FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Extension to May 24 Results in 122-day Public Comment Period;
Three Virtual Hearings Set for April
BALTIMORE, MD (March 17, 2021) – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) announce an extension of the public comment period for the environmental review of the private-sector Baltimore-Washington Superconducting Maglev (SCMAGLEV) Project. The public comment period will now run through May 24, 2021.
When the SCMAGLEV DEIS was released January 22, FRA responded to requests from stakeholders by establishing a 90-day comment period – twice the usual 45 days – with an April 22 end date. With FRA’s additional extension to May 24, the SCMAGLEV DEIS public comment period will now be a total of 122 days. The SCMAGLEV DEIS is available online at bwmaglev.info.
“MDOT thanks the Federal Railroad Administration for extending the time for public review of the SCMAGLEV DEIS,” said MDOT Secretary Greg Slater. “Maryland is continuing to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and this extension, combined with the schedule of three virtual public hearings, will ensure residents and other interested parties have additional opportunities to participate and offer input on this important proposal.”
Earlier this month FRA and MDOT MTA announced the schedule for a trio of public hearings in April on the SCMAGLEV DEIS. The hearings will be held virtually in consideration of COVID-19 protocols, as follows:
- Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Thursday, April 8, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, April 10, 2021 – 10 a.m. to Noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
To sign up to provide live public testimony at one of the virtual hearings, go to bwmaglev.info. Those wishing to provide one-on-one testimony and/or listen to the live testimony during a hearing may call 1-855-450-1219. The public also can submit comments for the record at the project website, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to SCMAGLEV Project, c/o Lauren Molesworth, Maryland Transit Administration, 6 Saint Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21202. For updates and to join the project mailing list, please visit bwmaglev.info.
The Baltimore-Washington SCMAGLEV is a private-sector project being proposed by Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail (BWRR). FRA and MDOT MTA prepared a DEIS to study the potential environmental impacts of a new high-speed rail system. BWRR’s proposed SCMAGLEV system would operate between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore with a stop at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
On behalf of BWRR, MDOT’s responsibilities, in partnership with FRA, include: administering the federal grant funding to complete the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study, prepare NEPA documentation, manage the DEIS public outreach process and perform preliminary engineering.
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