July 15, 2003
Mr. Bradley D. Keazer
Federal Highway Administration
628-2 Hebron Avenue, Suite 303
Glastonbury, CT 06033
|Subject:||National Recreational Trails Program
FY 2003 Projects - Connecticut
REQUEST FOR CATEGORICAL EXCLUSION CONCURRENCE
Dear Mr. Keazer:
Description - This request covers the 30 projects itemized on the attached table, which includes a brief description of each project. After consultation with the DEP's Office of Environmental Review, it was determined that these projects are not covered by the Department's Environmental Classification Document and therefore environmental documents pursuant to CEPA are not required. The following areas of potential impact have been evaluated and the findings are summarized as follows:
Rights of Way - No additional right of way is required for these projects. All projects involving construction are located on property that is either (1) owned in fee by the state or a municipality, or (2) encumbered by a pre-existing easement that covers the proposed work.
Public Involvement - The State Recreational Trails Advisory Committee met to review and evaluate the projects for submission to FHWA. The Committee represents a broad spectrum of trail interests including motorized and disabled users.
Socio-Economic - There are no negative impacts anticipated due to these projects.
Historic, Archaeological Resources, and/or Public Parks - The State Historic Preservation Officer has reviewed these projects and determined that there are no expected conflicts with these resources in most cases. For the five applicants where there may be areas of interest, archeological reviews must be conducted prior to grants being disbursed. Per 23 U.S.C. 206 (h)(2), the Recreational Trails Program is exempt from the requirements of Section 4(f) (49 U.S.C. 303).
Scenic Roads/Bikeways - There are no negative impacts to scenic roads and/or bikeways anticipated due to these projects.
Water Resources/Permits - The DEP has issued permits for its projects; the municipalities and other sponsors have indicated that either they have obtained, or they are in the process of applying for, any necessary permits. Individual Section 404 permits are not anticipated for any of these projects.
Natural Resources/Water Supplies - These projects will have no impact on rare or endangered species or on water supplies.
Air Quality - Air Quality conformity determinations are not required for these projects.
Noise - Noise analyses are not required for these projects.
Hazardous/Contaminated Materials Screening - These projects do not involve the acquisition of additional right of way, and no impacts from hazardous/contaminated materials are anticipated.
Environmental Statement Requirements - After consultation with the DEP's Office of Environmental Review, it was determined that they are not covered by the Department's Environmental Classification Document and therefore environmental documents pursuant to CEPA are not required.
Please indicate your concurrence of the determination that these projects be classified as a Categorical Exclusion in the space provided. Appropriate documentation is attached for your reference.
Concurred by __________________________________________ Date:____________
Bradley D. Keazer, Division Administrator
State Parks Division
Dept. of Environmental Protection
July 15, 2003
To: Arthur J. Rocque, Jr., Commissioner
David K. Leff, Deputy Commissioner
Tom Morrissey, Chief, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
From: Pamela Adams, Director, State Parks Division
Subject: Recreational Trail Program
The above referenced program is funded under a federal authorization, "Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century," known as TEA-21. The "Recreational Trails Program" (RTP) is a smaller grant program under TEA-21. The authorization spans the federal fiscal years of 1998 through 2003. DEP is charged with the administration of this grant program, which provides reimbursement grants for recreational trail development, rehabilitation, and/or acquisition. Funds in the form of grants may be made to non-profit organizations, municipalities, and state agencies. There is an appropriation of $595,431 available for FY 2003. The DEP is allowed to use seven percent of this for administrative purposes. Grant requests and administrative costs will utilize the entire appropriation for this fiscal year.
The DEP solicited proposals for grants beginning in November 2002 and ending in January of this year. Total applications were considerably greater than available funds. Proposed projects were ranked by the DEP and reviewed for final ranking by the Recreational Trails Advisory Committee (member list attached). Those projects recommended for funding are attached for your review. Upon your approval, notification letters and contracts will be forwarded to all respondents after the Federal Highway Administration has approved the proposals. Should you have any questions regarding the projects or program, please contact Leslie Lewis, RTP Administrator for DEP, at x2465.
_____I concur with the recommendations as presented
_____I do not concur with the recommendations as presented
Arthur J. Rocque, Jr. Date
July 15, 2003
Ms. Barbara Breslin
Federal Highway Administration - Connecticut Division
628-2 Hebron Avenue - Suite 303
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Dear Ms. Breslin:
Enclosed is the appropriate information to commit the available apportionment to the State of Connecticut under the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The projects that follow should commit all available funding for federal FY 2003. The proposals enclosed have been reviewed by DEP staff, competitively ranked, submitted to the Department of Transportation for inclusion on the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), and brought before a citizen trail advisory board. The submittal is a reflection of the recommendation that the citizen advisory board brought before the DEP.
The submittals represent a variety of eligible trail projects. The Department of Environmental Protection will apply for the allowable administrative cost. The proposals for educational purposes are under the level allowed by FHWA.
I look forward to a favorable approval of the submitted projects. Should you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact Leslie Lewis, RTP Program Administrator at (860) 424-3081.
David K. Leff