Environmental Review Toolkit
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Environmental Impact Statement for Pellissippi
Parkway (Route 162) Extension From SR 33 to US 321
(SR 73), Blount County, TN, P.I.N. 101423.00

COORDINATION PLAN FOR AGENCY AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

Federal Highway Administration (Tennessee Division)
and
Tennessee Department of Transportation

November 17, 2006


Table of Contents

1.0 Purpose of Coordination Plan
2.0 Project Background
3.0 Initial Coordination
3.1 Notice of Intent
3.2 Initial Coordination Package
3.2.1 Cooperating Agencies
3.2.2 Participating Agencies
3.2.3 Non-Participating Agencies and Organizations
3.2.4 Local Agencies and Organizations
3.2.5 Section 106 Early Coordination
4.0 Agency Coordination
4.1 Tennessee Environmental Streamlining Agreement Concurrence Points
4.1.1 Concurrence Point 1 — Purpose and Need and Study Area
4.1.2 Concurrence Point 2 — Project Alternatives to be Evaluated
4.1.3 Concurrence Point 3 — Preliminary Draft DEIS Document
4.1.4 Concurrence Point 4 — Preferred Alternative and Preliminary Mitigation
4.1.5 Other Opportunities for Agency Involvement
5.0 Opportunities for public input
5.1 Strategies for Encouraging Public Involvement
5.1.1 Database of Names
5.1.2 Community Groups Briefings
5.1.3 Local Government Officials Briefings
5.1.4 Identification of Special Outreach Areas
5.1.5 Media Relations
5.1.6 Project Newsletters
5.1.7 Project Website Content
5.1.8 Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.9 Comment Forms
5.1.10 Notice of Availability of DEIS
5.2 Public Workshops and Hearings
5.3 Scoping Meetings
5.4 Alternatives Workshop
5.5 Public Informational Meeting
5.6 DEIS Public Hearing
6.0 Schedule
Appendix (List of Agencies & Organizations Receiving Coordination Packages


List of Figures & Tables

Figure 1 Project Area Map
Table 1 Lead, Cooperating and Participating Agencies
Figure 2 Pellissippi Parkway Extension EIS Schedule



1.0 PURPOSE OF COORDINATION PLAN

This Coordination Plan is intended to define the process by which the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will communicate information about the Pellissippi Parkway (Route 162) Extension Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) project to the lead, cooperating, participating and other agencies and to the public. The plan also identifies how input from agencies and the public will be solicited and considered.

Since the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is expected to provide funding for this project, FHWA serves as the lead federal agency for the project. TDOT, as the direct recipient of Federal funds for the project, is the joint lead agency.

Section 6002 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act — A Legacy for Users of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU) requires that the lead agencies establish a plan for coordinating public and agency participation and comment during the environmental review process.

In accordance with TDOT's 2006 Public Involvement Plan, this project requires a Level Four Public Involvement Process, a level of participation designed for projects that would require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be completed. This plan also outlines the process by which the required level of public involvement will be accomplished.

This Coordination Plan will:

  • Identify the early coordination efforts;
  • Identify cooperating and participating agencies to be involved in agency coordination;
  • Establish the timing and form for agency involvement in defining the project's purpose and need and study area, the range of alternatives to be investigated, and methodologies, as well as in reviewing the DEIS draft and the selection of the preferred alternative and mitigation strategies.
  • Establish the timing and form for public opportunities to be involved in defining the project's purpose and need and study area and the range of alternatives to be investigated, providing input on issues of concern and environmental features, and commenting on the findings presented in the DEIS.
  • Describe the communication methods that will be implemented to inform the community about the project.

The Coordination Plan will be updated periodically to reflect any changes to the project schedule and other items that typically require updating over the course of the project.

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2.0 PROJECT BACKGROUND

This project involves the extension of Pellissippi Parkway (State Route 162) from State Route 33 (SR 33) to U.S. Highway 321/SR 73 or East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Alcoa and Maryville, Tennessee, a distance of approximately 4.4 miles. (See Figure 1) Based on previous studies, the extension of Pellissippi Parkway has been considered necessary to improve regional and local accessibility for the general public as well as emergency vehicles, to improve traffic capacity on the existing roadway system, and to improve safety conditions on US 129/SR 115 and US 321/SR 73. As a part of this study, a Purpose and Need Statement is being developed and refined based on input from agencies and the public during the initial coordination/scoping period.

Alternatives to be evaluated are expected to include: (1) No-Build; (2) Transportation System Management (TSM) activities; (3) Upgrades to existing roadways; (4) Mass Transit; and/or (5) One or more alternatives that would construct a new roadway on new location. The alternatives to be investigated in the EIS will be developed/refined based on input from agencies and the public during the initial coordination/scoping period and subsequent agency and public involvement opportunities.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project was prepared between 1999 and 2001; the EA was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on October 3, 2001. On March 5, 2002, TDOT announced the selection of Alternative A as the preferred alignment for the project and on April 24, 2002, FHWA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project. Prior to the initiation of acquisition of right-of-way, however, on July 17, 2002 a Federal Court order was issued and imposed a preliminary injunction halting continued planning, financing, contracting, land acquisition, and construction of the project. Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension (CAPPE) had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Nashville against officials of TDOT, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and FHWA. The lawsuit contended that FHWA should have prepared an EIS in compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, and that FHWA did not properly document their decision not to prepare an EIS. FHWA rescinded the right-of-way authorization after the court order was issued. On September 5, 2002, FHWA filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Nashville to allow FHWA to voluntarily remand the EA/FONSI. That request was rejected by the court.

In early 2003, the new TDOT Commissioner requested an independent assessment of the Pellissippi Parkway Extension project. The independent assessment was conducted by the University of Tennessee's Center for Transportation Research.

Figure 1 - Project Area Map: Map depicting the general project location in Blount County, Tennessee
Figure 1 — Project Area Map

The findings of the assessment, published in August 2003, recommended that if the project was restarted, additional input from affected land owners and interest groups be sought as the project moved forward.

In July 2004, a federal appeals court reversed the decision of the Nashville District Court, thus allowing FHWA to withdraw the 2002 FONSI and revisit the environmental evaluation of the project. TDOT then announced its intention to conduct an EIS for the extension of Pellissippi Parkway. In 2006, TDOT contracted with a consultant team, led by Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, to conduct environmental and engineering studies as part of the preparation of the EIS.

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3.0 INITIAL COORDINATION

On April 17, 2006, in conformance with the requirements of SAFETEA-LU, TDOT formally notified FHWA in writing of its intent to initiate the NEPA EIS process for this project. The initial coordination/scoping process was initiated in order to obtain comments and input from agencies and the public to help determine the purpose and need for the project, alternatives to be evaluated and the issues that will be examined as part of the EIS process.

3.1 Notice of Intent

Following the project initiation, FHWA with assistance from TDOT prepared a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, as required by CEQ regulations 40 CFR 1501.7. The NOI was published in the Federal Register on April 25, 2006.

Notification of the preparation of the EIS was published in project area newspapers (Knoxville News Sentinel and Maryville Daily Times), along with the announcement of two public Scoping Meetings.

3.2 Initial Coordination Package

TDOT prepared an Initial Coordination Package that was distributed to approximately 58 agencies, officials, and organizations on May 10, 2006. The packages included a transmittal letter, a project summary and a project vicinity map. The project summary identified the preliminary purpose and need for the project, potential alternatives to be considered, traffic counts on specified roadways and examples of environmental concerns that will be considered throughout the course of the EIS process.

Five groups of agencies and organizations received initial coordination packages:

  • Cooperating Agencies;
  • Participating Agencies;
  • Non-Participating Agencies and Organizations;
  • Local Agencies and Organizations; and
  • Section 106 Consultating Parties.

3.2.1 Cooperating Agencies

Cooperating Agencies are those governmental agencies specifically requested by the lead agency to participate during the environmental evaluation process for the project. FHWA's NEPA regulations (23 CFR 771.111(d)) require that those federal agencies with jurisdiction by law (with permitting or land transfer authority) be invited to be Cooperating Agencies for an EIS. Cooperating Agencies for this project are the US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District (Corps of Engineers) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). These Cooperating Agencies are also invited to be participating agencies.

If new information reveals the need to request another agency to serve as a Cooperating Agency, TDOT will issue that agency an invitation.

3.2.2 Participating Agencies

SAFETEA-LU (Section 6002) created a new category of agencies to participate in the environmental review process for EISs. These are federal and non-federal governmental agencies that may have an interest in the project because of their jurisdictional authority, special expertise and/or statewide interest. These participating agencies are formally invited to participate in the environmental review of the project. In addition to TVA and the Corps of Engineers, eight other federal, state and regional agencies/divisions are being asked to be participating agencies for this project. The designated Participating Agencies are shown in Table 1, on the following page.

If, during the progress of the project, new information indicates that an agency not previously requested to be a Participating Agency does indeed have authority, jurisdiction, acknowledged expertise or information relevant to the project, then TDOT, in consultation with FHWA, will promptly extend an invitation to that agency to be a Participating Agency. TDOT and FHWA will consider whether this new information affects any previous decisions on the project.

3.2.3 Non-Participating Agencies and Organizations

Initial Coordination Packages were sent to 39 Non-Participating agencies. This group includes federal and state agencies and organizations with statewide interests. A complete list of the agencies receiving this package is included in Appendix A.

3.2.4 Local Agencies and Organizations

Nine local agencies and private organizations received the Initial Coordination Package. A listing of those agencies is also included in Appendix A.

Table 1 Lead, Cooperating and Participating Agencies
Agency Name Category Point of contact
Tennessee Division FHWA Lead Federal Agency Karen Brunelle, Planning and Program Management Team Leader
TDOT Lead State Agency Mike Russell, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District Cooperating/Participating Agency Lt. Col. Steven Roemhildt, District Engineer, Regulatory Functions Branch (ORNOP-F)
Tennessee Valley Authority Cooperating/Participating Agency Mr. Jon Loney, Environmental Manager
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Participating Agency Mr. Lee A. Barclay, Field Supervisor
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Participating Agency Dale Ditmonson, Superintendant
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4 Participating Agency Heinz J. Mueller, Chief, Environmental Assessment Office, EIS Review Section
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Participating Agency Commissioner James H. Fyke
TDEC Division of Water Pollution Control Participating Agency Paul E. Davis, Director
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Participating Agency Robert Todd, NEPA Contact
State Historic Preservation Office, Tennessee Historical Commission Participating Agency Richard Tune, Interim Executive Director
Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization Participating Agency Jeffrey A. Welch, Transportation Planning Coordinator

3.2.5 Section 106 Early Coordination

The National Historic Preservation Act requires the federal agency or its designee (in this case TDOT) identify the appropriate parties that need to be involved in the process of identifying effects of a proposed project to historic resources and working through the process with such parties. This "involvement" is referred to as "consultation." As a part of the consultation requirements for Section 106, a separate initial coordination package was sent to six parties with interests in historical and archaeological issues. The Blount County Mayor was invited to request status as a Section 106 consulting party, as were five Native American Tribes:

  • Cherokee Nation;
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians;
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma;
  • Shawnee Tribe; and
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

If new information reveals the need to request another agency or organization to serve as a consulting party, TDOT will issue that agency an invitation.

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4.0 AGENCY COORDINATION

The participating agencies for this project have roles and responsibilities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Participating in the NEPA process starting at the earliest possible time, especially with regard to the development of the purpose and need statement, range of alternatives, and methodologies;
  • Identifying, as early as practicable, any issues of concern regarding the project's potential environmental or socioeconomic impacts. Participating agencies are also allowed to participate in the issue resolution process;
  • Providing meaningful and timely input on unresolved issues; and
  • Reviewing and providing comment on the preliminary draft of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the preferred alternative.

The participating agencies will have defined opportunities for meaningful participation in the decision-making process for the project. Specific opportunities are provided via the agency concurrence points that have been defined for this project.

4.1 Tennessee Environmental Streamlining Agreement Concurrence Points

TDOT has developed and is finalizing its Tennessee Environmental Streamlining Agreement for the Environmental and Regulatory Coordination of Major Transportation Projects, referred to as TESA or the Agreement. In addition to TDOT and FHWA, signatories to the TESA will include eight federal agencies and authorities, three state agencies, and the eleven Metropolitan Planning Organizations in the state. Signatory agencies are not required to participate in every project; they will participate only in those specific projects that affect their area of jurisdiction, expertise, or interest.

The Agreement establishes a single decision-making process to identify and address agency issues at four key points (referred to as concurrence points), during the planning and NEPA process. While the Agreement is not yet formalized, TDOT has committed to apply the principles of the Agreement for the Pellissippi Parkway Extension EIS project.

The agencies listed above in Table 1 will be participating in the concurrence point points at the following four major milestones in the environmental review process for the Pellissippi Parkway Extension EIS:

  1. Purpose and Need and Study Area;
  2. Project Alternatives to be Evaluated in the DEIS and Methodologies for Conducting Evaluation;
  3. Adequacy of the Pre-Draft DEIS;
  4. Designation of Preferred Alternative and Preliminary Mitigation;

The process for coordination associated with each of the major milestones (concurrence points) for this project is discussed below.

4.1.1 Concurrence Point 1 — Purpose and Need and Study Area

Based upon comments received during the scoping period from agencies and the public, a draft purpose and need for the project will be prepared and submitted by TDOT to FHWA for internal review. Upon incorporation of comments from FHWA, TDOT will prepare and forward to the participating agencies a purpose and need and study area package. The package will include a history of the project, this coordination plan, and a summary of public and agency input received to date. Additionally, the package may include:

  1. Description of core objectives of the proposed action, and any secondary objectives;
  2. Explanation of the basis for the project objectives in terms of:
    1. Relevant Federal, state and/or local policies, which may include transportation, economic conditions, land use conditions, and other conditions;
    2. Relevant data that may include information on transportation conditions, economic conditions, land use conditions, and other conditions;
    3. Public and agency comments regarding the project's objectives.
  3. Description of the evaluation criteria that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of an alternative in meeting the purpose and need of the project and explanation of how those evaluation criteria will be utilized.
  4. Description of any other factors, besides purpose and need that will be considered in the screening of alternatives, such as cost and environmental factors;
  5. Demonstration of the project's logical termini and independent utility;
  6. A list of local and regional planning efforts that may impact or involve the project; and
  7. A map detailing the study area.

The participating agencies will be given 45 days from receipt of the package to review and provide a response; a reminder will be sent to the agencies 14 days before the end of the review period. At the end of the 45-day period, TDOT will receive a concurrence, a non-concurrence, a request for a 15-day time extension, or request for cessation of formal concurrence from each agency. TDOT will assume concurrence from those agencies from whom it has not heard at the end of the 45-day period. The output of Concurrence Point 1 should include concurrence from the participating agencies on:

  • The purpose and need and the study area of the project;
  • The coordination plan;
  • Appropriate methodologies to be used and the level of detail required in the analysis of each alternative; and
  • Preliminary range of alternatives to be considered, including different modes.

Additionally, the agencies will provide input on environmental features and resources of concern.

Based on the output of Concurrence Point 1, TDOT will revise as appropriate the Purpose and Need statement, the study area description, the coordination plan, and draft methodologies. Following this activity, TDOT will hold a public workshop on alternatives at which time the public will once again be given the opportunity provide input on the Purpose and Need statement and alternatives to be evaluated.

4.1.2 Concurrence Point 2 — Project Alternatives to be Evaluated

Based on the output of Concurrence Point 1 as well as the public workshop on alternatives, and any general alternatives analysis conducted during the project development process, TDOT will prepare a Project Alternatives to be Evaluated Package. The package to be forwarded to the participating agencies may include the following information:

  • Revised purpose and need statement and study area;
  • Revised coordination plan;
  • Revised methodologies to be used and level of detailed required in the analysis of each alternative;
  • A summary table of all project alternatives to be evaluated and their effectiveness in addressing the purpose and need of the project, as well as a map showing the location of the project alternatives;
  • Qualitative results of the preliminary alternatives analysis and environmental screening (based on existing data sources and GIS inventories);
  • Discussion of the No-Build Alternative;
  • Narrative describing the rationale why each of the proposed alternatives is being carried into the DEIS, including what alternatives were considered for inclusion but later eliminated along with the rationale why they were abandoned; and
  • Where substantial impacts are anticipated, refined scopes and methodologies of studies, including the spatial and temporal limits of indirect and cumulative impact analyses.

The participating agencies will be given 45 days from receipt of the package to review and provide a response; a reminder will be sent to the agencies 14 days before the end of the review period. At the end of the 45-day period, TDOT will receive a concurrence, a non-concurrence, a request for a 15-day time extension, or request for cessation of formal concurrence from each agency. TDOT will assume concurrence from those agencies from whom it has not heard at the end of the 45-day period. The output of Concurrence Point 2 should include concurrence from the participating agencies on

  • The alternatives to be carried forward into the DEIS;
  • Any revisions to the purpose and need statement and the study area of the project;
  • Any revisions to the coordination plan; and
  • The refined scopes and methodologies to be used and the level of detail required in the analysis of each alternative.

4.1.3 Concurrence Point 3 — Preliminary Draft DEIS Document

Based on the output of Concurrence Point 2 and the subsequent detailed investigation of alternatives and analysis of impacts, TDOT will prepare and forward a Preliminary DEIS document to the participating agencies for their review and comment.

The participating agencies will be given 45 days from receipt of the package to review and provide a response; a reminder will be sent to the agencies 14 days before the end of the review period. At the end of the 45-day period, TDOT will receive a concurrence, a non-concurrence, a request for a 15-day time extension, or request for cessation of formal concurrence from each agency. TDOT will assume concurrence from those agencies from whom it has not heard at the end of the 45-day period.

The output of Concurrence Point 3 should include concurrence from the participating agencies on the adequacy of the preliminary draft DEIS. The agencies will be asked to specify whether additional information is needed to fulfill other applicable environmental reviews or consultation requirements. In addition, the participating agencies will specify any additional information needed to comment adequately on the draft DEIS analysis of site-specific effects associated with the granting or approving by the agency of necessary permits, licenses, or entitlements.

Based on the output from this concurrence point, TDOT will finalize the DEIS for submittal to FHWA. Based on FHWA's approval of the DEIS for circulation, one or more public hearings will be conducted in accordance with NEPA requirements and requirements in the project's Public Involvement Plan.

4.1.4 Concurrence Point 4 — Preferred Alternative and Preliminary Mitigation

Based on the output of Concurrence Point 3, along with TDOT and FHWA's consideration of any issues, concerns and/or opportunities identified during the public hearings and comment period for the DEIS, TDOT will prepare a Preferred Alternative and Preliminary Mitigation Package. The package to be forwarded to the participating agencies may include the following information:

  • Narrative describing the various elements of the preferred alternative;
  • Rationale for recommending the preferred alternative;
  • A preliminary mitigation summary describing the various elements of the proposed mitigation, including a map locating the elements of the preferred alternative and preliminary mitigation; and
  • A summary of major public and agency comments and responses to those comments.

The participating agencies will be given 45 days from receipt of the package to review and provide a response; a reminder will be sent to the agencies 14 days before the end of the review period. At the end of the 45-day period, TDOT will receive a concurrence, a non-concurrence, a request for a 15-day time extension, or request for cessation of formal concurrence from each agency. TDOT will assume concurrence from those agencies from whom it has not heard at the end of the 45-day period.

The output of Concurrence Point 4 should include concurrence from the participating agencies on the selection of the preferred alternative and preliminary mitigation. When avoidance of impacts to a resource is not practicable, participating agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise will assist TDOT in determining appropriate and practicable mitigation, including all practicable measures to minimize harm. If the agency determines that it does not have enough information to make a recommendation on mitigation measures, it will comment to that effect. If the project impacts are deemed substantial by a regulatory agency to the extent that permits would probably be denied, the participating agencies will advise the lead agencies to modify the project to reduce impacts. If this is not effective, the signatory agencies to the TESA agree to implement issue resolution to see if the project can be appropriately modified.

Based on the output from this concurrence point, TDOT will select a preferred alternative and prepare the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) document for submittal to FHWA.

Based on FHWA's approval of the FEIS, the FEIS will be made available for public and agency review for a minimum of 30 days. This period is the last period during which comments on the environmental evaluation process will be received from the public and agencies. Upon addressing the comments received in the comment period, the FEIS will be forwarded by TDOT to FHWA with a request for a Record of Decision (ROD).

4.1.5 Other Opportunities for Agency Involvement

Those agencies that are not "Participating Agencies" as defined in SAFETEA-LU will also have opportunities to provide input and comments on the project as it moves forward. The database of agencies developed as part of the Initial Coordination efforts will be maintained and updated throughout the EIS process. Those agencies that responded to the initial coordination/scoping and those that participated in public meetings and/or provided input/comment during the preparation of the DEIS will receive notification of the availability of the DEIS.

Comments may be received at any point during the development of the EIS analysis.

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5.0 OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC INPUT

As required by NEPA and by TDOT's Public Involvement Plan, a project specific plan for public input has been developed and is documented in this overall coordination plan. This plan describes strategies for encouraging public input and describes the opportunities to be provided to the public to encourage early and ongoing involvement in the project development process. As required by SAFETEA-LU Section 6002, the public will be provided opportunities to provide specific input on the Purpose and Need and the range of alternatives.

5.1 Strategies for Encouraging Public Involvement

5.1.1 Database of Names

TDOT's Environmental Division maintains an initial coordination list that includes the names of federal, state and other agencies (such as regional planning agencies) and local governments that TDOT will coordinate with for this project. The list also includes private entities that have requested to be included in initial coordination. The entities on the list were sent copies of the initial coordination package, and will be sent notices of public meetings, copies of project mailings and newsletters, and notice of the availability of the approved DEIS for review and comment. As appropriate, persons, organizations, and agencies on this list will also receive other correspondence related to the project.

The Environmental Division's current database will be supplemented by the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (Knoxville TPO) contact and mailing list for the Blount County area. The database will be expanded as the project moves forward. Names of persons and organizations attending public meetings or requesting additional information will be added.

5.1.2 Community Groups Briefings

Briefings with community/civic groups, business groups, or other interested groups or organizations over the course of the EIS process will be used as an opportunity to introduce the project, provide project updates, and receive public input on the project. Approximately eight community group briefings are expected to be held in the project area throughout the development of the EIS.

5.1.3 Local Government Officials Briefings

Briefings with local government officials will be used as an opportunity to introduce the project to city/county/local officials, provide updates at project milestones, and facilitate the flow of information between the officials, TDOT and FHWA. Approximately four local government officials briefings are expected to be held in the project area throughout the development of the EIS.

Local officials expected to be invited to these briefings include:

  • Blount County Mayor and County Engineer;
  • Mayors of Maryville, Alcoa, Rockford, and Townsend and City Managers;
  • East Tennessee Development District;
  • Knoxville Area Transportation Planning Organization (Knoxville TPO);
  • East Tennessee Rural Planning Organization (RPO) South; and
  • Representatives of area Chambers of Commerce.

The first local government officials briefing was held during the scoping period. The other briefings will occur at various milestones during the project, to be determined by the Project Team and as requested by local officials.

5.1.4 Identification of Special Outreach Areas

Populations in the project area requiring special outreach to ensure they have access to information and the opportunity to make comments, regardless of their race, religion, age, income or disability will be identified. Identification of these populations will include using Census data or information obtained from groups or organizations known to have knowledge of these populations.

5.1.5 Media Relations

Local newspapers, radio and television stations will be identified for use in disseminating information about the project. Minority media outlets will be included. Notices and reminders of project meetings will be sent to these media outlets in advance of public meetings.

Specific newspapers to be used are the Knoxville News-Sentinel and The Daily Times (Maryville).

5.1.6 Project Newsletters

Approximately six project newsletters will be prepared to keep the project area residents, business and property owners, interested citizens, civic groups, schools, local agency officials, and local public officials informed of the status of the project. Expected milestones for newsletters are as follows, and/or as deemed necessary by the Project Team:

  • Following Scoping Meetings, to describe results of scoping, to inform the public how to comment, and to announce an Alternatives Workshop;
  • Following the Alternatives Workshop, to present the results of the charette session;
  • Prior to the DEIS Public Hearings, to announce the hearing dates and the availability of the DEIS for review, and to present some of the DEIS findings;
  • Once the Preferred Alternative has been selected; and
  • To announce the availability of the FEIS.

5.1.7 Project Website Content

The website for the project, http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/pellissippi/, will be updated with newsletters, public meeting announcements and transcripts, and other project information as needed.

5.1.8 Frequently Asked Questions

To provide direct answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) posed by the public, FAQ sheets will be prepared and will be distributed via TDOT's project website and hardcopies will be available at briefings, public meetings and other public involvement events. These questions/answers will be updated as new information becomes available.

5.1.9 Comment Forms

Comment forms will be provided at all public meetings and smaller group meetings to encourage participants to provide their comments on the project. The comment form will also be available on the project website.

Comments may be provided in writing or electronically. Comments will be accepted at any time during the EIS process. All comments will be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate.

5.1.10 Notice of Availability of DEIS

A notice of availability of the DEIS document will be published in the local papers. The notice will identify where the DEIS will be available for public review, how the public can provide input, and who to contact with comments or for additional information. Copies of the DEIS will be available for public inspection at the Blount County Library, at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, and at the TDOT Region 1 Office in Knoxville. The DEIS will also be available on TDOT's website.

5.2 Public Workshops and Hearings

Several public meetings/hearings have been or will be held during the EIS process to provide information on the project, to solicit public input, and in conformance with NEPA requirements and TDOT's Public Involvement Plan. In addition to the two Scoping Meetings already held, at least three other meetings/hearings are planned. A minimum of 30 days notice will be provided prior to each meeting, with at least 21 days for submittal of comments after each meeting (in order for the comments to be included in the official record).

5.3 Scoping Meetings

Two public scoping meetings were held in the project area in June 13, 2006. At those meetings, TDOT updated the public on the status of the project to date (since the last public hearing on the EA) with a short overview presentation. Information stations were staffed around the room with hard copies of project area maps for the public to use to present ideas for alternatives and to identify transportation problems. Comment forms and a court reporter were available at the meetings.

The public was specifically asked to provide input on the transportation needs for the project, the range of alternatives that should be considered, and issues of concern to be addressed in the EIS.

During the official scoping period (April 25 through July 5, 2006), 211 public comments were received by letters, emails, completed comment forms distributed at the scoping meetings, and statements to a court report at the scoping meetings. These comments have been reviewed and are being used by TDOT to define the type of issues of public concern and to develop and refine the purpose and need for the project.

Following the close of the scoping period, TDOT continued to accept comments on the project, posting a comment form on the website that can be used to provide comments or as a guide to encourage ongoing input on the project.

5.4 Alternatives Workshop

After the Scoping comment period is closed, after TESA Concurrence Point 1 and prior to TESA Concurrence Point 2, the public will be given another early opportunity to provide their input on the draft Purpose and Need Statement and alternatives to be evaluated in the DEIS. A public workshop will be held in the project area. As a part of this workshop, the public will be asked to review the draft Purpose and Need statement, to help identify preliminary alternatives that would address the purpose and need, and confirm or identify additional issues of concern. An overview of the NEPA process will be provided at the beginning of the workshop. The workshop will include a full group discussion, breakout groups, and a wrap-up with the full group.

The expected outcome of the workshop will be a range of alternatives to be carried forward to the TESA Concurrence Point 2 and to be examined in the DEIS. Final decisions by FHWA regarding the purpose and need of the project and the range of reasonable alternatives to be considered in the DEIS will not be made until after this meeting.

5.5 Public Informational Meeting

Prior to the completion of the DEIS, another series of public meetings will be held to share results of technical studies. The purpose of the meetings is to share the preliminary findings of the technical investigations, so that the public can have meaningful input prior to the final preparation of the DEIS for circulation. Potential context sensitive solutions will be discussed with the public during this meeting.

5.6 DEIS Public Hearing

Once FHWA approves the DEIS document for public and agency review, TDOT will hold public hearings to receive comments from the public on the official findings presented in the DEIS and on the project. Input from the public hearing and public comment period will be used by TDOT to make a decision on the selection of the preferred alternative and preliminary mitigation measures.

One or two public hearings will be scheduled to be held in the project area. The hearing(s) will be advertised in local newspapers. Flyers advertising the hearing(s) will be mailed to organizations and individuals on the database.

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6.0 SCHEDULE

Figure 2 presents the anticipated schedule for the completion of the EIS and issuance of a ROD for this project. This schedule will be revised/updated as the project moves forward and new information is revealed that may result in schedule adjustments.

Figure 2 Pellissippi Parkway Extension EIS Schedule

Figure 2 - Pellissippi Parkway Extension EIS Schedule Timeline of the EIS project schedule from 2006 to 2009.

Figure 2 — Pellissippi Parkway Extension EIS Schedule

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Appendix

List of Agencies and Organizations Receiving Coordination Packages


Type: Participating and Cooperating Agency

Mr. Jon Loney, Environmental Manager
Environmental Policy and Planning
Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Drive
Suite WT8C
Knoxville, TN 37902-1499

Lt. Col. Steven Roemhildt, District Engineer
Regulatory Functions Branch (ORNOP-F)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
3701 Bell Road
Nashville, TN 37214-2660

Type: Participating Agency

Commissioner James H. Fyke
Attention: Ms. Kim Glassman
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Tower, 20th Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0454

Mr. Heinz J. Mueller, Chief
Environmental Assessment Office
EIS Review Section
Environmental Protection Agency
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Mr. Lee A. Barclay, Field Supervisor
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
446 Neal Street
Cookeville, TN 38501

Mr. Dale Ditmonson, Superintendent
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
U.S. Department of the Interior
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Mr. Richard Tune, Interim Executive Director
State Historic Preservation Office
Tennessee Historical Commission
Clover Bottom Mansion
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37243-0442

Type: Participating Agency, continued

Mr. Paul E. Davis, Director
Division of Water Pollution Control
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Annex, 6th Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1534

Mr. Jeffrey A. Welch, AICP
Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization
Metro Planning Commission of Knoxville and Knox County
City/County Building, Suite 403
400 Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

Mr. Robert Todd, NEPA Contact
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
P.O. Box 40747
Nashville, TN 37204

Type: Non-Participating Agency or Organization

Office of Economic Analysis (RRP-32)
Federal Railroad Administration
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20590

Ms. Laverne F. Reid, Manager
Memphis Airport District Office
Federal Aviation Administration
2862 Business Park Drive, Bldg G
Memphis, TN 38118-1555

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
The Old Post Office Building, Suite 809
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Ms. Pearl Young
Office of Federal Activities, EIS Filing Section
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code 2252-A, Room 7241
Ariel Rios Building (South Oval Lobby) 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

Type: Non-Participating Agency or Organization, continued

Mr. Tom Chappell, Regional Engineer
Forest Service — R-8
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1720 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 2010
Cleveland, TN 37320

Ms. Susan Fruchter
Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room 5805
Washington, D.C. 20230

Mr. Tim Dieringer, Director
Office of Surface Mining
U.S. Department of the Interior
530 Gay Street, S.W., Suite 500
Knoxville, TN 37902

District Chief, Water Resources Division
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior
630 Grassmere Park, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37211

Office of Environmental Affairs
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior
USGS National Center, MS-423
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

Director, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance
U.S. Department of the Interior
Main Interior Building, MS 2342
1839 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Mr. Harry Walls, Environmental Officer
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Five Points Plaza Building, 4th Floor
40 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30303

Type: Non-Participating Agency or Organization, continued

Mr. William R. Straw
Regional Environmental Officer
Federal Emergency Management Agency
3003 Chamblee Tucker Road
Atlanta, GA 30341-4148

Federal Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20426

Senior Transportation Advisor
Appalachian Regional Commission
166 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20235

Mr. Wilton Burnett, Jr., Director of Special Projects
TDECD NEPA Contact
Department of Economic and Community Development
W.R. Snodgrass Tower, 11th Floor
312 8th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243

Mr. Reggie Reeves, Director
Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Tower, 14th Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0447

Mr. Kent Taylor, Director
Division of Ground Water Protection
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Tower, 10th Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1540

Mr. David Draughon, Director
Division of Water Supply
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Tower, 6th Floor, 401 Church Street
Nashville ,TN 37243-1549

Mr. James Ford, State Conservationist
Natural Resources Conservation Service,
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Courthouse — Room 675
Nashville, TN 37203

Type: Non-Participating Agency or Organization, continued

Mr. Mike Apple, Director
Division of Solid/Hazardous Waste Management
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Tower, 5th Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1535

Deputy Commissioner Terry Oliver
NEPA Contact
Tennessee Department of Agriculture
Ellington Agricultural Center
Nashville, TN 37204

Mr. Barry Stephens, Director
Division of Air Pollution Control
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
L & C Annex, 9th Floor
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1531

Mr. Robert (Bob) V. Woods, Director
Tennessee Aeronautics Division
Tennessee Department of Transportation
484 Knapp Boulevard, Building 4219
Nashville, TN 37217

Diane Davidson, Transportation Director
Public Transportation, Waterways, and Rail Division
Tennessee Department of Transportation
James K. Polk Building, 18th Floor
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243

Ms. Lori Kirby, Director
Title VI Program, Civil Rights Office
Tennessee Department of Transportation
James K. Polk Building, Suite 1800
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0347

Mr. Tom Fusco, Executive Administrative Assistant
Tennessee Department of Education
Andrew Johnson Tower, 6th Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-0376

Type: Non-Participating Agency or Organization, continued

Tennessee State Library and Archives
403 7th Avenue North
Nashville,TN 37243-0312

Blount County Public Library
508 N. Cusick Street
Maryville, TN 37804

Mr. Dan Hawk, Urban Regional Director
East Tennessee Section
Tennessee Planning Office
5401 Kingston Pike
Suite 210
Knoxville, TN 37919

Tennessee Environmental Council
One Vantage Way, Suite D-105
Nashville ,TN 37212-4348

Ms. Wendy Smith
World Wildlife Fund
2021 21st Avenue, South, Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37212-4348

Mr. Michael Butler
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
300 Orlando Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209-3257

Ms. Gabby Call
The Nature Conservancy
2021 21st Avenue South, Suite C-400 Nashville, TN 37212

Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club
2021 21st Ave. South, Suite 436
Nashville, TN 37212

Ms. Liz Dixon, Sierra Club
10417 Victoria Drive, #C
Knoxville, TN 37922

Tennessee Trails Association
P.O. Box 41446
Nashville, TN 37204

Type: Non-Participating Agency or Organization, continued

James D. Hoskins Library
University of Tennessee
Serials Department
1401 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-4000

Ms. Nina Gregg
Citizens Against Pellissippi Parkway Extension
PO Box 494
Alcoa, TN 37701

Type: Local Agencies and Organizations

Mr. Mark Hairr
General Manager
Knoxville Area Transit
1135 East Magnolia Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37917

Mr. Dewey Roberts
President
NAACP-Knoxville Chapter
P.O. Box 14096
Knoxville TN 37914

Mr. Terry Bobrowski
East Tennessee Development District
P.O. Box 19806
Knoxville, TN 37939-2806

Blount County Executive
Blount County Courthouse
341 Court Street
Maryville, TN 37804-5906

Mr. John Lamb, Director of Planning
Blount County Planning Department
Blount County Courthouse
327 Court Street
Maryville TN 37804-5906

Glenn Cardwell, President
Smoky Mountain Historical Society
P.O. Box 5078
Sevierville, TN 37864-5078

Type: Local Agencies and Organizations, continued

Amanda Wild, Historic Preservation Planner
East Tennessee Development District
P.O. Box 19806
Knoxville, TN 37939-2806

Mrs. Inez Burns
Blunt County Historian
1308 Brannon Drive
Maryville, TN 37801

Blount County Historic Society
P.O. Box 4986
Maryville ,TN 37802-4986

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