September 3, 2007

Texas Coordination

Stewards of the Range
Copyright 2007

Texans have finally found a way to fight the Trans-Texas Corridor by forcing the agencies to comply with the coordination requirement found in state and federal law.

Using a two track approach, the cities of Holland, Bartlett, Little River-Academy, and Rogers, all within Central Texas and within the path of the quarter mile wide superhighway, have implemented a course of action that requires the Texas Department of Transportation to coordinate all studies, plans and management activities on the Trans-Texas Corridor with the cities. Link to Copy of Press Release, 08-24-07

State Strategy: Requiring the Texas Department of Transportation to Coordinate with Local Government under Texas State Law

Following the clear guidelines found in Chapter 391 of the Texas Local Government Code, the cities formed a regional planning commission, now named the "Eastern Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission." By doing this, the state agencies are now required to coordinate their plans for several issues including the Trans-Texas Corridor, which the Commission specifically identified in their organizing documents.

Federal Strategy: Requesting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reject the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the TTC 1-35.

The second course of action the cities have taken, is requesting that the Corridor DEIS, now pending approval by the Environmental Protection Agency, be rejected because the Transportation Department who conducted the study did not coordinate with their cities as required under the National Environmental Protection Act (42 USC 4321), and as a result submitted a grossly insufficient DEIS.

NEPA requires that the agency coordinate the study with the local governments impacted, however, the agency refused to do so, and relegated the cities opposition to the commenting process. In so doing, they violated the law when they conducted the study. The cities have requested that EPA reject the DEIS and require the process to begin again, this time coordinating with every city, school district, water district and county that makes this request.

The letter to the EPA was sent by each individual city, since the federal law does not require a commission to be formed, but instead calls for the agency to coordinate with each local unit of government affected, which includes not only cities and counties, but also school districts and water districts. Several school districts and water districts in the area are now also considering taking the same action.

Any county, city, school district or water district that will be impacted by the Trans-Texas Corridor can make the same request of the EPA using the documents submitted by the four originating cities, found at the bottom of this page. The more local units of government the Transportation Department is required to coordinate with, the more accurate the information gathered will be, and the true impact of the superhighway can be evaluated as required by NEPA. Also, the more entities that must be coordinated with, the more time it will take for the Transportation Department to complete a proper study.

To learn more on how to form a Texas Regional Planning Commission in your area, or to request the EPA reject the DEIS on the Corridor, call:

American Land Foundation: (512) 365-2699
Stewards of the Range: (512) 365-8038

State Strategy

Letters to TX Department of Transportation:

Federal Strategy

Letters to EPA:

© 2007 Stewards of the Range:

No comments: