The Eastern Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission (ECTSRPC), which was instrumental in bringing the Trans-Texas Corridor in Central Texas (TTC-35) environmental process to a halt, has taken another step to completely kill the Corridor through Central Texas. The five mayors whose cities and respective school districts form the ECTSRPC have filed a petition with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) demanding that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was filed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) be withdrawn.
In the fall of 2009, TxDOT asked the FHA to issue a “no action” or “no build” decision on the DEIS. Holland Mayor Mae Smith, who is also president of the ECTSRPC, explains, “If the FHA issues a ‘no action’ record of decision on the environmental study as requested by TxDOT, the study remains available to use in the future should the governor change his mind and decide to build the TTC.”
According to information released by the ECTSRPC, “Technically, an environmental study can be reused unless it is completely withdrawn from consideration and discarded by the lead agency, which is the Federal Highway Administration.” The Texas Legislature has turned against the Corridor and did not reauthorize the method of financing it, but TxDOT’s power to create the Corridor is still in statute. Bills to remove the Corridor from statute did not make it through the last session of the Legislature.
To see the “Petition to Withdraw the DEIS,” go to www.stewards.us.