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Appendix E – Waterville, Maine Intermodal Facility

Mode Rail, Highway
Ownership Private
Commodity Type Bulk Goods
Location Urban, East
Lead Federal Agency FHWA
Cooperating Agencies FRA
Review Agencies FHWA, Maine DOT
State or Local Agencies Maine DOT

Environmental Issues:
Air Quality Major Issue
Cultural Resources No Issue
Land Use Issue
Local Transportation Issue
Natural Resources Issue
Noise/vibration No Issue
Hazardous Waste No Issue
Socioeconomics No Issue
Water Quality No Issue

Environmental Review Process:
NEPA, including agency consultation Issue
Use of structured process No Issue
Integration of NEPA and state processes No Issue
Timing of environmental review initiation No Issue
Effect of process on project design and alternatives No Issue
Multi-agency review Issue
Public involvement No Issue

Project Description

Guilford Transportation Industries (parent of Guilford Rail System) constructed a truck-to-rail transfer facility, including storage areas, staging areas, and other facilities. Six 3,000-foot tracks were removed from an existing rail yard, and a new 3,000-foot by 100-foot paved loading/unloading area was built along with two new tracks that connected the new loading/unloading area to the main line. Waterville is located inland in mid-coast Maine, and the facility's location near an Interstate highway allows central Maine products shipped in trailers and containers to move via rail, reducing heavy truck traffic and emissions. The facility is operational, and the FHWA has maintained a continual role by leasing packers to Guilford. The current site was selected when environmental impacts and subsequent mitigation costs at a site in Fairfield were too high.

Environmental Issues

Air Quality: Analysis showed that the facility would reduce heavy truck traffic and emissions. As a result, Maine DOT requested $1.2 million in funding from the Federal-aid Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.

Land Use: Given the location of the Waterville facility within a brownfield, the Guilford rail yard, the facility had essentially no negative impacts on the natural, physical, or human environment. Using the brownfield is likely an environmental improvement.

Local Transportation: The increased local truck and rail traffic was estimated to have minimal impacts to local transportation and noise and vibration.

Environmental Review Process

NEPA, including agency consultation: The Waterville transfer facility required an EA, which was completed without delay. Given the nature of the Waterville site, no issues related to agency consultations existed. However, for the initial site in Fairfield, the consultation with the Army Corps of Engineers and FWS led Maine DOT to conclude that wetlands mitigation would have doubled the cost of the project from $2 million to $4 million. The early identification of this issue led Maine DOT to select the Waterville site.

Multi-agency review: The Waterville site was chosen by a multi-agency review as the alternate to the failed Fairfield site. Environmental issues were an important factor in the selection of the site. The multi-agency review conducted by FHWA and Maine DOT used a standardized approach in order to screen potential environmental impacts.

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