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The Deerfield Road Phase I Engineering and Environmental Study is following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and is being processed as an Environmental Assessment (EA). The objective of the NEPA project development process is an approach to balanced transportation decision making that takes into account the potential impacts on the human and natural environmental, and the public’s need for safe and efficient transportation.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. The EA determines whether or not a federal action has the potential to cause significant environmental effects.
Generally, the EA includes a discussion of:
At the conclusion of the Deerfield Road Phase I Engineering Study, the EA for the Deerfield Road study area will be reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The EA will then be released for public and other resource agencies to allow an opportunity to provide input and comment on proposals, alternatives, and environmental impacts. The input and comments received provides the appropriate information to the decision makers to make a reasoned choice among alternatives. At that point, the FHWA will determine if the action will not have significant environmental impacts. The agency can issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). A FONSI is a document that presents the reasons why the FHWA has concluded that there are no significant environmental impacts projected to occur upon implementation of the action.
Both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) oversee this study’s development process and will review final project reports.