Environmental Impact Statement
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), as the lead agency, prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating the Hudson Tunnel Project (the Project) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). NJ TRANSIT and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) were joint lead agencies in the development of the EIS. The Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were cooperating agencies. FRA coordinated compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) with the NEPA process.
The Hudson Tunnel Project is one component of the Gateway Program. Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are working with other project partners, including the Gateway Development Commission and the states of New York and New Jersey, to advance other components of the Gateway Program.
For more information about the Project, please visit the project website.
On May 28, 2021, FRA issued the Final EIS and, jointly with the Federal Transit Administration, the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Hudson Tunnel Project. The documents disclose the environmental impacts of the Hudson Tunnel Project and measures to minimize and/or mitigate the harm from these impacts that will be a requirement associated with any federal approval or funding action. The documents also include the Final Programmatic Agreement prepared pursuant to Section 106 and the Final Section 4(f) Evaluation and Determination in accordance with Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966.
Cover and Table of Contents for Combined FEIS and Record of Decision
Final Environmental Impact Statement Chapters
- Errata Sheet (October 6, 2021)
- Signature Sheets and Abstract
- Final EIS Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Chapter 1: Purpose and Need
- Chapter 2: Project Alternatives and Description of the Preferred Alternative
- Chapter 3: Construction Methods and Activities
- Chapter 4: Analysis Framework
- Chapter 5A: Traffic and Pedestrians
- Chapter 5B: Transportation Services
- Chapter 6A: Land Use, Zoning, and Public Policy
- Chapter 6B: Property Acquisition
- Chapter 7: Socioeconomic Conditions
- Chapter 8: Open Space and Recreational Resources
- Chapter 9: Historic and Archaeological Resources
- Chapter 10: Visual and Aesthetic Resources
- Chapter 11: Natural Resources
- Chapter 12A: Noise
- Chapter 12B: Vibration
- Chapter 13: Air Quality
- Chapter 14: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Resilience
- Chapter 15: Geology and Soils
- Chapter 16: Contaminated Materials
- Chapter 17: Utilities and Energy
- Chapter 18: Safety and Security
- Chapter 19: Public Health and Electromagnetic Fields
- Chapter 20: Indirect and Cumulative Effects
- Chapter 21: Coastal Zone Consistency
- Chapter 22: Environmental Justice
- Chapter 23: Commitment of Resources
- Chapter 24: Final Section 4(f) Evaluation
- Chapter 25: Process, Agency Coordination, and Public Involvement
- Chapter 26: List of Preparers
- Chapter 27: Distribution of EIS
- Chapter 28: Comments and Responses
- Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (also part of Appendix 9)
Final EIS Appendices
Appendices are numbered relative to the chapter that appendix supports.
- Appendix 1: Purpose and Need
- Appendix 2: Project Alternatives and Description of the Preferred Alternative
- Appendix 3: Construction Methods and Activities
- Appendix 4: Analysis Framework
- Appendix 5: Transportation
- Appendix 6: Land Use, Zoning, Public Policy, and Property Acquisition
- Appendix 8: Open Space and Recreational Resources
- Appendix 9: Historic and Archaeological Resources
- Appendix 11: Natural Resources
- Appendix 12: Noise and Vibration
- Appendix 13: Air Quality
- Appendix 15: Geology and Soils
- Appendix 19: Public Health and Electromagnetic Fields
- Appendix 21: Coastal Zone Consistency
- Appendix 24: Final Section 4(f) Evaluation
- Appendix 25: Process, Agency Coordination, and Public Involvement
- Appendix 28: Comments and Responses
On July 6, 2017, FRA and NJ TRANSIT issued the Draft EIS for public comment. The Draft EIS presented a description of the development of, and evaluation of the impacts of, the Preferred Alternative and the No Action Alternative. The Draft EIS also included a draft Programmatic Agreement prepared pursuant to Section 106. With the Preferred Alternative for the Hudson Tunnel Project, FRA and NJ TRANSIT recommended construction of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and rehabilitation of the existing tunnel. FRA and NJ TRANSIT accepted public comments on the Draft EIS from July 7, 2017, through August 21, 2017. FRA and NJ TRANSIT hosted three public meetings on the Draft EIS: August 1, 2017, in New York, NY; August 3, 2017, in Secaucus, NJ; and August 10, 2017, in Union City, NJ.
The Preferred Alternative identified a specific alignment that includes two new tracks extending from the Northeast Corridor in Secaucus, NJ, continuing in a tunnel beneath the Palisades and beneath the Hudson River. From there it will connect to the existing approach tracks that lead into New York’s Penn Station. The recommendation also includes the rehabilitation of the existing North River Tunnel once the new tunnel is complete.
In October 2016, FRA and NJ TRANSIT published the Scoping Summary Report, which described the full scoping process and summarized both the comments received and the related responses. Also in October 2016, FRA and NJ TRANSIT invited the public to learn more about the Preferred Alternative for the Hudson Tunnel Project at two public meetings. The two meetings—on November 10, 2016 and November 17, 2016 in Secaucus, NJ, and New York City, NY, respectively—were an opportunity for the public and stakeholders to learn and ask questions about project developments and the Preferred Alternative. No formal presentations were given.
The Notice of Intent announcing the preparation of an EIS for this project, as well as the initiation of scoping, was published in the Federal Register on May 2, 2016. A scoping document was made available online and in repositories within the study area. FRA and NJ TRANSIT invited the public to provide written comments on the scope of the EIS online, via email, mail, or orally at two public meetings held on May 17 and 19, 2016, in New York City, NY, and Union City, NJ, respectively.