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Steps of the Environmental Review Process

  • Notice of Intent (NOI) – March 29, 2024
  • Scoping – Second Quarter 2024
  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Public and Agency Comment Period – Second Quarter 2025
  • Final EIS – Fourth Quarter 2025
  • Surface Transportation Board’s (Board) final decision and all required permits from other agencies – Prior to construction

Note: The schedule is subject to change as the project progresses. Please check back for updates.

Notice of Intent (NOI)

The NOI is a document that states the intent to prepare an EIS. The NOI provides information about the next steps of the environmental review process, including scoping meetings. The NOI for this project was published on March 29, 2024, in the Federal Register. View the Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS.


Scoping is an open process for determining the breadth of environmental issues to be addressed in the EIS. The scoping process includes public and agency meetings to provide the opportunity to share comments, interests, and concerns. Members of the public and agencies can submit comments to the Board’s office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) during the scoping period. The scoping period ended on April 29, 2024. OEA reviewed all comments received and issued a Final Scope of Study for the EIS on July 8, 2024. The Final Scope of Study for the EIS is available on the Documents page.

For information on viewing submitted comments, visit the Public Involvement webpage.

Next Steps

Draft EIS
Following scoping, OEA will prepare a Draft EIS that analyzes the impacts from constructing and operating the Line and address issues raised during the scoping period, as appropriate. The Draft EIS will identify and analyze reasonable alternatives and set forth OEA’s preliminary recommendations for environmental mitigation measures. The Draft EIS will be made available for public and agency review and comment for 45 days.

Final EIS
Following public and agency review of the Draft EIS, OEA will prepare and issue a Final EIS that addresses the substantive comments on the Draft EIS and sets forth OEA’s final recommended environmental mitigation.

Surface Transportation Board’s Decision
The Board will consider the Draft EIS, the Final EIS, public comments, and any final environmental mitigation proposed by OEA, as well as the transportation merits, in reaching its decision on GER’s request for authority to construct and operate the Line.


Contact Us

By phone:

EIS Information Line: 1-888-319-2337