|UDOT snowplows platoon to clear U.S. Highway 6 just south of Helper during Tuesday mornings snow storm. The highway, which is the main artery for traffic through the area, has been under scrutiny for years and presently UDOT is working on a master plan for the route. A public meeting on March 8 at CEU will cover additional aspects of the draft EIS that the agency has proposed for the road.|
New information gathered about potential effects on wetlands, air and water quality will be the focal point at a March 8 public hearing on the environmental impact statement for U.S. Highway 6 .
The Utah Department of Transportation will conduct the open house formatted hearing from 4 to 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the College of Eastern Utah.
Carbon County residents are 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 planned.
The meeting is scheduled because UDOT received new information regarding U.S. 6 after the release of the draft EIS in September 2004.
The National Environmental Policy Act requires a public hearing be slated when additional analysis is done on a study after the public has had an opportunity to review the results.
"A number of people talked to us last September and said what they thought about the project and we appreciated their comments," pointed out U.S. 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."
A supplemental draft environmental impact statement was prepared for the project.
The supplement draft EIS contains additional analysis and new information regarding the four-lane alternative.
The supplemental draft EIS includes the following.
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 involve about 12 miles of the 127-mile corridor and reduce wetland impacts by about eight acres.
Additional analysis regarding the amount of particulate matter released into the air due to more vehicles traveling along U.S. 6.
According to UDOT, the analysis found that improvements to U.S. 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 U.S. 6 EIS project team is looking at long-term solutions for the highway by identifying individual projects to address safety and capacity issues along U.S. 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, 2005.
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.