Federal Railroad Administration
- NEPA Documentation (DEIS, FEIS)
- Wetland Delineation
- RTE Coordination
- Biological Assessment
Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) is currently providing environmental services, including environmental assessments, NEPA document preparation, and agency coordination for this rail bridge improvement project over the Potomac River between Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The project consists of potential improvements to the Long Bridge and related railroad infrastructure located between RO Interlocking near Long Bridge Park in Arlington, VA, and L’Enfant (LE) Interlocking near 10th Street SW in Washington, DC. The purpose of the project is to provide additional long-term railroad capacity and to improve the reliability of railroad service through the Long Bridge Corridor.
CRI is part of the consultant team assisting the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Long Bridge Project. CRI collected and compiled existing environmental data for the Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences sections of the Long Bridge EIS, including information on terrestrial vegetation, submerged aquatic vegetation, wildlife, aquatic biota, endangered species, water quality, Waters of the U.S. (including wetlands), floodplains, and Resource Protection Areas.
As part of the data collection for the EIS, CRI conducted a Waters of the U.S. delineation within the project study area, pursuant to Section 404 of the CWA (33 U.S.C. 1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. 403). Wetlands were identified in accordance with the Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region, Version 2.0 (USACE 2010). A preliminary assessment of each wetland’s function and value was made using The Highway Methodology Workbook Supplement – Wetland Functions and Values; A Descriptive Approach (USACE 1999) for wetlands greater than ½ acre. CRI also prepared a request for a preliminary jurisdictional determination (PJD) and lead a field visit with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to verify the wetland delineation.
CRI used the proposed project limits-of-disturbance and design files to assess the potential environmental consequences of the project and summarized these impacts for inclusion in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The analysis evaluated the No Action and the Action Alternatives determined through the alternative development process. The impact analysis included direct and indirect impacts for the future analysis year (2040), and included a full description of the methodology and impact evaluation criteria, as well as identifying any regulatory requirements and permits needed. Measures to avoid and minimize impacts were also evaluated and documented.
To determine the potential impacts of the project on rare, threatened, and endangered (RTE) species, CRI coordinated with resource agencies and compiled information from the USFWS Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) system, NOAA Fisheries information, the VDGIF Fish and Wildlife Information Service (FWIS), the VDCR Natural Heritage Data Explorer, District Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE), and the District’s Wildlife Action Plan. Coordination with the NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Division indicated that the Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon are present in the Potomac River and could occur in the project area. Based on similar recent projects in the Potomac River and likely avoidance and minimization techniques and best management practices implemented during construction of this project, CRI will prepare a Not Likely To Adversely Affect (NLAA) letter to NOAA Fisheries. The NLAA letter will evaluate the potential effects of the proposed project’s structures and operations on sturgeon species based on the potential for direct mortality or deleterious impacts to habitats and migration patterns.