Western Rail Yard Infrastructure Project
Environmental Impact Statement
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Western Rail Yard (WRY) Infrastructure Project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. and other applicable laws. FRA conducted the environmental analysis to ensure compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws.
WRY Tenant, LLC (a Related Company) and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) (Project Sponsors) are partnering in a joint venture to apply for Federal financial assistance to fund the construction of a Platform and Tunnel Encasement at the 13-acre WRY site (Block 676, Lot 3) between West 30th and 33rd Streets and 11th and 12th Avenues in New York City. The 9.8-acre structural steel and concrete Platform will serve as the roof above Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) WRY, which is used and operated by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) as a commuter railroad storage yard and maintenance facility. The Tunnel Encasement will be constructed of concrete below street level in WRY and be between 50 and 65 feet wide and between 27 and 38 feet high. New construction will extend from Eastern Rail Yard at 11th Avenue to 30th Street. No permanent operational components—such as tracks, lighting, ventilation, or electrical system—will be constructed within the Tunnel Encasement as part of the proposed action. The Platform will also support the privately funded mixed-use development (Overbuild) approved through New York City zoning for redevelopment of the WRY parcel. This construction also supports MTA’s overall business plan to generate revenue.
A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register on June 15, 2020, and the scoping period ran from July 1 through July 31, 2020. Following scoping, FRA prepared a Draft EIS (DEIS). The 45-day public comment period on the DEIS ran from June 11 to July 26, 2021. FRA invited the public and all interested parties to provide comments on the DEIS. FRA conducted a virtual public hearing for the DEIS on June 30, 2021, at 6:30 pm EDT. The public hearing was recorded and is available for viewing on the Project website.
The Final EIS (FEIS) identifies the Preferred Alternative and summarizes public outreach and agency coordination conducted since the DEIS was released. The FEIS addresses comments on the DEIS and incorporates errata sheets to the DEIS, consistent with 23 USC 139(n). FRA issued a single document that combines the Record of Decision (ROD) and the FEIS (including the Final Section 4(f) Evaluation). The Combined FEIS/ ROD for the Western Rail Yard Infrastructure Project was published on November 22, 2021.
The ROD states the decision, identifies the alternatives considered in reaching the decision, summarizes avoidance, minimization, and mitigation strategies and future design practices appropriate for this EIS, and states the next steps in the environmental review process that may occur with subsequent phases of the Project. The ROD documents that the FRA selected the Preferred Alternative for the project based on analysis presented in the EIS and input from the public, stakeholders, and agencies. The ROD also provides the mitigations and commitments for the project.
Final Environmental Impact Statement / Record of Decision (FEIS / ROD)
The FEIS, Final Section 4(f) Evaluation, and ROD can be accessed via the following links:
Part 1: FEIS and Final Section 4(f) Evaluation
- FEIS Attachment 1: Revised DEIS Tables, Figures, and Additional Appendix Materials
- FEIS Appendix A: DEIS
- FEIS Appendix B: Public and Agency Summary Report (Part 1)
- FEIS Appendix B: Public and Agency Summary Report (Part 2)
- FEIS Appendix C: Comments and Responses
- FEIS Appendix D: Final Section 4(f) Evaluation
Part 2: ROD
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
FRA Points of Contact
Office of Railroad Policy and Development
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Mail Stop 20
Washington, DC 20590
Media Queries Contact:
The U.S. Permitting Dashboard is an online tool for Federal agencies, project sponsors, and interested members of the public to track the Federal government’s environmental review and authorization processes for large or complex infrastructure projects. The Dashboard is part of a government-wide effort to improve coordination, transparency, and accountability. A link to this project’s page on the Dashboard is below.