THE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

The Stockton Diamond Grade Separation project is currently in the environmental review phase, which means the proposed new grade separation is being analyzed for potential environmental impacts as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A wide range of resource areas are being studied to identify potential effects of the proposed project and establish clear mitigations prior to approval to ensure the project continues forward. Although the project’s scoping period has ended, SJRRC still welcomes public input throughout the environmental process in addition to formal public comment periods. Make sure to visit the Public Engagement page to stay updated and the contact page to submit a comment, ask a question or get added to the project’s database.

RESOURCE AREAS

Agriculture & Forestry Resources

Air Quality & Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Biological Resources

Cultural Resources

Energy

Geology/Soils

Hazards & Hazardous Materials

Hydrology/Water Quality

Land Use/Planning

Noise & Vibration

Parks & Recreation

Population/Housing

Public Services & Utilities

Transportation & Circulation

Visual Resources

Wildfire

THE CEQA/NEPA PROCESS

SJRRC, in cooperation with the California High Speed Rail Authority, under delegation by the Federal Railroad Administration, are currently preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for CEQA compliance (with SJRRC as the CEQA Lead Agency) and an Environmental Assessment (EA) for NEPA compliance (with California High Speed Rail Authority as the NEPA Lead Agency) for the Stockton Diamond project. The Draft Environmental Document will be released for public review in early winter 2021.

1

CEQA: Notice of Preparation (NOP) of EIR/EA (Launched on Aug. 19, 2020)

  • Document
  • Advertisements placed in the Stockton Record and Vida en el Valle publications to alert public of Environmental Process kick-off and initiation of development of the environmental document. An e-blast was also distributed by the Latino Times.
  • Mailer sent to 6,300 community members and stakeholders in the project contact list promoting NOP/Scoping Period and Public Comment opportunities.
  • Social media posts and advertisements on Facebook and Twitter
  • Seven e-blasts distributed from the project email account
2

CEQA: Scoping & minimum 30-day Public Comment Period – Public Scoping Meetings (45 days from Aug. 19 to Oct. 3, 2020)

  • See Meetings
  • This early step in the EIR/EA allowed interested public to provide input into the project and environmental scope. In order to allow the public extra time to review, SJRRC extended the minimum public comment period to 45 days.
  • To provide convenient participation in a safe environment while social distancing, three virtual public meetings were held in during this period in mid-September 2020 to share information and seek input.
3

CEQA: Draft EIR Development – In Progress

NEPA: Drat EA Development – In Progress

4

CEQA: Draft EIR/EA minimum 30-Day Circulation for Public/Agency Review & Comment – Public Meeting

  • A Notice of Availability (NOA) of draft environmental documents is placed within local/regional newspapers.
  • Mailer sent to project contact list promoting NOA/Public Comment Period.
  • Environmental documents circulated electronically through website, housed at key community repositories and distributed to partner agencies for review and submission of comments within a formal public comment period.
  • Public Meeting held to share Draft EIR/EA and seek formal input through a number of mediums including but not limited to: letters, emails, website submission, comment cards and court reporter transcripts.
5

CEQA: Final EIR, including Statement of Overriding Considerations and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program

NEPA: Final EA, including Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Commitments

  • Preparation and certification of Final EIR/EA
  • All comments received during Public Comment Period are included and addressed within Final EIR/EA.
6

CEQA: SJRRC Decision/Notice of Determination – Public Hearing

NEPA: NEPA Finding of No Significant Impact

  • Provides formal notification in local/regional newspapers of Final EIR/EA availability and review
  • Public hearing held to allow Lead Agency to hear Public Testimony and take action on FINAL EIR/EA.

: Public participation opportunities

THE KEY ACTIVITIES

Key activities during environmental planning include coordination with regulatory agencies including, but not limited to:

Environmental Data Collection and Field Surveys

Preparation of environmental technical studies*

Development of a Draft EIR/EA

Public review of Draft EIR/EA

Preperation of Final Environmental Approval Docs

*Air quality and greenhouse gas emissions; noise and vibration; biological resources; cultural resources; community impacts; transportation and circulation; hazardous materials; and others

Local and regional community stakeholders, as well as the general public, play key roles in the environmental planning process through ongoing participation and by providing timely and formal input at critical public comment periods within the environmental process. This valuable engagement helps to identify and address key concerns, issues, and potential impacts in order to develop a project that best meets the needs of the community.