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In the coming months, the FRA will complete the NEC FUTURE planning process and move toward

implementation. The next steps include:


The FRA will hold a 30-day waiting period after release of the Tier 1 Final EIS. This waiting period

allows the public to review and provide feedback on the Preferred Alternative and the contents of

the Tier 1 Final EIS. This is not a formal comment period and the FRA will not respond to individual

comments as was required for the Tier 1 Draft EIS. The FRA will consider feedback on the Preferred

Alternative received during the waiting period and then identify an alternative, referred to as the

Selected Alternative, in the Record of Decision (ROD). The Selected Alternative documented in the

ROD may or may not be the same as the Preferred Alternative described in the Tier 1 Final EIS.


The ROD will document the formal selection of an investment program (referred to as the Selected

Alternative). The Selected Alternative will serve as a framework to guide future Tier 2 project

investments on the NEC. The issuance of the ROD will complete the Tier 1 NEPA process.


The SDP will detail the process for implementing the Selected Alternative, including a first phase of

projects to address the most critical needs on the NEC. The SDP will be prepared in 2017.

Next Steps

To learn more about NEC FUTURE

and the Preferred Alternative, please refer to the Tier 1 Final EIS, available

online at

. See Volume 1, Chapter 4 for a description of the Preferred Alternative and

its development; Chapters 5, 6, and 7 for an assessment of transportation, economic, and environmental

effects; Chapter 10 for information on phasing and implementation; Chapter 11 for a description of public

and agency involvement, and Appendix JJ for FRA’s responses to comments received on the Tier 1 Draft EIS.

Also available online is the Programmatic Agreement prepared under Section 106 of the National Historic

Preservation Act of 1966. The Programmatic Agreement, contained in Appendix GG, provides a framework

for compliance with Section 106 in future Tier 2 actions that could affect historic properties along the NEC.