TxDOT Extends Public Comment Period for I-69/TTC Tier One DEIS
The Texas Department of Transportation announced this week that the public comment period for the I-69/TTC Tier One Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been extended by 30 days. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the request, which was called for by numerous state and federal officials, Senator Glenn Hegar included. The FHWA must ultimately approve the route for any new interstate highway, so it is of paramount importance that all concerned parties share their input by April 18th, the new deadline.
"I was glad to hear that TxDOT and the FHWA agreed to extend the public comment period for the environmental study," said Senator Hegar, "The potential impact on the local environment is significant and few know that as well as those who live on the land under study. The acrimonious relations between TxDOT and the public has led to great skepticism for many and that is understandable. That said, it is extremely important that all concerned parties detail their position in writing, particularly as relates to any negative environmental effects that the project would have on their area, so that their thoughts are clearly known to the FHWA, which will act as the ultimate authority on the path of this potential roadway."
The Federal Highway Administration ensures compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and oversees the Environmental Impact Statement process, and will be the recipient of the over 14,000 submissions Texans have already sent to the TxDOT. The FHWA will compare the routes under study and can order TxDOT to use the existing highways or halt the project altogether.
"I talk to concerned residents of Senate District 18 every day, many of whom detail the problems they have with this project and the negative impact they foresee should it be constructed, so I know that there is a wealth of information that the FHWA can benefit from and I want to ensure that they have it, so I again strongly urge all concerned parties who have not offered their thoughts do so immediately," said Senator Hegar, "Like most of my constituents, I do not believe a believe a completely new path is needed or warranted."
The I-69 Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be accessed by visiting http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/pdfs/projects/i69/deis/summary.pdf; written commentary can be submitted at http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/comments_questions/comments_i69.aspx or by mail to I-69/TTC, P.O. Box 14228, Austin, TX, 78761.
Also of note is TxDOT's announcement just this week of the membership of the I-69/TTC Corridor Advisory Committee, which will offer public commentary from throughout the state directly to the Executive Director of TxDOT. Senate District 18 will be represented by Victoria Mayor Will Armstrong, Mr. Carbett "Trey" Duhon, Acting Vice President/Director of Citizens for a Better Waller County, and Ms. Chanda Spenrath, Executive Director of the El Campo City Development Corporation.
Senator Hegar is currently serving his first term in the Texas Senate after serving two terms in the House of Representatives. He is a 6th generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s. The Hegars reside in Katy, Texas.