New information gathered about impacts to wetlands, air and water quality will be the focal point at a public hearing for the SR Highway 6 Environmental Impact Statement. The Utah Department of Transportation will hold the open house formatted hearing on March 8, from 4-7 p.m., at the College of Eastern Utah Multipurpose Room in Price.
The meeting is being held because UDOT received new information regarding SR 6 after the release of the draft EIS in September 2004. The National Environmental Policy Act requires a public hearing be held when additional analysis is done on a study after the public has had an opportunity to review it.
"A number of people talked to us last September and said what they thought about the project and we appreciated their comments," said SR 6 Project Manager Mike Miles. "This meeting will provide a little more clarification on a few areas of the study such as impacts to wetlands and water quality."
The public is encouraged to review the new information and provide comment on the proposed changes. Project staff will be available to address questions one-on-one throughout the evening. No formal presentation is scheduled.
A supplemental draft EIS was prepared for the project that contains additional analysis and new information regarding the four-lane alternative. This information includes:
Information about lessening the impacts to wetlands by reducing some of the four-lane segments to two-lanes, with a passing lane in one direction and a barrier separating opposing traffic. The changes to the four-lane alternative include about 12 miles of the 127-mile corridor and reduce wetland impacts by about eight acres.
Further analysis regarding the amount of particulate matter released into the air due to more vehicles traveling along SR 6. This analysis found that improvements to SR 6 would not violate state or federal air quality standards.
Additional analysis of impacts to the Price River that showed additional runoff caused by a wider highway would not exceed the federal allowance for pollutants into the river.
The most recent wetland report that further identified the locations of wetlands and described updated mitigation sites. Fewer wetlands were impacted in the new analysis.
The information presented at the public hearing will be specific to the additional analysis performed after public release of the draft EIS. Previous public and agency comments received on the draft EIS are still being considered in the development of the Final EIS and do not need to be resubmitted.
The SR 6 EIS project team is looking at long-term solutions for the highway by identifying individual projects to address safety and capacity issues along SR 6 and analyzing the impacts those projects will have on the surrounding natural and built environments. Once the study is completed, projects will be designed and built as funding becomes available.
To be included in the final EIS, comments on the supplemental draft EIS need to be received by March 28.
Copies of the supplemental draft EIS are available for review at the Grand County Public Library, Green River City Library, Helper City Library, Spanish Fork Public Library, Price City Public Library, and the College of Eastern Utah Library. An electronic (PDF) version is also available online at www.udot.utah.gov/US6.