Was the rejection of a “no build” option and the outcome of the VAT FEIS predetermined? With the evidence strongly suggesting this is the case, DC Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Phil Mendelson sent a letter on July 24th, 2014 to Michael Brown of the District Department of Transportation asking for an explanation.
DDOT granted a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to CSX in 2010, and “this language of the 2010 agreement suggests that the outcome fo the FEIS issued in 2014 was predetermined. While the FEIS purports to consider a variety of alternatives, including a “no build option,” a promise to provide permits as early as 2010 suggests that the “no build” option was never seriously considered.”
DDOT is asked to explain if they ever gave full consideration to all proposed alternatives.
Cheh and Mendelson requested “that DDOT delay the issuance of any permits for this project until September 15th, 2014 in order for the Council to continue oversight on this issue.”
The Committee of the Whole as well as the Committee on Transportation and the Environment are holding a hearing on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project on August 26th, 2014. where DDOT will be asked to provide answers about their actions regarding the VAT project.
Please find a full text PDF of Councilmember Cheh and Mendelson’s letter here: 7 24 14 Letter to DDOT re CSX VAT Project (2)-1