Environmental - Cape Cod bridges program

Details on the environmental review processes and the Program’s approach for compliance with environmental requirements.

Table of Contents

Overview

On January 20, 2023, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) formally agreed to serve as lead federal agency for the Program. On August 11, 2023, FHWA determined the Program proceed into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The Program is also subject to review under Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), 301 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 11.00, as it triggers mandatory Environmental Notification Form and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) thresholds. MassDOT initiated environmental review on April 28, 2023, through the filing of an ENF with the Secretary of the Massachusetts EEA. The ENF was published in the Environmental Monitor on May 10, 2023. The Secretary of the EEA issued a Certificate on the ENF on July 7, 2023, which included a scope of work for the Draft EIR.

As a designated major infrastructure project, the Program will be reviewed under the One Federal Decision (OFD) framework enacted through the Infrastructure, Investments, and Jobs Act (IIJA) to establish coordinated, transparent, and timely processes for conducting environmental reviews and making authorization decisions. The IIJA, signed into law, as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), modified the NEPA environmental review process. Among the modifications are requirements for a single environmental document limited to 200 pages to the extent practicable and specific completion periods, including a two-year period for EISs.

Under the OFD framework and in consultation with FHWA, MassDOT will conduct concurrent environmental analyses meeting NEPA and MEPA requirements and will prepare a combined NEPA/MEPA document in the form of a joint EIS/EIR.

The following agencies, which have jurisdiction by law or special expertise regarding any potential environmental impact associated with the Cape Cod Bridges Program, are serving as Cooperating Agencies in the EIS development process:

  • US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • US Coast Guard (USCG)
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
  • Massachusetts State Historical Commission (State Historic Preservation Officer)
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP/Southeast Regional Office)
  • Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
  • Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) / Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA)
  • Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
  • National Marine Fisheries Service/Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (NOAA/NMFS/GARFO)

FHWA published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the Cape Cod Bridges Program in the Federal Register on February 29, 2024. Publication of this NOI formally begins the NEPA process and initiates the scoping period to solicit public and agency comments on any element of the Program including the Purpose and Need for proposed action; Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study; and potentially significant adverse environmental impacts to be evaluated in the EIS. A Supplementary NOI Document, providing additional Program background and information to support the NOI, is also available for public review in the Federal Register.

A combined Final EIS/record of decision (ROD) Document is expected to be issued toward the end of February 2026. A Notice of Availability of the combined Final EIS/ROD will be published in the Federal Register, announcing FHWA’s decision and the end of the NEPA process.

Contact   for Environmental - Cape Cod bridges program

Online

We encourage you to contact us with any questions, comments, or input regarding the Program Submit your online comment 

Address

Submit all written comments Attention: Project Management, Project File No. 608020
Carrie E. Lavallee, P.E., Chief Engineer, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

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