KRC Asks Federal Highway Administration to review Kentucky DOT's efforts to exempt I-66 from Kentucky Wild Rivers law Posted: June 11, 2007
I am very concerned that the state DOT, after an unsuccessful eleventh hour effort to include the language into two unrelated bills during the waning days of the 2007 General Assembly regular session, is still actively seeking to amend Kentucky's wild rivers law to exempt one or more new bridges over the Rockcastle River; bridges that under current law could not be built through the wild rivers corridor otherwise.
Given that the Environmental Impact Statement has not been finalized nor the Record Of Decision issued, (and given the significant extant questions regarding whether this segment of I-66 can be justified as a prudent expenditure of the public's transportation dollars), I am troubled that the state is moving forward and expending agency resources (in the form of staff time) towards implementation of an alternative well in advance of the issuance of the FEIS and ROD. Such an action by the state casts a pall over the integrity of the alternatives evaluation process and raises a question as to whether the state intends to impartially and fairly evaluate alternatives. Such action also appears to be a prejudicial commitment of the state to a course of action that is in direct violation of the state's obligation to avoid action during the NEPA process that would have an adverse environmental impact or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives. 40 CFR 1506.1.
I would ask that your office evaluate the state's efforts to amend state law to exempt the Rockcastle River from wild rivers law protections with respect to construction of one or more new I-66 bridges, and that you take appropriate action to cause the state to cease such prejudicial actions prior to conclusion of the NEPA process and issuance of the Record of Decision. Thanks in advance.
Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.