This current project task includes preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.
Land Use - The study area consists of a mix of residential, industrial, commercial, recreational, and public/quasi-public land uses. The project will examine the potential impacts of the various alternatives on these uses.
Socioeconomics - Potential impacts upon the study area's population, particularly low-income and minority populations, will be carefully examined. Related to this area is an analysis of Environmental Justice issues to ensure that impacts are appropriately avoided, addressed and mitigated where possible.
Visual - Any potential visual impacts to the existing natural and built environment from the proposed structures, roadways and other project elements will be thoroughly examined. Particular attention will be given to significant visual landmarks at highly visible locations within the study area.
Ecology - Impacts of the alternatives on water quality and aquatic ecology, threatened and endangered species, wildlife, and upland vegetation will be carefully assessed.
Wetlands - The wetlands to be investigated in the study are associated with two separate watersheds: Big Timber Creek and Little Timber Creek. Both creek systems are tidally influenced but have tidal wetland/marsh areas and fresh water wetlands within the limits of the study area. Big Timber Creek has one sub-watershed located in the study area, an unnamed ephemeral (storm event) stream with restricted flow during dry seasons. This stream flows through fresh water wetlands in the upstream reaches and a tidal wetland/marsh downstream, where it joins Big Timber Creek.
Air - Air quality in the study area currently meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality levels, including meeting "attainment" standards for carbon monoxide levels. All criteria pollutants will be examined in the environmental studies.
Noise - The Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) has established noise level guidelines and noise analysis procedures. The FHWA Noise Abatement Criteria (NAC) defines noise level guidelines for different land-use activities. The noise sensitive sites within project limits include residences, schools, places of worship, recreational areas and commercial/industrial land use activities. Noise levels will be determined for present and future considerations.
Recreation and Community Resources - The study area includes seven publicly owned recreation facilities. These publicly owned recreation facilities include parks, school playgrounds and ball fields.
Historic Architecture -For historic resources, environmental constraints would include those historic buildings, structures, objects, or districts that have been listed in, determined eligible for listing in, or are potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
Archaeology - The potential for archaeological resources within the
I-295/I-76/Route 42 Reconstruction project area may be found within lands on the north and south side of Little Timber Creek and I-295 east of the interchange, land on the north and south side of Little Timber Creek to the west of the I-295 southbound merge to I-76, and lands adjacent to Big Timber Creek and I-295 west of I-76 and Route 42.
Predictive models are used to assess the level of potential for archaeological remains in an area. They utilize information collected from previous excavations to create a pattern of how early peoples lived in the I-295/I-76/Route 42 Reconstruction and EIS project area.
Archaeological finds were displayed at both Annunciation School on Browning Road in Bellmawr and at two Public Information Centers in November 2004 and June 2005.
For both prehistoric Native Americans and Euro-American inhabitants, their tools, food remains, and shelter provide clues to their subsistence practices, social organizations and surrounding land use. By comparing and contrasting the types of artifacts, the location of the finds, and other variables, a temporal and spatial model is created illustrating how prehistoric and historic peoples existed in an area over a period of time.
Selected alternatives for environmental considerations listed will be analyzed for all of the environmental disciplines listed above. In addition, improvements to traffic flow, reduction in accidents, impact to the local traffic network, maintain ability and construction cost will be considered.
Technical Environmental Studies for the environmental areas listed above will be performed using relevant geographically referenced databases, which will be incorporated into a project-specific Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS will be used for data analysis and interpretation and will be presented at public meetings. The GIS will be developed utilizing ArcView software and will
utilize existing New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and commercial data as its base.
Environmental Constraints Maps