Edgewood Avenue Bridge

The Edgewood Avenue Bridge has been demolished and is being rebuilt over the Eastside Trail extension.
Photo Credit: Christopher Martin

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Final Environmental Impact Statement

Ensuring a Greener Approach to New Transit Plans

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements (EISs) for major Federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment. An EIS is a full disclosure document that details the process through which a transportation project was developed, includes consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives, analyzes the potential impacts resulting from the alternatives, and demonstrates compliance with other applicable environmental laws and executive orders. The EIS process in completed in the following ordered steps: Notice of Intent (NOI), draft EIS, final EIS, and record of decision (ROD).

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), an administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), has prepared this Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Atlanta BeltLine in the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. It was prepared in cooperation with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), which operates and maintains bus and rail transit service in the Atlanta region. MARTA is working in partnership with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI), the City of Atlanta’s implementation agent for the overall Atlanta BeltLine project, to advance transit and trail components through the EIS.

This Tier 1 FEIS examines the Preferred Transit and Trail Alternatives selected by the project sponsors after considering the analyses in the Tier 1 DEIS and the comments on the DEIS that were received during the Tier 1 DEIS public comment period. The Preferred Transit and Trail Alternatives were evaluated along with the other alternatives in the Tier 1 DEIS.Tiering of the EIS allowed the FTA and MARTA to focus on those decisions that are ready for this level of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis to support future right-of-way (ROW) preservation. These decisions included the following:

  • Selection of either Modern Streetcar (SC) or Light Rail Transit (LRT) technology as the transit mode;
  • Selection of a general alignment of new transit and trails; and
  • Establishment of the ROW needs.

Subsequent analysis will occur in a Tier 2 NEPA process, which will refine the preferred transit and trail alignments to achieve the most cost-effective investment while avoiding or minimizing potential adverse environmental effects; identify and assess trail design elements, transit station locations, vehicle types, storage facilities, site-specific impacts, and mitigation measures for impacts that cannot be avoided. Future Tier 2 NEPA activities will take place under a separate action. This Tier 1 FEIS consists of two documents: the main body of the FEIS with an Executive Summary, and the Appendices A through J. Appendix A is a Technical Memorandum that supports this main document with technical data and methodologies. Appendix F contains the comments on the DEIS received during the public comment period and the project sponsors’ responses. The remaining Appendices contain supporting information.

Final EIS Documents

DocumentDescription
Final Environmental Impact StatementThe main body of the FEIS with an Executive Summary
Final Environmental Impact Statement – AppendicesAppendix A is a Technical Memorandum that supports this main document with technical data and methodologies. Appendix F contains the comments on the DEIS received during the public comment period and the project sponsors’ responses. The remaining Appendices contain supporting information.
MARTA Newsletter #7, June 2012BeltLine Corridor Environmental Study: Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement Update
MARTA Newsletter #7, June 2012, in SpanishAtlanta BeltLine Corridor Environmental Study: Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement Update (in Spanish)
Record of Decision: Tier 1 Final EISThis Record of Decision (ROD) from the Federal Transit Authority regarding the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Study determines the selection of modern streetcar for transit, transit alignment, and identification of right-of-way along the corridor. It is a major step towards securing federal funding for transit.