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Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Announcement of Public Hearing, and Early Notice of Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-year Floodplain for the Resilient Bridgeport: Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Relief Projects in the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut

SUMMARY: The State of Connecticut’s Department of Housing (CTDOH) is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) disaster recover grant funding and as the “Responsible Entity” defined by HUD regulations at 24 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 58.2(a)(7)(i), has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Resilient Bridgeport: National Disaster Resilience and Rebuild by Design projects in Bridgeport, Connecticut (Proposed Action). The disaster recovery grants are under HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) National Disaster Resilience (NDR) and Rebuild by Design (RBD) programs as part of HUD’s response to the devastation following Superstorm Sandy. The Proposed Action consists of three projects located within the South End of Bridgeport—the RBD Pilot Project at the former Marina Village public housing site, a Flood Risk Reduction Project on the east side of the South End, and a Resilience Center—that together would provide stormwater management, dry evacuation routes (dry egress), a coastal flood defense system, and resiliency education to the community.
The Proposed Action is considered a “major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment”; therefore, it must comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). CTDOH has prepared a DEIS in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) and HUD’s Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD Environmental Responsibilities (24 CFR 58). In addition, the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act establishes environmental policy for the State of Connecticut and requires an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) for any state action that could affect the natural environment. As such, the DEIS will jointly serve as an EIE and will meet Connecticut Environmental Policy Act requirements. The DEIS includes documentation of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and compliance with Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management).

This Notice of Availability commences a 45-day comment period to solicit public and agency input on the DEIS through March 18, 2019.

AVAILABILITY OF THE DEIS: Electronic copies of the DEIS are available for public review at the following websites: www.ResilientBridgeport.com and https://www.ct.gov/doh/cwp/view.asp?a=4513&q=588726. Copies of the DEIS will also be available for review at the following locations during regular business hours:

• Bridgeport City Hall
45 Lyon Terrace
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 576-7081

• Bridgeport Public Library Main Branch
925 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 576-7400

• Bridgeport Public Library Black Rock Branch
2705 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 576-7025

• University of Bridgeport Magnus Wahlstrom Library
126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 0660
(203) 576-2388

PUBLIC COMMENT: Any person wishing to comment on the DEIS may do so. The public comment period will be 45 days. Comments and related material must be submitted on or before March 18, 2019. You may submit comments using any one of the following methods:

(1) Email: info@ResilientBridgeport.com
(2) Online: www.ResilientBridgeport.com
(3) Mail: Connecticut Department of Housing (CTDOH) c/o Rebecca French, Director of Resilience, 505 Hudson Street, Hudson, Connecticut, 06106. ATTN: Resilient Bridgeport
(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

PUBLIC HEARING: A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM to hear a presentation on the project and provide an opportunity for oral comments (with a snow date for any weather-related cancellations scheduled for Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM). The public hearing will be held at 7 Middle Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut. The meeting facility is accessible to those with disabilities. Any individual who requires special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, accessible seating, or documentation in alternative formats, is requested to contact the project team at 860-815-0299 or by e-mail at info@ResilientBridgeport.com no later than 5 PM Thursday, February 15, 2019.

EARLY NOTICE OF ACTIVITY IN 100-YEAR FLOODPLAIN: This provides notice, pursuant to 24 CFR Part 55, that this proposed federally funded project would be located within the 100-year floodplain (the one-percent-annual-chance floodplain). CTDOH identified and evaluated practicable alternatives to locating the Proposed Action in the floodplain, and analyzed the potential impacts from the Proposed Action, as required by Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management), in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR Part 55.20 Subpart C, Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands.
The Study Area encompasses approximately 380 acres. The majority of the Study Area (265 acres) is mapped within the coastal ‘AE’ or ‘VE’ floodplain zones based on the FEMA Flood Insurance Risk Maps. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to reduce flood risk in the South End of Bridgeport, CT, thereby protecting critical infrastructure, residences, and businesses from both acute and chronic future flood events. The project would reduce the area at risk of flooding by between 39 and 64 acres with the construction of the coastal flood defense system.

The three primary purposes for this notice are: 1). give an opportunity to people who may be affected by activities within the floodplains to express their concerns and provide information about these areas, 2) encourage commenters to offer alternative methods to serve the same project purpose, and methods to minimize and mitigate impacts, which may enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas, 3) inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk that the Federal government will participate in actions taking place in floodplains.



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