Statement of Colin Peppard on MD State Highway Administrations ICC Comment Period Extension
Colin Peppard, Transportation Coordinator
While Friends of the Earth welcomes the State Highway Administration’s token 10 day comment period extension for the Intercounty Connector (ICC), the comment period remains inadequate. A busy and hardworking public deserves sufficient time to read and analyze the 7000+ pages of the ICC Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The ICC will have significant impact on the lives of Maryland residents. The ICC threatens to slash through communities and displace many residents. The ICC will cut across parkland and open recreation areas, destroying the oases of green space that Maryland families cherish. The ICC will increase runoff, water, and air pollution that impacts Maryland families every day. These reasons alone dictate the inclusion of as much public input as possible.
Further, the National Environmental Policy Act was created to codify the right of citizens to have a say in the way that their government develops the places they live. The “fast-tracked” review violates the spirit of public involvement under NEPA and does a disservice to the general public.
Friends of the Earth continues to oppose construction of the ICC and supports Smart Growth solutions such as light rail, bus rapid transit, high-occupancy toll lanes, and transit-oriented development. Solutions such as these provide more choice and achieve far more congestion relief at a far lesser cost to the public, both economically and environmentally.