Replacement Terminal Environmental Assessment
5. Comments by the public and community groups have indicated that the airport has not gone through environmental reviews on past projects. Why aren’t the cumulative impacts of all of the projects at Trenton-Mercer Airport considered?
A recent criticism of the Trenton-Mercer Airport is that all of the impacts from various projects conducted over the past few years have been segmented and an overall environmental analysis and impact of the airport has not been performed.
The FAA oversees the environmental processes and NEPA approval for every project at the Airport. Since 2014 there have been eight (8) NEPA reviews that have been processed by the FAA for various projects conducted at the Airport. Of those reviews, two (2) were categorized by the FAA as an EA Short Form and six (6) were categorized as CATEX with minimal impacts. The EA for the Runway Protection Zone and Obstruction Removal is currently being reviewed by the FAA.
All of the projects were reviewed by the FAA and took into account the cumulative impacts on the natural and human environment and each other. Each of the reviews and findings were published by the FAA. All of the NEPA reviews were performed by the regulatory oversight staff of the FAA located at the Harrisburg, PA Airports District Office.
Comments received from community groups imply that the Airport has not been acting in good faith to obtain environmental approvals. The Airport coordinates with the FAA on a regular basis from pre-project planning through construction on all projects and the FAA is aware of all of the work being performed at the Airport. All proposed projects are subject to an environmental review by the FAA in order to move forward. The FAA review is required whether a project is funded by the FAA, the State of NJ or the airport itself.
Research was conducted on whether other large projects in the vicinity of the Trenton-Mercer Airport have been constructed or are under construction. The research resulted in the finding that several projects required a CATEX including the reconstruction of Interstate-95 (Interstate-295) in Bucks County, PA and Mercer County, NJ and the Route 1 Northbound ramp in Oxford Valley in Lower Makefield, PA. One project requiring an EA was the Scudder Falls Bridge project spanning the Delaware River from NJ to PA. One project requiring an EIS is the Northeast Corridor Rail Improvements.