Environmental studies, technical studies, and design considerations are now being undertaken to further evaluate the feasibility of each project alternative. Caltrans, as the CEQA and assigned NEPA lead agency, is preparing an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) to evaluate potential impacts of the project that could affect the quality of the human environment. At the end of the project phase, a Preferred Alternative will be selected.
The EIR/EIS is a legal joint document required under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (CEQA/NEPA), respectively. Upon completion, the document will:
- Include a comprehensive description of the project and proposed alternatives,
- Evaluate the project’s environmental effects, and
- Inform decision-makers and the public of reasonable mitigations, if any, which could be employed to minimize or avoid adverse impacts.
A draft EIR/EIS will be publicly circulated for comment prior to completing the final EIR/EIS and selection of the Preferred Alternative. The environmental phase is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2021.