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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Environmental Impact Statement


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.) to assess the potential environmental impacts from implementing the proposed Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) system between Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC (SCMAGLEV Project). The EIS includes a Section 4(f) Evaluation in accordance with Section 4(f) of the United States Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49 U.S.C. §303) and consideration of historic properties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 U.S.C. § 306108), as amended. FRA published the Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare the EIS for the Project in the Federal Register on November 25, 2016.

FRA is conducting this environmental review process in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) NEPA regulations (40 C.F.R. § Parts 1500-1508), FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Fed. Reg. 28545 (1999)), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s Protection of Historic Properties regulations (36 C.F.R. Part 800). FRA is the lead Federal agency preparing the EIS, Section 4(f) Evaluation, and Section 106 documents, with the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) providing technical assistance. Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, LLC (BWRR), the private Project sponsor, is the entity that would design, construct, and operate the SCMAGLEV system.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, and Draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA)

FRA released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, and Draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA) on January 15, 2021, for public review. The DEIS, Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, and Draft PA were available for public comment until May 24, 2021. 

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance regarding large events and mass gatherings, FRA conducted telephonic public hearings for the SCMAGLEV DEIS on Tuesday, April 6, 2021; Thursday, April 8, 2021; and Saturday, April 10, 2021. The public hearings provided an opportunity for interested parties to provide oral comments on the DEIS, Draft 4(f) Evaluation, and Draft PA. Please visit the SCMAGLEV Project website to view recordings of the meetings and meeting materials.

All comments received during the public comment period will be considered in the preparation of the Final EIS, Final Section 4(f) Evaluation, and PA.

The DEIS, Draft 4(f) Evaluation, and Draft PA files can be accessed via the dropdown menus below. 

Next Steps

FRA is pausing the EIS for the Baltimore-Washington SCMAGLEV Project on the Permitting Dashboard to review project elements and determine the next steps. FRA will share the revised project EIS schedule when it is determined. 

Last updated: Thursday, August 26, 2021