Millsboro-South Area (Millsboro, Dagsboro, Frankford, and Selbyville)
NEPA Process (This site last updated November 2, 2017)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in coordination with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the portion of US 113 from north of Georgetown to the Maryland state line in June 2005. Subsequent evaluation of the alternatives under consideration in the Georgetown Area resulted in a revision to the logical termini document and the separation of the Georgetown Area as its own study area and document. The FHWA reissued and updated the Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register in October, 2008 and identified the intent to evaluate US 113 in the Millsboro-South Area including the towns of Millsboro, Dagsboro, Frankford and Selbyville as an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). DelDOT and the FHWA have met with representatives of the various resource and regulatory agencies to begin consideration of the effects of the project on the natural and built environment. Three federal agencies requested to be cooperating agencies: the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Consideration of the effects on the environment has been conducted according to guidelines issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and through an extensive and collaborative study process with the interested resource and regulatory agencies at both the federal and state level.
Step 1 - Purpose and Need
DelDOT and FHWA prepared a Purpose and Need document for the US 113 Corridor and distributed the document to the cooperating agencies for review; concurrence occurred in 2005.
Step 2 - Environmental Inventory and Range of Alternatives
At the outset of the project, the Project Team compiled a database of existing maps and information encompassing elements generally included in a NEPA study. Examples included social demographics, comprehensive planning documents and economic information, as well as available natural resources mapping. This information and base mapping allowed project engineers and planners to initiate an iterative process to develop concept segments and combinations to form complete alternatives.
Step 3 - Preliminary Effects and Alternatives Retained for Detailed Evaluation
Potential effects of each of the alternatives on the human and natural environments were assessed on a preliminary basis and shared with both the interested public and federal and state resources agencies. A series of nine Public Workshops and one Open House were held between October 2003 and March 2007. Information, comments and concerns received from all parties were taken into account, resulting in additional field investigations for NEPA-related issues and opportunities, and engineering analyses. The results of these investigations led to the elimination of segments and the ultimate reduction in the overall number of complete alternatives, and the identification of Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study.
Step 4 - Detailed Evaluation of the Retained Alternatives
The Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study have been further refined as additional NEPA related information was received from state and federal resource agencies. Specifically, alignment analyses to further reduce impacts to residents and businesses, means to reduce impacts to waters of the US, biological surveys for threatened and endangered species, and the recordation of historic standing structures have been conducted. As environmental impacts were updated, agency meetings were held to share findings and explain the relevance of the findings to the project. Results of the detailed evaluation of the alternatives and the announcement of the Recommended Preferred Alternative were presented at Public Workshops held in May 2010.
Step 5 - Publication of the Draft Environmental Document
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published on August 16, 2013. The DEIS details all of the known environmental resources that may be affected by the retained alternatives, as well as preliminary efforts to avoid, minimize, or mitigate those impacts. The document includes the Recommended Preferred Alternative, the Blue Alternative. Two public hearings were held to review information and provide testimony or comments on the Millsboro-South Area DEIS. These hearings were held at the Millsboro Civic Center on September 18, 2013 and at the Selbyville Fire Hall on September 19, 2013. Public hearing materials may be found here. The public comment period ended on October 4, 2013. Review the Millsboro-South Area DEIS.
Step 6 - Publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statement
Following the close of the public comment period on the DEIS DelDOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, will consider all of the comments and a Final Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared.
Step 7 - Record of Decision
The Record of Decision (ROD) is the final step in the NEPA process. Commitments made during the process related to the Selected Alternative will be formalized in a ROD for approval by the Federal Highway Administration which will complete the NEPA process.