Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

COORDINATION PLAN
For
PROJECT: ST-059-261-004
HELENA BYPASS
SHELBY COUNTY


Purpose(s):

The purposes of the coordination plan are to facilitate and document the lead agencies' structured interaction with the public and other agencies and to inform the public and other agencies of how the coordination will be accomplished.

  1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

    The proposed project is to provide a bypass around the historic downtown area of Helena (Shelby County) Alabama. The project will begin southwest of the downtown area on Shelby County Road 52 (CR-52) approximately 6,600 feet west of the existing intersection of CR-52 and State Route 261 (SR-261) and traverse northeasterly approximately four miles to a terminus with SR-261 near Bearden Road. The total cost for the project is estimated to be $22 Million.

  2. IMPACTS:

    1. Human Environment: Studies will commence in August 2006 and continue through August 2007.
      1. Historic & Archaeological Preservation

        A Historical Building Survey and a Phase I Cultural Resource Assessment (CRA), and later, if needed, a Phase II CRA, will be conducted on all project alternatives in accordance with the requirements of the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Phase I surveys will be conducted by Southeastern Anthropological Institute under the supervision of Mr. Hunter Johnson. Coordination with AHC on the initial survey and Phase I CRA results is expected to occur between October-December 2006.

        Should a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligible site be identified as impacted, ALDOT will promptly inform FHWA. FHWA, in turn, will notify the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) by letter that they have a project which negatively impacts a NRHP eligible site. A Memorandum of Agreement and additional cultural resource documentation necessary will be accomplished, in accordance with AHC and Section 106. The MOA will be submitted to the ACHP by FHWA.

        Initial tribal coordination was accomplished by letters that were mailed on August 4, 2006 during the Scoping Phase of the project. ALDOT will provide additional information or details per any tribal request. Depending on tribal responses or the types of historic sites identified, additional coordination may occur. FHWA will handle any coordination beyond initial contact and providing supplementary data. If any issues or problems with tribal coordination arise, FHWA should be informed immediately.
      2. All other social impacts will be conducted in accordance with FHWA's Technical Advisory 6640.8A and ALDOT's policy.
        1. Relocations
        2. Environmental Justice. ALDOT will promptly inform FHWA if it appears environmental justice will be an issue.
        3. Noise
        4. Air Quality
        5. Economic
    2. NATURAL ENVIRONMENTAL: Studies will begin in August 2006 and continue through August 2007. Environmental impacts will be conducted in accordance with existing regulations and guidance of the various resource agencies. These studies will be performed by either Solid Civil Design or Gallet and Associates and include the following:
      1. Wetlands: Wetlands will be delineated on all project alternatives in accordance with the Corps of Engineers guidelines. Permit requirements will be determined and commitments will be made during the NEPA process. A Wetlands Finding will be included in the FEIS.
      2. Water Quality: Water quality will be assessed and coordinated with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Permit requirements will be determined and commitments will be made during the NEPA process.
      3. Floodplains: A risk assessment will be performed in order to evaluate the potential for work below the 100 year flood. Coordination with FEMA will be accomplished and the necessary studies will be conducted prior to any construction activities.
      4. Endangered Species: A survey will be conducted for all species noted by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). These surveys will be conducted by a well qualified and experienced individual that meets USFWS standards.
      5. Hazardous Materials: A survey will be conducted to identify possible hazardous materials sites and to assess the associated risks. The survey will be coordinated with the ALDOT's Environmental Technical Section and Hazardous Materials Section. Drilling and clean-up cost estimates will be accomplished if needed, after a preferred alternate has been selected.
      6. Public Park, Recreation Area or Wildlife Refuge: ALDOT will promptly inform FHWA if it appears that a Section 4(f) Resource will be impacted.
    3. CULMULATIVE AND SECONDARY IMPACTS will be identified and if appropriate, mitigation measures.

  3. COORDINATION POINTS:

    NOTICE TO PROCEED
    A Notice to Proceed (NTP) was issued on June 8, 2006. Upon receiving this NTP, initial coordination efforts began.

    NOTICE OF INTENT
    In order to inform a broad spectrum of the Public, the FHWA has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register. This NOI was published on August 1, 2006.

    SCOPING MEETING
    Pursuant to publishing the NOI, a Scoping Meeting was planned. The Scoping Meeting Invitation Letters along with a map of the study area were mailed on August 4, 2006 in order to provide sufficient time for attendees to schedule their attendance. The meeting was scheduled for September 7, 2006.

    Invitees for the Scoping Meeting were identified using ALDOT's list of invitees which included the local elected officials, regulatory agencies, and Native American contacts.

    Comments were solicited regarding the purpose and need for the project, the alternatives to be studied and on known or potential concerns needing to be addressed in the EIS. Comments were received at the scoping meeting and will be received for 30 days following the meeting.

    PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT MEETING
    A Public Involvement Meeting (PIM) will be held in September 2006. Prior to this meeting, advertisements of the meeting will be published in both the Birmingham News and the Shelby County Reporter. In addition, ALDOT plans to mail invitations to citizens who registered their attendance at the PIM's held for adjacent projects. Comments will be requested via comment forms regarding the purpose and need for the project, the alternatives to be studied and on known or potential concerns needing to be addressed in the EIS. Participants will be able to provide their comments at the meeting or mail them in within 10 days as provided in the ALDOT Public Involvement and Public Hearing Procedures.

    PURPOSE AND NEED and RANGE OF ALTERNATIVES
    After the comments from the Scoping Meeting and Public Involvement Meeting have been received and reviewed, a final statement of purpose and need and range of alternatives will be drafted by ALDOT for FHWA approval. This is scheduled for Oct 2006. A preferred alternative may be selected during preparation of the DEIS.

    DEIS
    Upon completion of the DEIS, copies will be distributed to Cooperating Agencies, Participating Agencies, and others who requested to be included in the distribution. A comment period of 45 days has been established. This comment period will be communicated to the recipients in the cover letter distributing the DEIS. The DEIS comment period begins on the date that EPA publishes the notice of availability of the DEIS in the Federal Register. This is scheduled for April 2007. PUBLIC HEARING
    A Corridor/Design Public Hearing will be held after approval of the DEIS. Prior to this meeting, advertisements of the meeting will be published in both the Birmingham News and the Shelby County Reporter. In addition, ALDOT plans to mail invitations to citizens who registered their attendance at the PIM. Comments will be requested via comment forms regarding the DEIS. Participants will be able to provide their comments at the meeting or mail them in within the 45 day comment period. This is scheduled for July 2007.

    IDENTIFICATION OF THE SELECTED ALTERNATIVE
    After the comments from the Public Hearing have been received and reviewed, an alternative will be selected and any additional studies or conceptual design required will be accomplished. This is scheduled for September 2007.

    FEIS
    Upon completion of the FEIS, copies will be distributed to Cooperating Agencies, Participating Agencies, and others who requested to be included in the distribution. A 30 day waiting period is provided between the FEIS notice in the Federal Register and the signing of the ROD. This period is required by CEQ regulations [40 CFR 1506.10(b)] provides time for other Federal agencies that find the project environmentally unsatisfactory to refer the decision to CEQ [40 CFR 1504]. The FEIS comment period begins on the date that EPA publishes the notice of availability of the FEIS in the Federal Register. This is scheduled for Jan 2008.

    Occasionally, the FHWA will seek comment on a specific unresolved issue discussed in the FEIS. In those cases, the comment deadline provisions of SAFETEA-LU apply and the comment period will run concurrently with the required 30-day waiting period. Even if the lead agencies do not request comments on a FEIS, they will address any new and substantive comments submitted during the 30 days following the FEIS publication.

    After the FEIS, comments typically should focus on commitments discussed in the FEIS and on conditions that parties want the lead agencies to include in the ROD. The process should avoid duplication, and the lead agencies are not required to re-address comments that present issues specifically raised during the DEIS comment period and addressed in the FEIS. Comments to which the lead agencies respond would be addressed in the ROD or in an attachment to the ROD.

    ROD
    SAFETEA-LU requires USDOT to report to Congress when project decisions by other Federal agencies are not completed within 180 days after the later of two statutory milestones. The first milestone is the completion of decision-making by the USDOT agency, for this project the FHWA, which occurs with the signing of the NEPA ROD. The second milestone is the date of submission of a complete application to the Federal agency for a permit, license, or approval for the project. The completeness of the application will be determined by the FHWA. This is scheduled for March 2008. COMPLETION OF PERMITS, LICENSES, OR APPROVALS AFTER THE ROD

    It is anticipated that the following permits, licenses and approvals will be required prior to construction. Because funding for construction has not been appropriated, an estimated construction start date has not been determined.

    National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit from ADEM: This permit will be applied for by the ALDOT approximately one year prior to the construction start date.

    Section 404 Permit from the US COE: This permit will be applied for by the ALDOT approximately one year prior to the construction start date.

    No other permits, licenses or approvals are currently anticipated for this project.

    The FHWA Division Office, in cooperation with the City of Helena and ALDOT, are responsible for tracking these decision-making timelines as a part of their management of the project. The FHWA Division Office will address schedule problems as soon as they occur. If it appears likely that project decisions will not be completed by the 180-day deadlines, then the FHWA Division Office will comply with the requirements established by SAFETEA-LU, Section 6002, codified in Subchapter I of chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code.

  4. Designated Groups

    LEAD AGENCIES: The FHWA and ALDOT are joint leads for this project.

    PARTICIPATING AGENCIES: ALDOT will send invitations to potential participating agencies. FHWA will review and approve the invitations. The invitation should request a response either accepting or declining the role of participating agency. Per SAFETEA-LU, a Federal agency invited to participate shall be designated as a participating agency unless the agency declines the invitation by the specified deadline. If a Federal agency chooses to decline, their response letter must state that the agency (1) has no jurisdiction or authority with respect to the project, (2) has no expertise or information relevant to the project, and (3) does not intend to submit comments on the project. If the Federal agency's response does not state the agency's position in these terms, then the agency will be treated as participating agency.

    A State, tribal, or local agency must respond affirmatively to the invitation to be designated as a participating agency. If the State, tribal, or local agency fails to respond or declines the invitation, regardless of the reasons for declining, the agency will not be considered a participating agency.

    The project sponsor and the FHWA will be responsible for determining who will be invited as a participating agency. The following agencies have been identified as potential participating agencies:
    1. County of Shelby, Engineering
    2. Alabama Historical Commission, Cultural Resources
    3. Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Water Quality
    4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rare and Endangered Species and/or Critical Habitat
    Each participating agency will be asked to provide information and guidance for matters related to their area of special expertise. The invitations will be issued in September 2006.

    COOPERATING AGENCIES: Cooperating agencies have a slightly higher degree of authority, responsibility, and involvement in the environmental review process. Cooperating agencies are, by definition in 40 CFR 1508.5, agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the only cooperating agency expected for this project.

    PROJECT SPONSOR: This is the City of Helena.

    PUBLIC: Anyone with an interest in the project. Opportunities for input occur at the PIM and the public hearing.
HELENA BYPASS PROJECT SCHEDULE
TASK Expected Completion Actual Completion
Publish Notice of Intent   August 1, 2006
Scoping Meeting September 7, 2006 September 7, 2006
Public Involvement Meeting September 14, 2006 September 14, 2006
Cultural Resources Surveys October 2006  
Threatened and Endangered Species Studies September 2006  
SHPO Concurrence December 2006  
USFWS Concurrence October 2006  
Other Environmental Studies November 2006  
Submission of DEIS December 2006  
Approval of DEIS April 2007  
Public Hearing July 2007  
Submission of FEIS October 2007  
Approval of FEIS February 2008  
Submission of Draft ROD March 2008  

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