prepared in accordance
It is possible that FTA and LACMTA practicable. These requirements with the requirements of the National
will not be able to identify all Federal include, but are not limited to, the Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40
and non-Federal agencies and Native environmental and public hearing CFR parts 1500–1508, and its
American tribes that may have such an provisions of Federal transit laws (49 implementing regulations. The AA/EIS
interest. Any Federal or non-Federal U.S.C. 5301(e), 5323(b), and 5324); the process will be initiated with a scoping
agency or Native American tribe project-level air quality conformity process that provides opportunities for
interested in the proposed project that regulation of the U.S. Environmental the public to comment on the scope of
does not receive an invitation to become Protection Agency (EPA) (40 CFR Part the project and proposed alternatives to
a participating agency should notify at 93); the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines of be considered in the AA and Draft
the earliest opportunity the Project EPA (40 CFR Part 230); the regulation Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
Manager identified above under implementing Section 106 of the This input will be used to assist
ADDRESSES. National Historic Preservation Act (36 decisionmakers in determining a locally
A comprehensive public involvement CFR Part 800); the regulation preferred alternative (LPA) for the I–10
program and a Coordination Plan for implementing Section 7 of the West Corridor. After the completion of
public and interagency involvement Endangered Species Act (50 CFR Part the DEIS and upon selection of an LPA,
will be developed for the project and 402); Section 4(f) of the Department of METRO will request permission from
posted on LACMTA’s Web site Transportation Act (23 CFR 771.135); FTA to enter into preliminary
(Crenshaw-Prairie Transit Corridor and Executive Orders 12898 on engineering per requirements of New
Project Web page: http:// Starts regulations 49 CFR part 611. The
environmental justice, 11988 on
www.metro.net/crenshaw). The public Final Environmental Impact Statement
floodplain management, and 11990 on
involvement program includes a full (FEIS) will be issued after FTA approves
wetlands.
range of activities including the project entrance into preliminary engineering.
Issued on: September 27, 2007. The purpose of this notice is to alert
webpage on the LACMTA Web site,
development and distribution of project Leslie T. Rogers, interested parties regarding the intent to
newsletters, and outreach to local Regional Administrator, Federal Transit prepare the AA/EIS and Section 4(f)
officials, community and civic groups, Administration, Region IX. Evaluation, to provide information on
and the public. Specific activities or [FR Doc. E7–19415 Filed 10–1–07; 8:45 am] the nature of the proposed project and
events for involvement will be detailed BILLING CODE 4910–57–P possible alternatives, to invite public
in the public involvement program. participation in the AA/EIS process,
LACMTA may seek New Starts including comments on the scope of the
funding for the proposed project under DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION alternatives proposed in this notice, to
49 United States Code 5309 and will, announce that public scoping meetings
Federal Transit Administration will be conducted, and to identify
therefore, be subject to New Starts
regulations (49 Code of Federal participating agency contacts.
Preparation of an Environmental
Regulations (CFR) Part 611). The New Impact Statement and Section 4(f) DATES: Written and e-mailed comments
Starts regulation requires a planning Evaluation for High-Capacity Transit on the scope of study, including the
Alternatives Analysis that leads to the Improvements in the I–10 West alternatives to be considered, and the
selection of a Locally Preferred impacts to be assessed, should be sent
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Corridor
Alternative and the inclusion of this to METRO on or before November 16,
alternative in the long-range AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, 2007. See ADDRESSES below for the
transportation plan adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. street address and e-mail address to
LACMTA and Southern California ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an which written comments may be sent.
Association of Governments. LACMTA Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Public scoping meetings to accept

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 2, 2007 / Notices 56129

comments on the scope of the study will while achieving similar transportation means, and 3 percent worked at home.
be held on the following dates: objectives; and significant social, Commute times averaged 26.9 minutes.
• Tuesday, October 23, 2007, at 6 economic, or environmental issues The City of Phoenix currently operates
p.m., Desert West Community Center, relating to the alternatives. a bus fleet of 485 vehicles with a daily
6501 West Virginia Avenue, Phoenix, ridership of nearly 154,000, providing
AZ 85035. Purpose and Need for the Project
over 18 million miles of annual service.
• Thursday, October 25, at 3 p.m., The purpose is defined as follows: In general, travel on highways and
University Park Center, 350 North 10th 1. Identify a transit alternative that arterials is expected to increase by
Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85007. increases efficient access to employment approximately 30 percent between 2004
An interagency scoping meeting will opportunities throughout the Central and 2030 within Maricopa County; peak
be held on the following date: Phoenix/West Valley region. period travel to work is expected to
• Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 10 2. Identify an improvement that grow by about 40 percent; similar trends
a.m., Valley Metro Rail, Inc. (METRO), provides effective transit options to are anticipated for the City of Phoenix.
101 North 1st Avenue, Suite 1300, relieve peak period congestion. Growth in the City of Phoenix and
Phoenix, Arizona 85003. 3. Identify a transit improvement adjacent jurisdictions has caused
The buildings used for the scoping alternative, with a recommended substantial increases in traffic
meetings are accessible to persons with alignment and technology, to connect congestion on the existing roadway
disabilities. Any individual who the LRT system currently under network, and has generated the need for
requires special assistance, such as a construction with the West Valley. new or improved public transportation
sign language interpreter, to participate 4. Identify a transit improvement service. Even with implementation of
in a scoping meeting should contact alternative that would facilitate the projects included in the MAG RTP,
Maria Hyatt, City of Phoenix City continued development of a service levels in 2030 on the area
Manager’s Office, 200 West Washington comprehensive and inter-connected freeways and arterials is expected to
Street, 12th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 regional transit network that is multi- deteriorate substantially due to
(Telephone 602–261–8897) at least 48 modal, that offers a range of effective increased travel demand, resulting in a
hours in advance of a meeting in order mobility choices for current and future significant increase in congestion.
for METRO and the City of Phoenix to transit riders, and that attracts new The MAG 2006 Freeway Level of
make the necessary arrangements. transit riders to use the growing regional Service (LOS) Study shows I–10 West
Scoping materials will be available at system. direction during AM and PM peak hour
the meetings and through the project’s 5. Identify an alternative that at LOS E and F for significant portions
Web site at http:// improves the efficiency of transit of the study corridor. Preliminary
www.metrolightrail.org/I–10West. Hard operations. analysis of recent MAG traffic modeling
copies of the scoping materials are also 6. Identify an alternative that provides for 2030 indicate similar poor LOS
available from Mr. Rick Pilgrim whose cost-effective transit improvements and conditions in the future for the section
contact information is given in expands access to corridor destinations. of I–10 within the study area.
ADDRESSES below. 7. Identify a transit alternative that The AA/EIS will analyze the potential
supports economic development for the proposed high capacity transit
ADDRESSES: Written comments should
(including transit-oriented improvements to address increased
be sent to the attention of Mr. Rick
development), and ensures enhanced demand for travel by connecting the
Pilgrim, Valley Metro Rail, Inc., 101
connectivity among existing and project corridor with the LRT Starter
North 1st Avenue, Suite 1300, Phoenix,
planned regional and local activity Line on Central/First Avenue.
AZ 85003. E-mail: I–
center and attractions. Alternatives:
10West@metrolightrail.org. Phone: (602)
Additional considerations supporting The alternatives proposed for
495–8216; Fax: (602) 252–7453. The
the project’s need include: evaluation include:
locations of the public scoping meetings The Regional Transportation Plan
are given above under DATES. • A no-build alternative, which
(RTP), adopted by the Maricopa includes the current network plus all
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Association of Governments (MAG) and ongoing, programmed, and committed
Hymie Luden, Office of Planning and financed under the one-half cent sales projects listed in the MAG RTP;
Program Development, Federal Transit tax extension, identifies 57-miles of • A Transportation Systems
Administration, 201 Mission Street, major light rail/high capacity transit Management (TSM) alternative, which
Room 2210, San Francisco, CA 94105. corridors to be implemented by 2026. would include improving existing
Phone: (415) 744–2732. E-mail: Currently, the 20-mile starter segment is transit services such as additional bus
hymie.luden@dot.gov. under construction. An 11-mile service and routes, and which also
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: extension into west Phoenix is one of serves as a baseline for evaluation
five corridors identified in the RTP. against which all other alternatives may
Scoping The City of Phoenix, which spans be compared for federal funding
The FTA and METRO invite all approximately 515 square miles, is the purposes (referred to as the FTA Future
interested individuals and largest city in Arizona, and the fifth Baseline and implements all of the
organizations, public agencies, and largest in the nation. The Arizona projects in the No-Build Alternative);
Native American Tribes to comment on Department of Commerce estimates the • Bus Rapid Transit alternatives; and
the scope of the AA and the EIS, 2006 population of Phoenix at • Light Rail Transit alternatives.
including the project’s preliminary approximately 1.5 million. The Each build alternative will explore the
statement of purpose and need, the population of Phoenix is estimated by construction of new transportation
alternatives to be studied and the MAG to grow to approximately 2.2 infrastructure such as tracks, stations,
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impacts to be evaluated. Comments million by 2030. According to the U.S. and maintenance yards. Underground,
should focus on the purpose and need Census Bureau 73 percent of Phoenix surface and/or aerial design options may
for the proposed project; alternatives workers drove to work alone in 2005, 16 be developed for each of the build
that may be less costly or have less percent carpooled, 3 percent took public alternative alignments. Multi-modal
environmental or community impacts transportation, 4 percent used other alternatives will also be explored.

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56130 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 2, 2007 / Notices

The EIS Process and the Role of helping to define the purpose and need The AA/EIS will be prepared in
Participating Agencies and the Public for a proposed project, as well as the accordance with NEPA and its
The purpose of the NEPA process is range of alternatives for consideration in implementing regulations issued by the
to explore, in a public setting, the effects the EIS; and (3) establish a plan for Council on Environmental Quality (40
of the proposed project and its coordinating public and agency CFR parts 1500–1508) and with the
alternatives on the physical, human, participation in and comment on the FTA/Federal Highway Administration
and natural environment. The FTA and environmental review process. regulations ‘‘Environmental Impact and
A list of interested agencies has been Related Procedures’’ (23 CFR part 771).
METRO will evaluate all significant
developed, and an invitation to become In accordance with 23 CFR 771.105(a)
environmental, social, and economic
a participating agency, with the scoping and 771.133, FTA will comply with all
impacts of the construction and
information packet appended, will be Federal environmental laws,
operation of the proposed project.
extended to other Federal and non- regulations, and executive orders
Impact areas to be addressed include:
Federal agencies and Indian tribes that applicable to the proposed project
Land use; development potential;
may have an interest in the proposed during the environmental review
secondary development; land
project. It is possible that we may not be process to the maximum extent
acquisition, displacements, and able to identify all Federal and non- practicable. These requirements
relocations; cultural resources Federal agencies and Indian tribes that include, but are not limited to, the
(including impacts on historical and may have such an interest. Any Federal environmental and public hearing
archaeological resources); parklands and or non-Federal agency or Indian tribe provisions of Federal transit laws (49
recreation areas; visual and aesthetic interested in the proposed project that U.S.C. 5301(e), 5323(b), and 5324), the
qualities; air quality; noise and does not receive an invitation to become project-level air quality conformity
vibration; ecosystems (including a participating agency should notify, at regulation of the U.S. Environmental
threatened and endangered species); the earliest opportunity, the person Protection Agency (EPA) (40 CFR part
energy use; business and neighborhood identified above under ADDRESSES. 93), the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines of
disruptions; environmental justice; A comprehensive Public Involvement EPA (40 CFR part 230), the regulation
changes in traffic and pedestrian Program will be developed, and a public implementing Section 106 of the
circulation and congestion; and changes and agency involvement Coordination National Historic Preservation Act (36
in transit service and patronage. Plan will be created. The Public CFR part 800), the regulation
Measures to avoid, minimize, or Involvement Program will include a full implementing Section 7 of the
mitigate any significant adverse impacts range of involvement activities. Endangered Species Act (50 CFR part
will be identified and evaluated. Activities will include outreach to local 402), and Executive Orders 12898 on
The methodology for evaluation of and county officials and community and environmental justice, 11988 on
impacts will focus on the areas of civic groups; a public scoping process to floodplain management and 11990 on
investigation mentioned above. As the define the issues of concern among all wetlands. The Section 4(f) Evaluation
public involvement and agency parties interested in the project; will comply with the United States
consultation process proceeds, organizing periodic meetings with Department of Transportation Act (23
additional evaluation criteria and various local agencies, organizations CFR 771.135).
impact assessment measures will be and committees; a public hearing upon
included in the analysis. Potential Issued on: September 27, 2007.
release of the Draft Environmental
alternatives will be developed to a Leslie T. Rogers,
Impact Statement (DEIS); development
conceptual level, and will be screened and distribution of project newsletters Regional Administrator, FTA Region IX.
and ranked against these evaluation and the establishment of a project Web [FR Doc. E7–19417 Filed 10–1–07; 8:45 am]
criteria and local community site. Opportunities to participate in the BILLING CODE 4910–57–P
considerations. Travel time savings, scoping process, in addition to the
potential for congestion reduction and public meetings announced in this
improved mobility options for residents notice, will be made available. Specific DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
of the City of Phoenix and adjacent mechanisms for involvement will be
metropolitan areas will be assessed for National Highway Traffic Safety
detailed in the Public Involvement
the transportation alternatives Administration
Program.
considered. The public involvement METRO may seek New Starts funding [U.S. DOT Docket Number NHTSA–2007–
program and agency coordination plan for the proposed project under 49 U.S.C. 28638]
discussed below will provide the 5309 and will therefore be subject to
vehicle through which these evaluation New Starts regulations (49 CFR part Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping
analyses will be conducted. 611). The New Starts regulations require Requirements
The regulations implementing NEPA, a planning Alternatives Analysis that AGENCY: National Highway Traffic
as well as provisions of the Safe, leads to the selection of a locally Safety Administration (NHTSA),
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient preferred alternative and the inclusion Department of Transportation.
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for of the locally preferred alternative as ACTION: Request for public comment on
Users (SAFETEA–LU), call for public part of the long-range transportation an extension of a currently approved
involvement in the EIS process. Section plan adopted by the MAG. The New collection.
6002 of SAFETEA–LU requires that FTA Starts regulations also require the
and METRO do the following: (1) submission of certain project- SUMMARY: Before a Federal agency can
Extend an invitation to other Federal justification information in support of a collect certain information from the
and non-Federal agencies and Indian request to initiate preliminary public, it must receive approval from
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tribes that may have an interest in the engineering, and this information is the Office of Management and Budget
proposed project to become normally developed in conjunction with (OMB). Under procedures established
‘‘participating agencies’’; (2) provide an the NEPA process. Pertinent New Starts by the Paperwork Reduction Act of
opportunity for involvement by evaluation criteria will be included in 1995, before seeking OMB approval,
participating agencies and the public in the Final EIS. Federal agencies must solicit public

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