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Archive for Wednesday, January 20, 1999

OFFICIALS GET SLT UPDATE

January 20, 1999

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Douglas County officials met Tuesday with representatives from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to iron out the near future of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The FHwA recently agreed to step up as the lead agency for a supplemental environment impact statement, the focus of a lawsuit decided in November by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

No decisions were made Tuesday, but it was good to bring everybody up to date on the project, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said.

"There's nothing new," he said.

The environment impact statement is required under the National Environmental Policy Act. It's basically a study of the possible environmental impacts of a project, in this case the eastern leg of the trafficway. When the county and KDOT decided to complete the eastern leg without federal funding, the agencies argued the SEIS was a moot point.

But the circuit court said officials waited too long to "defederalize" the project and still needed to dig into the environmental implications of the trafficway.

A draft SEIS is about 90 percent completed. The meeting Tuesday was to bring everybody up to date on what it will take to finish it, Weinaug said. Addressing public comment raised during the draft SEIS process will be one of the major jobs to do, he said.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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