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dvija m's comments:
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement produced by the Columbia River Crossing Project is technically deficient. As an environmental document, it does not include hydrogeologic information, protections for the river and contigous waterways, does not protect the river, and does not satisfy technical requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The document infers that other federal entities are supposed to produce the needed data, but that is not what and EIS is about. Most alarming, the document specifically identifies about 250 businesses and homes that could be demolished or have property removed to make way for bridge/light rail/bicycle lane improvements, yet those individuals are not even aware their properties have been singled out in thsi fashion. In a down-turned real estate market, this could be devastating to those affected. This cannot be sumarily dismissed with excuses that the few cannot stand in the way of progress. The public process is negligent, and seems prejudiced in favor of the outcome to replace the bridge and include light rail, irregardless of the costs -- pursuing a preferred alternative (replacement of bridge with light rail) also violates the NEPA process when such decisions are made prior to the issuance of an official record of decision or ROD. There is no mention of financial contstraints to the property owners or public subsidies needed to operate and maintain light rail. The people who are going to be hurt the most by this are those who live within the corridor where light rail could be placed -- as usual, these are disadvantaged neighborhoods that meet environmental justice thresholds. The draft EIS claims to satisfy executive civil rights for the disadvantaged, but this is clearly untrue. Many have spoken out that they do not want their residential neighborhoods overrun by park and rides that are larger than the entire Vancouver Shopping Mall, but this seems to be ignored by the decision makers. The worst thing in all of this is that agencies are attempting to commit the community to this expensive project without a vote of the people, purposefully removing the public from its ability to decide on taxes that will be collected to support the project. That is unequivocably unfair to the public. The EIS should not have been developed without a public vote to decide the light rail issue.
posted 4 years, 12 months ago
posted 4 years, 12 months ago
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