2018.06.09 SCMAGLEV UPDATE - NEPA TIMELINE CHANGES - CONTINUE TO SEND YOUR OWN COMMENTS TO MTA, etc

Always check these sites:
UPDATE 2018.06.09
MTA Updated NEPA Timeline 
In the past few days, MTA updated its NEPA timeline, moving completion of SCMagLev's "Alternatives Report" (ALTS) from May to August 2018 for submission to MTA - see graphic timeline at 
http://bwmaglev.info/index.php/nepa-process
That update also corrects a typo on the website's home page, changing what was previously "2019" to "2018": which now says, "The Alternatives Report [ALTS] is anticipated to be published in Summer 2018."
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In related news on June 7, ... "Erin C. Henson, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Transportation, said Wednesday [June 6] that there is no timetable for completing the [SCMagLev NEPA] study."
https://www.marylandmatters.org/single-post/2018/06/07/Fight-Over-High-Speed-Train-Zooms-Through-Prince-Georges-Election
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As i understand, the ALTS report will formally propose one final Draft Route to be studied in the production of the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS), from the two currently remaining draft routes: J-1-West or J-1-East.(on the West and East sides of the BW Parkway, respectively). 
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So, until August 2018, any information we learn about the final draft alternative route, is just that, DRAFT.
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Nonetheless, each of us can and should continually submit well-reasoned comments about SCMagLev to MTA and other related officials, such as in the contacts list in THIS POST below.  Please note that your local, state and congressional representatives will differ from this list, according to the districts you reside in.


UPDATE: 2018.06.07 
SCMagLev Stop Work Order in Greenbelt
"City of Greenbelt officials maintain, a contractor connected to the project recently conducted soil testing without getting approval from the city, county or homeowners association. The city government issued a stop-work order."
https://www.marylandmatters.org/single-post/2018/06/07/Fight-Over-High-Speed-Train-Zooms-Through-Prince-Georges-Election

UPDATE: 2018.05.16
Apparent Premature Soil Sampling by SCMAGLEV Questioned
EXCERPT from a recent newsletter from Maryland Assembly District 23A Delegate, Geraldine Valentino-Smith ... regarding the proposed SCMAGLEV project.

QUOTE:
I have been informed that some are concerned that it appears a private company was entering private property to obtain core samples for the tunnel which will house the SCMAGLEV train.  Senator Peters and I are in communication with Secretary Rahn and Attorney General Frosh to notify them about the complaints and clarify the legal requirements which companies are required to follow in such matters.  

I was afraid that problems such as this would arise, which is why I introduced legislation for public notifications and transparency in this process. I will continue to fight for such legislation in the coming session. I will, of course, let you know as soon as I receive any reply from the Secretary or the Attorney General regarding this matter.   
END QUOTE

Those wanting to submit Your Own Comments for the Record about this and any other issues relating to the proposed SCMAGLEV train project  are encouraged to ALWAYS go to J.mp/mhpetition1


Meanwhile, we are waiting for publication of the ALTS report which will formally designate the final Route for study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) of the NEPA Process , which will trigger a 30-day public comment period, focused on the ALTS report -- see BWmaglev.info 

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UPDATE 2018.04.20 -- Breaking News - 
New Modified Draft J-1-West
EXCERPT from D23A Delegate Valentino-Smith legislative update April 20
Quote:
Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail (BWRR) has submitted a [new draft modified] West Alternative Proposed Route [J-1-West] that it anticipates MDOT will be submitting to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in May. You can view the proposed changes to the route here on page 8 for the West Alignment.  [blowup map below] While BWRR attests that no residential houses will be directly impacted, there continues to be a significant impact on South Laurel with above ground and visual placement.   All concerned citizens should be prepared to send comments to FRA when it receives the Alternatives Report [ALTS]  from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).  I urge you to follow the [MDOT/MTA] website and sign up at  Stop This Train! for notices as I expect the federal comment period will be brief. I will keep you informed and have requested that my office receive notification of the comment period information. In addition, it is important that you communicate directly with your federal Congressional and Senate representatives (listed below) regarding your concerns and communicate to them the need for any information from the FRA.  At this time, the BWRR anticipates designation of a final alignment along the West Baltimore Washington Parkway as the preferred route for adoption in the fall of 2018 or early 2019.  
...

Your Governor and Federal Representatives contacts:


Governor Larry Hogan
410-974-3901

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-4524

U.S. Senator Van Hollen
110 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D. C. 20510
202-224-4654

U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D. C.  20515
202-225-4131

U.S. Congressman Anthony Brown
1505 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515
202-225-8699

END EXCERPT QUOTE

Always send your SCMAGLEV comments ALSO to:
SCMAGLEV Project
c/o Suhair Al Khatib - Deputy Administrator
Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
6 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
SALKhatib@mta.maryland.gov

BWRR's draft proposal moves Route J-1-West some yards to the east, up against the BW Parkway boundary, so BWRR now attests that no residential homes will be seized for SCMAGLEV right-of-way (through Montpelier Hills and nearby South Laurel communities). But that leaves even more homes still too close to even the modified route J-1-West.(i.e., homes not seized will be  closest to the route.)

Residents should send your comments Now And Again right After the publication of the ALTS report in mid-May. 

See below for info about sending your comments. 

Please pass on this easy to remember link to this web page J.mp/mhpetition1

Blow up of BWRR's modified J-1-West map (here)
Apache Tears, Sea Pearl, Blue Moon, Ivory Fashion, are near the "P" in "Pkway" --- Hermosa, Frensham, Elmshorn are near "Wash" in "Washington". This may avoid seizing homes yet to be built in MH SDP-0510. Better SCMAGLEV maps may not be available until the ALTS report is published in mid-May. See the NEPA report process and schedule at bwmaglev.info/index.php/nepa-process

END - UPDATE 2018.04.20

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UPDATE 2018.03.08  
MDOT Letter From Governor Hogan to MHHA About SCMAGLEV

While this March 8, 2018 letter from Governor Hogan to Montpelier Hills Homeowners Association (MHHA) appears to be a formal response to the MHHA Board's formal comments for the record (*), the timing of it may also be in part in response to the recent pulse of about 100 individual letters sent to Hogan by MH residents, as facilitated by the MH MagLev Working Group (see below). 
(*) sent earlier in postal mail to MHHA members. 
The Governor's letter does not say which correspondence it is replying to.
The Governor has sent similar replies to other communities.

The Governor's letter contains welcome reassurances, such as:
  • "It has always been the understanding of the Hogan administration that this proposed project would only use existing rights-of-way intended for these types of purposes and have minimal impacts on those who live and work along the final route should the project come to fruition. Our position in favor of using existing rights-of-way only for this proposed project has not and will never change.
  • "Please rest assured that Governor Hogan and the entire Administration are paying very close attention to this process and will continue to stand firmly against any proposed routes that have the potential to harm local communities or affect the quality of life of the citizens along the proposed path. We simply won't allow that to happen."
Nonetheless, although Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Transit Administration are deeply involved in conducting the SCMAGLEV National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) environmental impact study (EIS), the Governor is not the ultimate decider on whether the SCMAGLEV will be approved and built -- that will be decided unilaterally by the Federal Railroad Administration, based on the results of the NEPA EIS, which includes in large part Your Own Comments for the Record.
See bwmaglev.info/index.php/nepa-process

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UPDATE 2018.03.06
Fixed 4 addressees in all 4 example letters below


Please  consider sending a letter opposing the Super Conducting Magnetic Levitation train project (SCMAGLEV). 

Even if you have sent comments before, please send additional comments now, as the SCMAGLEV Project is now studying which of the two remaining routes (J-1-West or J-1-East) to propose to MTA for final route selection. Read the example opposition letters for details. 

Please download the example letter (Comment for Record) at these links
You can edit the Word documents to express your own views.

When writing your comments, please be aware of recent events, which these March 2018 draft example letters did not anticipate -- such as the new modified draft J-1-West to reduce home seizures to zero (?) in Montpelier Hills and other communities in/near South Laurel (see above UPDATE 2018.04.20

If you email your letter, a signature is not needed.
Just write, or copy/paste and edit your comments as an attachment or into the body of your email, including your name and address.

And then email your letter to all (*) the addressees in the letter: 
  • to government decision makers, 
  • and also to our local elected officials who are supporting us in opposing SCMAGLEV
If you print and mail your letter, be sure to sign it.

Addresses are in the letter.

(*) Be sure to send your letter at least to MTA, because they keep, study, and publish all Comments of Record for the SCMAGLEV Project.

SCMAGLEV Project
c/o Suhair Al Khatib - Deputy Administrator
Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
6 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
SALKhatib@mta.maryland.gov

Please pass on this easy to remember link to this web page
J.mp/mhpetition1


NB: To send more of your own comments in future (early & often), just copy/paste the TO: and CC: addressees in the above example letters. Please note, your elected officials may be different by district. See mgaleg.maryland.gov

2018.03.06