Environmental Consequences and Mitigation

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					FHWA-ME-EIS-02-1-F
Final Environmental Impact Statement




                                                                                                                                  5
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou




                                      Environmental Consequences
                                                   and Mitigation


                       How to Read This Chapter: This chapter identifies potential impacts to the
                       transportation, social and economic, physical and biological, and atmospheric
                       environment that may result from construction of a new highway facility within
                       Segment 4. Potential impacts from Alignment Options 4A, 4B, and 4C are analyzed in
                       this chapter. This chapter is intended to provide sufficient information on the
                       environmental consequences – both benefits and impacts – associated with each
                       alignment option to support federal, state, and local decisions. Based on the impacts
                       associated with each alignment option, Alignment Option 4B has been identified as
                       the Preferred Alternative. Through the Highway Methodology Process, USACE has
                       identified Alignment Option 4B as the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable
                       Alternative (LEDPA).

                       All accompanying figures are bound separately in Volume 2 of this FEIS.



5.1      Introduction
                       This chapter summarizes effects to the highway transportation environment; the land
                       use, economic, social and cultural environment; the physical and biological
                       environment; and the atmospheric environment that are expected to result from
                       construction of Alignment Option 4B and other alternatives evaluated for Segment 4,
                       the Route 1-161 Connector.

                       Unless otherwise noted, the information in this chapter is summarized from the
                       SDEIS and the technical memoranda prepared for Segment 4 and the ACTS. The
                                   1
                       SDEIS TTM contains detailed information on the existing traffic, highway, and
                       safety conditions in the Study Area. The SDEIS ECTR2 contains an analysis of the
                       population, employment, community, and economic characteristics of the Study




                       1   Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. August 2005. Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Corridor Traffic
                           Analysis Technical Memorandum. Prepared for the Maine Department of Transportation.
                       2   Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. August 2005. Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Economic
                           Technical Report. Prepared for the Maine Department of Transportation.




                       5-1        Environmental Consequences and Mitigation
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Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou
                                                     3
                       Area. The SDEIS EVTR provides detailed descriptions of the environmental and
                       cultural resources and constraints, as well as a full description of the federal and state
                       regulations relevant to each resource. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
                                                                     4
                       Highway Methodology Phase I and Phase II technical memoranda describe the
                       Segment 4 Alternatives Analysis and the corresponding environmental impacts from
                       each alternative.

                       The impact evaluation presented in this chapter for wetlands, stream crossings, and
                       Inland Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat (IWWH) is based on the calculated slope
                       limits for a 2-lane facility, while impacts to farmland, historic properties, and
                       Section 4(f) properties were based on a 300-foot ROW width (4-lane facility) as these
                       are related to land acquisition rather than physical disturbance. Impact to vernal
                       pools is based on a 250-foot offset from the centerline of the proposed 2-lane
                       roadway. This analysis is intended to contrast the direct impacts of the alignment
                       option based on quantifiable data available at the conceptual design stage.

                       The air quality analysis was done for the entire SDEIS Study Area. The economic
                       analysis was a combination of analysis for either the entire SDEIS Study Area, the
                       Presque Isle-Caribou Labor Market Area, or the City of Caribou depending on
                       availability and appropriateness of the of data. Analysis was conducted for land use,
                       cultural, and ecological impacts for Alignment Options 4A, 4B, and 4C within
                       Segment 4.

                       In addition to the direct impacts that would result from Segment 4, Chapter 5 also
                       discusses potential secondary and cumulative impacts (Section 5.7, page 5-70).
                       Mitigation measures to lessen unavoidable adverse impacts are presented and
                       summarized in Section 5.8 (page 5-86).



5.2      Transportation Environment
                       This section of the FEIS presents the environmental consequences for Segment 4
                       relative to the transportation system. This section discusses the methodology and
                       findings for the transportation infrastructure assessment associated with the
                       Segment 4 Alignment Options for this FEIS. For each Alignment Option, this analysis
                       quantifies potential effects on demand, travel time savings, vehicle-miles traveled
                       (VMT) and vehicle-hours traveled (VHT), geometric deficiencies, safety, system
                       continuity, compatibility, and mobility.




                       3   Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. August 2005. Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Environmental
                           Technical Report. Prepared for the Maine Department of Transportation.
                       4   Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. June 2007 USACE Highway Methodology Phase I Avoidance - Caribou Route 1- 161
                           Connector and December 2007 USACE Highway Methodology Phase II Permit Application – Caribou Route 1 – 161
                           Connector. Prepared for the Maine Department of Transportation




                       5-2       Environmental Consequences and Mitigation
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Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

5.2.1    Evaluation Criteria
                       The Aroostook County Travel Demand Model was used to evaluate how the
                                                                                     5



                       Segment 4 Alignment Options performed with respect to the USACE Basic Project
                       Purpose (BPP) and NEPA Purpose and Need. The transportation performance
                       measures included:

                             Travel Time Savings - Comparing No-Action Alternative travel times through
                             the Study Area to the travel times anticipated for the Segment 4 Alignment
                             Options provides an important measure of effectiveness.

                             Vehicle-Miles Traveled (VMT) - VMT is a measure of vehicle use and trip length.
                             One vehicle traveling one mile constitutes one vehicle-mile. Over time, VMT is
                             affected by factors such as population, employment rates, land development,
                             infrastructure changes, and housing density. For the Segment 4 Alignment
                             Options and the No-Action Alternative, the VMT for the Study Area has been
                             quantified using model forecasts. Comparing changes in VMT provides a direct
                             measure of how the demand shifts from each corridor affect transportation
                             efficiency within the Study Area in terms of trip distances. An alignment that
                             provides a shorter route will reduce VMT.

                             Vehicle-Hours Traveled (VHT) - VHT is a measure of vehicle use and trip time.
                             One vehicle traveling one hour constitutes one vehicle-hour. Similar to VMT,
                             VHT is affected by population, employment, land development, infrastructure
                             changes, and housing density. VHT has been quantified for the Segment 4
                             Alignment Options and the No-Action Alternative. Comparing changes in VHT
                             provides a direct measure of how the demand shifts affect transportation
                             efficiency in terms of trip times. An alternative or alignment option that provides
                             a faster route will reduce VHT.
                             Mobility - How well an alternative or alignment option improves mobility and
                             how compatible it is with the existing transportation system are qualitative
                             measures that address how well the alternative fits into the existing
                             transportation network. One measure of system mobility is how the Segment 4
                             Alignment Option shifts demands from highways with a low functional
                             classification (such as local roads and minor arterials) to roads with a higher
                             functional classification (such as freeways and principal arterials) that
                             historically have a lower crash occurrence. A highway’s effect on mobility is
                             directly related to its functional classification.
                             Downtown Shifts - Changes in average daily traffic (ADT) on local streets
                             through downtown Caribou compared to the No-Action Alternative is a measure
                             that tells how effectively the Segment 4 Alignment Option separates regional




                       5   The Aroostook County Travel Demand Model consists of a link-based highway network for key regional highways that
                           uses forecasted population growth and employment growth for the year 2030 to predict the future number of trips
                           traveling within or through the Segment 4 Study Area.




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Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

                             through traffic that is passing through downtown from the mix of local
                             downtown traffic.
                       Each Alignment Option was evaluated in regards to system continuity, compatibility
                       and mobility. Continuity can be characterized by how often existing highways
                       transition between wide, higher speed segments in rural areas to narrow, lower
                       speed segments through downtown areas or city/town centers. These factors reduce
                       mobility and result in poor system reliability. The lack of system continuity
                       contributes to a decrease in mobility for residents and businesses in the Caribou area.
                       The improvement in mobility provided by each Alignment Option has been
                       evaluated by how each would improve local downtown conflicts by removing
                       regional through traffic from the local downtown traffic mix.

                       Compatibility refers to how well each alignment option supports the statewide
                       transportation plans, specifically, the MaineDOT Multimodal Six-Year Transportation
                       Capital Improvement Plan for State Fiscal Years 2010-1015 (Six-Year Plan). The Six-Year
                       Plan is a planning document that identifies projects statewide that are planned for
                       construction in the near term. The improvements included in the Six-Year Plan are
                       assumed to have occurred under the No-Action Alternative. Compatibility with these
                       planned improvements is important to ensure system continuity.

                       Local conflicts occur when regional traffic (motorists that desire the shortest travel time
                       with minimal interruption in traffic flow) passes through local cities/towns on
                       highways that also provide a high degree of local access. Highways through city/town
                       centers have more points of conflict than regional highways outside city/town centers.
                       These conflicts include frequent access and egress points to adjacent land uses,
                       frequent intersections with side streets, pedestrian movements, narrow lane widths
                       and narrow (or lacking) shoulders, on-street parking, and frequent speed limit
                       transitions.

                       Local conflicts are reduced and mobility increased when regional through traffic is
                       removed. Benefits are improved mobility (travel times) and improved access to local
                       businesses, City/Town Halls, and improved pedestrian access (reduced congestion
                       in city/town centers).



5.2.2    Projected Transportation Impacts
                       This section provides the results of transportation evaluation conducted for each
                       Alignment Option considered for the Segment 4 Proposed Action. Table 5-1
                       (page 5-5) presents the results of the Aroostook County Travel Demand Model. The
                       table compares the future 2030 “build” highway network for each Segment 4
                       Alignment Option to the future 2030 No-Action Alternative for Route 161, Route 1,
                       and downtown Caribou (see Figure 5-1).




                       5-4       Environmental Consequences and Mitigation
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   Final Environmental Impact Statement
   Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
   Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou


                                        Table 5-1
                                        Summary of Projected Segment 4 Demands vs. No-Action Alternative (2030)

                                                                 Route 1 – 161          Route 161 ADT              Route 1 ADT           Downtown
                                                                  Connector               (South of                 (South of             Caribou
                                                                     ADT                 Connector)                Connector)            Total ADT
                                         No-Action
                                                                        N/A              5,200 vehicles           4,800 vehicles      13,730 vehicles
                                         Alternative

                                         Alignment                                        2,500 vehicles           1,800 vehicles      10,280 vehicles
                                                                 5,100 vehicles
                                         Option 4A                                      (-2,700 vehicles)        (-3,000 vehicles)    (-3,450 vehicles)

                                         Alignment                                        2,700 vehicles           1,900 vehicles      10,670 vehicles
                                                                 4,900 vehicles
                                         Option 4B                                      (-2,500 vehicles)        (-2,900 vehicles)    (-3,060 vehicles)


                                         Alignment                                        2,800 vehicles          9,500 vehicles       10,750 vehicles
                                                                 4,700 vehicles
                                         Option 4C                                      (-2,400 vehicles)       (+4,700 vehicles)     (-2,980 vehicles)

                                         ADT – Average Daily Traffic in vehicles per day
                                         N/A – Not applicable

                                         Each Alignment Option’s effect on system continuity, compatibility, and mobility has
                                         been summarized in Table 5-2 (page 5-5). Traffic impacts resulting from each
                                         Alignment Option are described below.

Table 5-2
Summary of Transportation Benefits vs. No-Action Alternative (2030)

                                     Truck               Total                Total            Travel              Mobility          Downtown                Downtown
                                      VHT                VHT                  VMT              Time                                  Truck ADT               Total ADT

 No-Action Alternative                                                                         9 min.                39%             1,240 trucks         13,730 vehicles

 Change vs. No-Action Alternative:

                                  -10 vehicle-         -70 vehicle
 TSM Alternative                                                         No change            -0.4 min.           No change           No change               No change
                                     hours                hours

                                  -50 vehicle-       -340 vehicle-         +1,540
 Alignment Option 4A                                                                         -2.2 min.               +1 %            -310 trucks            -3,450 vehicles
                                     hours              hours           vehicle-miles
                                                                                             (6.8 min.)                                (-25%)                   (-25%)

                                  -50 vehicle-       -310 vehicle-         +2,190
 Alignment Option 4B                                                                          -2.0 min.              +1 %            -280 trucks            -3,060 vehicles
                                     hours              hours           vehicle-miles
                                                                                              (7.0 min)                                (-23%)                   (-22%)

                                  -30 vehicle-       -220 vehicle-          +85
 Alignment Option 4C                                                                         -0.7 min.               +1 %            -270 trucks            -2,980 vehicles
                                     hours              hours           vehicle-miles
                                                                                             (8.3 min.)                                (-22%)                   (-22%)
VHT – Vehicle-hours traveled
VMT – Vehicle-miles traveled
Travel Time - travel time for through trips on Route 1 between points north and south of Caribou
Mobility is the percent of daily traffic through the Segment 4 Study Area that travels on freeways and principal arterial roads.
ADT – Average daily traffic




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Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

                       Section 4.2.3 (page 4-5) summarizes the geometric and safety deficiencies in the
                       Study Area. Sites identified as high crash locations (HCLs) or having narrow
                       shoulder widths, and vertical curve deficiencies are shown on Figure 4-1.

                       The 3 Alignment Options would mitigate 3 of the 4 HCLs in the Study area by either
                       diverting traffic away from the HCL or by making physical upgrades. Alignment
                       Options 4A and 4B would divert traffic away from the roundabout south of the Cary
                       Medical Center which was classified as a HCL before the roundabout was
                       constructed. None of the Segment 4 Alignment Options would address the narrow
                       shoulder widths on Route 161. The TSM Alternative would not address geometric
                       deficiencies in the Study Area. The No-Action Alternative would not address any of
                       the HCLs or the geometric deficiencies.



5.2.2.1   No-Action Alternative

                       The No-Action Alternative serves as a baseline to which other alternatives can be
                       compared. The No-Action Alternative is defined as continuing MaineDOT’s ongoing
                       construction program with no additional extraordinary projects. MaineDOT’s
                       Six-Year Plan for 2010-2015 lists the potential projects planned for construction
                       during this period (see Table 2-1, page 2-11).

                       The No-Action Alternative would not satisfy the transportation elements of the
                       Segment 4 Purpose and Need because it would not improve mobility by reducing
                       travel time for north-south trips on Route 1 and Route 161.



5.2.2.2   TSM Alternative

                       TSM measures would marginally reduce travel times through the Segment 4
                       Study Area by 0.4 minutes, the lowest of the alternatives or alignment options
                       considered. There are no changes to daily VMT associated with the TSM option.
                       Daily VHT would be reduced by 70 vehicle-hours (10 vehicle-hours for truck traffic),
                       the lowest of the options considered.



5.2.2.3   Alignment Option 4A

                       Traffic demands for Alignment Option 4A are shown in Table 5-1 (page 5-5).
                       Alignment Option 4A would have a traffic demand of 5,100 vehicles per day.
                       Alignment Option 4A would carry slightly more traffic than Alignment Options 4B
                       and 4C in part because it is a more direct alignment between Route 161 and Route 1.
                       Daily traffic on Route 161, south of the connector, would decrease by 2,700 vehicles
                       under Alignment Option 4A. Daily traffic on Route 1, south of the connector, would
                       decrease by 3,000 vehicles under Alignment Option 4A.




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Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

                       Alignment Option 4A would reduce travel times and VHT through the downtown
                       area when compared to the No-Action Alternative (see Table 5-2, page 5-5). Travel
                       time would be reduced by 2.2 minutes and total daily VHT would decrease by
                       340 vehicle-hours (truck VHT would decrease by 50 vehicle-hours). Total daily VMT
                       would increase by 1,540 vehicle-miles. The VMT increase is due to the longer
                       distance vehicles travel via the Route 1-161 Connector between Route 161 and
                       Route 1 under Alignment Option 4A. However, the travel time and VHT reductions
                       show that Alignment Option 4A provides a faster and more efficient through travel
                       path between Route 161 and Route 1 in Caribou than the No-Action Alternative.

                       Alignment Option 4A would enhance regional mobility between Route 161 and
                       Route 1 in Caribou when compared to the No-Action Alternative, and would place
                       40 percent of the ADT on freeways or principal arterial roads, an improvement of
                       1 percent over the No-Action Alternative. Alignment Option 4A would divert a
                       portion of the regional north-south through traffic away from downtown Caribou
                       when compared to the No-Action Alternative. Approximately 3,450 vehicles per day,
                       including 310 trucks per day, would divert to the Route 1-161 Connector, removing
                       these vehicles from downtown Caribou.



5.2.2.4   Alignment Option 4B

                       Traffic demands for Alignment Option 4B are shown in Table 5-1 (page 5-5).
                       Alignment Option 4B would have a traffic demand of 4,900 vehicles per day. Daily
                       traffic on Route 161, south of the connector, would decrease by 2,500 vehicles under
                       Alignment Option 4B. Daily traffic on Route 1, south of the connector, would
                       decrease by 2,900 vehicles under Alignment Option 4B.

                       Alignment Option 4B would reduce travel times and VHT through the Segment 4
                       Study Area when compared to the No-Action Alternative (see Table 5-2, page 5-5).
                       Travel time would be reduced by 2.0 minutes and total daily VHT would decrease by
                       310 vehicle-hours (truck VHT would decrease by 50 vehicle-hours). Total daily VMT
                       would increase by 2,190 vehicle-miles. The VMT increase is due to the longer
                       distance vehicles would travel via the Route 1-161 Connector between Route 161 and
                       Route 1 under Alignment Option 4B. However, the travel time and VHT reductions
                       show that Alignment Option 4B provides a faster and more efficient through travel
                       path between Route 161 and Route 1 in Caribou than the No-Action Alternative.

                       Alignment Option 4B enhances regional mobility between Route 161 and Route 1 in
                       Caribou when compared to the No-Action Alternative and places 40 percent of the
                       ADT on freeways or principal arterial roads, a 1-percent improvement over the
                       No-Action Alternative.

                       Alignment Option 4B would divert a portion of the regional north-south through
                       traffic away from downtown Caribou when compared to the No-Action Alternative.




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Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

                       Approximately 3,060 vehicles per day, including 280 trucks per day, would divert to
                       the Route 1-161 Connector, removing these vehicles from downtown Caribou.



5.2.2.5   Alignment Option 4C

                       Traffic demands for Alignment Option 4C are shown in Table 5-1 (page 5-5).
                       Alignment Option 4C would have a traffic demand of 4,700 vehicles per day. Daily
                       traffic on Route 161, south of the connector, would decrease by 2,400 vehicles under
                       Alignment Option 4C. Daily traffic on Route 1, south of the connector, would
                       increase by 4,700 vehicles under Alignment Option 4C.

                       Alignment Option 4C would reduce travel times and VHT through the Segment 4
                       Study Area when compared to the No-Action Alternative (see Table 5-2, page 5-5).
                       Travel time would be reduced by 0.7 minutes and total daily VHT would decrease by
                       220 vehicle-hours (truck VHT would decrease by 30 vehicle-hours). Total daily VMT
                       would increase by 85 vehicle-miles. The VMT increase is due to the longer distance
                       vehicles would travel between Route 161 and Route 1 under Alignment Option 4C.
                       However, the travel time and VHT reductions show that Alignment Option 4C
                       provides a faster and more efficient through travel path between Route 161 and
                       Route 1 of Caribou than the No-Action Alternative.

                       Alignment Option 4C enhances regional mobility between Route 161 and Route 1 in
                       Caribou when compared to the No-Action Alternative. Alignment Option 4C places
                       40 percent of the ADT on freeways or principal arterial roads, a 1-percent
                       improvement over the No-Action Alternative.

                       Alignment Option 4C diverts a portion of the regional north-south through traffic
                       away from downtown Caribou when compared to the No-Action Alternative.
                       Approximately 2,980 vehicles per day, including 270 trucks per day, would divert to
                       the Route 1-161 Connector, removing these vehicles from downtown Caribou.

                       Unlike Alignment Options 4A and 4B, Alignment Option 4C requires traffic to
                       continue to travel through the Cary Medical Center roundabout. Because traffic
                       would slow to 15 miles per hour (posted speed limit) at the roundabout, Alignment
                       Option 4C results in the smallest reduction in travel times compared to the other
                       Segment 4 Alignment Options.



5.3       Land Use, Economic, Social, and Cultural
          Environment
                       This section describes the potential impacts and proposed mitigation of the Segment 4
                       Alternatives on land uses including, structures within the potential ROW, tribal lands,
                       snowmobile recreational trails, public parks and recreational land and compatibility with
                       local comprehensive plans and zoning, agricultural land, and cultural resources (historic



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Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

                       resources, archaeological resources, and traditional cultural properties). The key social
                       and cultural restraints in the Segment 4 Study Area are shown on Figure 5-2. This section
                       also describes potential impacts related to land containing uncontrolled petroleum and
                       hazardous wastes.



5.3.1     Land Use
                       Constructing a new alignment highway segment will require the acquisition of land,
                       which converts that land from its prior use when purchased to a transportation
                       right-of-way. The total amount of land affected is determined by the amount of new
                       right-of-way acquisition that is required for construction of new highway facilities and
                       upgrades. Loss of forested land and agricultural land could have substantial economic
                       effects, and the loss of developed land could adversely affect communities from both
                       an economic and social perspective.

                       MaineDOT has determined the specific property needs for the Proposed Action (see
                       Table 5-3, page 5-10). Property owners will be notified of MaineDOT’s interest in
                       acquiring the property as well as the acquisition process. The acquisition process is
                       guided by the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act
                       of 1970 (the Uniform Act). The Uniform Act provides for fair and equitable treatment
                       of persons whose property will be acquired or who will be displaced because of
                       programs or projects financed with federal funds. Congress amended and updated
                       the Uniform Act in 1987. The rules for the Uniform Act were first published in the
                       Federal Register of March 2, 1989. The process is described in detail in the SDEIS ECTR.



5.3.1.1   Land Use Impacts
                       Potential land use impacts for the Route 1-161 Connector were assessed by overlaying
                       the various alignment options onto the land use types found within Segment 4 (as
                       described in Section 4.3, page 4-6). Land use types were determined from parcel data
                       obtained from the City of Caribou Assessors’ offices. Because the agricultural land
                       discussed in this section is based on City assessor’s records rather than aerial
                       photography, the impacts to active farmland, discussed in Section 5.3.2 (page 5-12), are a
                       more precise estimate of impacts to agriculture. Community land is defined as publicly
                       owned land. Table 5-3 (page 5-10) summarizes these impacts for the purpose of
                       comparing the alignment options within Segment 4. Table 5-4 (page 5-10) lists impacts to
                       structures by type for each Alignment Option.

                       The Alignment Options for Segment 4 (Figure 3-2) would impact between 115 and
                       230 acres of land. Impacts were based upon a right-of-way width of 300 feet for the
                       new alignment. As shown in Table 5-3 (page 5-10), the greatest use of land is
                       undeveloped forest, followed by use of farmland and commercial property. Impacts
                       to forest and farmland are shown on Figures 5-3 and 5-4, respectively.




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Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

Table 5-3
Impacts to Land (Acres) 1
                                                                                                                       Undeveloped      Total Land
Alignment Option           Farmland           Commercial          Community          Government          Residential     Forest          (acres)2
Option 4A                     66                  33.3                0                 1.1                11.2           75             230.1
Option 4B                     32                  33.3                0                 1.1                 4.4           54             147.2
Option 4C                     62                   0                  0                  0                  5.2           28             114.7
1   Impacts for these land uses Segment 4 were based upon a right-of-way width of 300 feet for the new alignment.
2   Individual columns do not add up to Total Land because of unreported land uses, such as existing roadways




                                   The No-Action Alternative would not result in any impacts to land.
                                   Alignment Option 4A would impact 230 acres of land, the most land out of the
                                   3 alignment options. Farmland and undeveloped forest would be impacted the most
                                   as a result of Alignment Option 4A, with impacts of 66 and 75 acres, respectively.

                                   Alignment Option 4B would impact a total of 147 acres of land. Alignment Option 4B
                                   would affect 54 acres of undeveloped forest. Alignment Option 4B would also
                                   impact about 30 acres each of farmland and commercial land.

                                   Alignment Option 4C would impact approximately 115 acres of land, including
                                   62 acres of farmland and 28 acres of undeveloped forest. Alignment Option 4C
                                   would not impact any commercial land. As shown on Figure 3-5, Alignment
                                   Option 4C follows the existing Route 1 alignment, resulting in fewer impacts to land
                                   use than Alignment Options 4A and 4B.

                                   The Segment 4 Alignment Options would affect between 4 and 10 structures,
                                   including residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and government
                                   buildings. The required takings are shown in Table 5-4 (page 5-10) and on Figure 5-5.
                                   Alignment Options 4A and 4B would require relocating a MaineDOT maintenance
                                   building in Caribou.

    Table 5-4
    Impacts to Structures (Buildings)

        Alignment Option                  Total             Residential         Commercial                Industrial     Agricultural     Government
              4A                           10                   7                    1                        1              0                1
              4B                           4                    1                    1                        1              0                1
              4C                           5                    5                    0                        0              0                0



5.3.1.2      Impact to Tribal Lands

                                   None of the alternatives for the Proposed Action will affect any lands owned or held
                                   in trust by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians or the Aroostook Band of Micmac
                                   Indians.




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Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

5.3.1.3   Impacts to Snowmobile Trails, Public and
          Private Recreational Land

                       This section describes the effects of the Proposed Action on snowmobile trails and
                       other publicly- and privately-owned recreational properties.

                       The Alignment Options 4A and 4B will require acquisition of property immediately
                       adjacent to the western boundary of the Bangor-Aroostook Trail (BAT), east of Otter
                       Street in Caribou. The BAT is a multi-use recreational trail owned by the Maine
                       Bureau of Parks and Lands (MBPL). The BAT is a Section 4(f) property. MaineDOT
                       narrowed the width of the proposed highway right-of-way for
                       Alignment Options 4A and 4B east of Otter Street to eliminate any impact to the BAT.

                       Alignment Options 4A, 4B, and 4C would require crossing a snowmobile trail on the
                       Interconnected Trail System, ITS 83, between Route 161 and Route 1. This trail is
                       privately owned and not a Section 4(f) Property.

                       MaineDOT, in consultation with the City of Caribou, will develop a permanent plan
                       to accommodate existing snowmobile use. If necessary, MaineDOT will either
                       relocate ITS 83 or provide an appropriate crossing of the highway for the trail to
                       ensure adequate sight distances and trail continuity.

                       Alignment Options 4A and 4B require the taking of the Otter Street parking area at
                       the southern terminus of the BAT, which is owned by the City of Caribou. This
                       parking area is an exception to the approval requirements for Section 4(f) because it
                                                                               6
                       was purchased with Recreation Trails Program funds. MaineDOT will coordinate
                       with the City of Caribou to ensure that access to the trail is minimally interrupted
                       and to create a plan to relocate the parking area.



5.3.1.4   Compatibility with Local Comprehensive Plans
          and Zoning

                       The Route 1-161 Connector was reviewed to evaluate its compatibility with the local
                       comprehensive plans of the municipalities in which it is located. The Proposed
                       Action is entirely within Caribou and would support the City’s transportation and
                       economic goals. The Caribou Comprehensive plan outlines 6 transportation policies.
                       Policies that are relevant to the ACTS include:

                              Identify, assess, and preserve the carrying capacity, and promote the
                              construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of roads and bridges.
                              Encourage programs that will minimize air and water pollution and promote
                              safety for transportation systems.


                       6
                           23 CFR 774.13(f)




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Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

                           Increase tourism through safe, user-friendly transportation facilities and services.

                       The Proposed Action (all 3 alignment options) will help support these policies in
                       several ways. By providing a connection directly from Route 161 to Route 1 for
                       north-south traffic that bypasses the downtown area, it will help reduce traffic,
                       particularly truck traffic, in the downtown, thereby improving traffic flow on the
                       downtown roads. It will improve safety by reducing the mix of through traffic,
                       particularly trucks, from local traffic, by reducing through traffic on Route 1 at the
                       entrance to the Cary Medical Center, and by improving the intersection with Bennett
                       Drive. These improvements preserve the carrying capacity of existing roads, promote
                       safety, and minimize air pollution by reducing traffic congestion.

                       The Proposed Action will also help to support Caribou’s economic development
                       goals by improving access to its Pine Tree Zone, which includes industrial and
                       commercial districts north of the Cary Medical Center.



5.3.2    Farmland and Farmland Soils
                       Agriculture is an integral part of the economy of Aroostook County (Section 4.3.2,
                       page 4-8), and influences the land use and transportation needs in Caribou.
                       Section 5.3.1 (page 5-9) evaluated impacts to mapped agricultural land based on
                       parcel and state GIS data. This section provides a more detailed assessment of
                       impacts based on active farmlands and farmland soils. This section discusses the
                       potential impacts to farmland and agricultural soils from the Proposed Action.

                       A discussion of impacts to farmland is included because of the importance of farming
                       in the Segment 4 Study Area. Farmland was identified using aerial photographs.
                       Farmland includes historically cleared and tilled farm fields, although not all farm
                       fields are in production in a given year. Fields in production are referred to as active
                       farmland. The potential impacts to farmland from transportation improvements
                       include both direct and indirect impacts. Direct impacts result from the construction of
                       new roads across existing farms or by expansion of existing roads into adjacent farms.
                       Direct impacts include a loss of active farmland and may also include impacts to
                       buildings, impacts to irrigation systems, and other farm infrastructure. Loss of
                       farmland that shortens a field may also affect the length of rows and affect efficiency
                       and productivity. Impact within new location corridors may result in direct impacts to
                       active farmland by isolating farm fields and facilities and by subdividing fields into
                       land-locked or unusable fragments. Impacts associated with upgrading highways may
                       be limited to the loss of portions of fields close to the existing road.

                       The direct impacts are presented as the number of farm fields and the area of active
                       farmland that would be incorporated into a new highway facility. Highways may
                       also indirectly impact agricultural production due to highway-generated stormwater
                       pollutants. The Prime Farmland Soils and Farmland of Statewide Importance data
                       are based on the available soil survey information in the Study Area and may include



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                       unregulated developed areas within areas of farmland soil. The impacts presented,
                       therefore, may be an overestimate.

                       NEPA documents prepared for transportation studies are required to discuss the
                       FPPA and farmland soil impacts, as directed by the FHWA Technical Advisory
                       (T 6640.8a).



5.3.2.1   Impacts

                       Based on aerial photographs, there are approximately 4,900 acres of agricultural land
                       in the Segment 4 Study Area. The impacts to agricultural land, discussed below and
                       shown in Table 5-5 (page 5-13), are considered minor when compared to the
                       available agricultural land in the Study Area. Impacts to agricultural land are shown
                       in Figure 5-4.

                        Table 5-5
                        Impacts to Farmland and Agricultural Soils (Acres) 1
                                                                                                 Farmland of
                                                          Active         Prime Farmland           Statewide
                       Alignment Option                  Farmland             Soils              Importance
                       Option 4A                            66                  107                  75
                       Option 4B                             32                 19                   52
                       Option 4C                             62                 71                   32
                       Total Within Segment 4
                       Study Area                            4,900              4,000                 2,640
                         1      Impacts for Segment 4 were based upon a right-of-way width of 300 feet for the new alignment.
                         Note: Impacts to farmlands are not the sum of the columns because Prime Farmland Soils and Farmland of Statewide
                                 Importance are not necessarily actively farmed and may remain undeveloped.


                       The No-Action Alternative would result in no impact to farmland. Alignment
                       Option 4A would impact 66 acres of farmland, 107 acres of Prime Farmland Soils,
                       and 75 acres of Farmland of Statewide Importance.

                       Alignment Option 4C would impact 62 acres of farmland, 71 acres of Prime
                       Farmland Soils, and 32 acres of Farmland of Statewide Importance.

                       Alignment Option 4B would result in the least amount of farmland impacts among
                       the 3 alignment options. Alignment Option 4B would impact 32 acres of farmland,
                       19 acres of Prime Farmland Soils, and 52 acres of Farmland of Statewide Importance.
                       Alignment Option 4B was designed to minimize large impacts to farms by moving
                       the alignment to the edges of farms and avoiding bisecting farms, resulting in
                       unusable areas of the farms. These impacts are considered relatively minor, given the
                       amount of agricultural land available in the Study Area (4,900 acres). MaineDOT will
                       continue to strive to minimize impact to farmland and will contact individual
                       property owners concerning unavoidable land takings.




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                       MaineDOT, in accordance with the Farmland Protection Policy Act, has completed
                       U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Resource Conservation Service’s
                       (NRCS) Farmland Conversion Impact Rating (NRCS Form AD 1006). These Forms
                       (provided in Appendix A-6) have been submitted to the NRCS for review.



5.3.2.2   Mitigation

                       MaineDOT has quantified the regulated farmland that will be converted, identified
                       means to preserve farmland, considered alignment options to minimize impacts, and
                       assured that the preliminary design is compatible with all applicable legislation and
                       programs to protect farmland.

                       Further mitigation for farmland impacts will be completed during final design of the
                       Proposed Action. MaineDOT will work with land owners and farm operators to
                       further refine alignments such that they avoid impacting productive fields to the
                       greatest extent practicable. In general, alignments will attempt to avoid bisecting
                       large fields and instead will follow the edges of fields to minimize the disruption to
                       farming operations where ever possible. MaineDOT will also work with farmers to
                       ensure that the new highways do not cut off access to their fields. MaineDOT will
                       consider providing underpasses for farm equipment where needed and practicable
                       to do so. MaineDOT will provide compensation for any property that is taken
                       according to the procedures discussed in Section 5.3.1 (page 5-9).



5.3.3     Social and Economic Impacts
                       This section describes the potential economic and social impacts associated with the
                       Proposed Action. Direct economic impacts include acquiring property required for the
                       construction of the improvements as well as the actual costs to build and maintain the
                       highways. Direct social impacts include changes in neighborhood cohesion due to the
                       property acquisitions and required relocation of people and businesses associated with
                       the Proposed Action. Indirect economic impacts include the “spin-off” or “multiplier”
                       effects that occur when an economic activity leads to subsequent spending within the
                       regional economy (for example, when wages paid to construction workers are used to
                       purchase goods and services locally, these in turn support the wages of other workers
                       in different industry sectors), or which result in actions by others in response to the
                       initial investment (for example, subsequent new development along or adjacent to the
                       corridor). In addition, the cost and travel time savings resulting from usage of the
                       highway improvement also result in indirect economic impacts.

                       This section summarizes the findings of the economic and social impact forecasts and
                       assessments for the Proposed Action. This section builds upon the existing
                       conditions, survey research, screening methodology and analysis conducted for this
                       FEIS (Section 4.3.3, page 4-11) as well as on the research and analysis conducted for




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                       the SDEIS and documented in the SDEIS ECTR. It provides insight into the
                       implications of projected corridor traffic conditions on the economy of Caribou,
                       Aroostook County, and the state of Maine, measured in terms of future job creation,
                       output, and income levels.

                       The economic impact analysis focuses on the broader direct, indirect, and induced
                       impacts of the different Segment 4 Alignment Options. The economic effects
                       associated with construction of the proposed FEIS Corridor were examined using a
                       process similar to that undertaken in the DEIS. This process included:

                           Quantifying measurable economic impacts such as changes in population,
                           employment, income, retail sales, and gross regional product resulting from
                           changes in transportation costs for all industries;

                           Quantifying the economic value of shortened commuting times for workers
                           traveling between employment and population centers;

                           Quantifying the economic impacts resulting from estimates of increased tourism
                           in the region; and

                           Quantifying the economic impacts resulting from construction and maintenance
                           of the highways.

                       Details on the assumptions and methods used are found in Appendix C of the SDEIS
                       ECTR.

                       The social impact analysis for the Proposed Action considered future changes in
                       community cohesion, impacts on businesses, schools, religious centers, and
                       recreation areas, and impacts on overall public safety. Additional social impacts,
                       specifically impacts on minority and low income populations can be found in
                       Section 5.3.4 (page 5-20).



5.3.3.1   Real Estate Impacts

                       This section presents the cost of acquiring property within Segment 4, based on the real
                       estate values of land, residential properties, and commercial/industrial properties
                       within the Segment 4 Study Area. The estimated cost of acquisition is considered a
                       direct impact of the Proposed Action. The values indicated do not include incidental
                       expenses associated with takings, such as relocation costs, adjustments typically
                       included in the land acquisition process, or other potential costs associated with
                       property acquisition under state and federal law.

                       To determine the type and value of properties that are anticipated to be acquired for
                       each alignment option, recent (2008) data was obtained from the Caribou Assessor’s
                       office. The following property types were considered:




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                                           Residential: single and multi-family dwellings, which may also include various
                                           outbuildings including garages;

                                           Commercial: commercial, retail, warehouse, office, and industrial buildings as
                                           well as farmstead land;

                                           Farmland: land currently in farm production; and

                                           Undeveloped Land: vacant or forested land.

                                      An average land value of $550 per acre was assigned to farmland. Undeveloped or
                                      forested land was calculated to have an average land value of $300 per acre.

                                      Table 5-6 (page 5-16) gives the estimated total value of the land and buildings within
                                      the Segment 4 Alignment Options. As a result of Alignment Options 4A, 4B, or 4C,
                                      the City of Caribou would experience a loss of tax revenue as a result of MaineDOT’s
                                      acquisition of land and buildings. This loss of tax revenue ranges from $14,601 to
                                      $24,654. However, even at the high end of this range, this loss of revenue represents
                                      only a 0.1 percent loss of Caribou’s approximately $21,000,000 annual revenue.

                                      The No-Action Alternative would result in no land or structure acquisitions. The cost
                                      of land acquisition for Alignment Option 4A is estimated to be $1,027,300, with the
                                      majority ($968,500) from the cost of acquiring structures. Alignment Option 4B
                                      would cost $608,000 for land acquisition; $574,200 of this cost would be for acquiring
                                      structures. The cost of land acquisition for Alignment Option 4C is estimated to be
                                      $376,400, of which $333,900 would be for acquiring structures.

                                      Costs are expressed in 2008 dollars and do not include any additional costs for
                                      relocation.

Table 5-6
Total Estimated Land and Structure Acquisition Values1

                     Property/Structures                         Farmland                      Undeveloped or Forest Land                     Total
Alignment                 Total         City Tax                  Total       City Tax                  Total         City Tax                         City Tax
    Option   Number       Value        Obligation2    Acres       Value      Obligation3   Acres       Value        Obligation4      Acquisition      Obligation

     4A         10     $ 2,036,000       $ 23,243       66        $ 36,300      $ 871        75       $ 22,500        $ 540          $ 1,027,300        $ 24,654

     4B         4       $ 1,577,400      $ 12,247       32         $17,600      $ 422        54       $ 16,200        $ 389            $ 608,000        $ 14,601

     4C         5        $ 271,300           $6,513     62         $34,100      $ 818        28        $ 8,400        $ 201            $ 376,400         $ 9,032

1       These values represent the calculated total land and structures value for Segment 4 based on 2008 data from the Caribou Assessor’s office and average land
        values for undeveloped forest and agricultural land.
2       Based on a City of Caribou 2008 tax rate of $24.00 per $1,000 of assessed value
3       Value of farmland estimated using an average of $550 per acre
4       Value of undeveloped or forest land estimated using an average of $300 per acre
Source: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc./City of Caribou Assessors Office




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5.3.3.2   Local and Community Economic and Social
          Impacts

                       Construction of the proposed highway improvements will result in some potential
                       social and economic impacts to the local community that are difficult to quantify. The
                       impacts on housing and relocations, commuting patterns, community tax revenues,
                       and community facilities and services are discussed below for the Segment 4
                       Alignment Options.


                       Relocations

                       As discussed in Section 5.3.1 (page 5-9), the acquisition of land and structures for the
                       construction of the highway improvements will result in the loss of homes and
                       businesses. Under state and federal law, owners of property are entitled to fair and
                       just compensation for the value of their property, as well as financial assistance with
                       relocation, including costs associated with purchasing similar replacement property
                       and moving costs. The market data that were analyzed indicated that a sufficient
                       inventory of potentially available homes, land, and commercial property exists
                       within the Segment 4 Study Area so that relocation to sites in reasonable proximity to
                       the original property included in the acquisitions was considered reasonably feasible.
                       Appendix B of the SDEIS ECTR contains a detailed explanation of the process
                       involved with the acquisition of private property for public uses.


                       Community Facilities and Services
                       No economic impacts to community facilities and services are anticipated as a result
                       of the proposed highway improvements associated with the Proposed Action. No
                       sudden or substantial changes in service levels are expected as a result of the
                       Proposed Action. Because MaineDOT would maintain the new road, no new
                       investment would likely be required locally for this activity.

                       No social impacts to community cohesion are anticipated as a result of the Proposed
                       Action. None of the 3 alignment options would result in splitting of neighborhoods,
                       isolating a portion of a neighborhood, or separating residents from community
                       facilities. All of the residential relocations would occur north of downtown Caribou
                       in a rural, agricultural area. Access to residences and community facilities, such as
                       the Cary Medical Center and the Caribou Country Club, would remain unchanged.



5.3.3.3   Economic Development and Business Effects

                       This section examines the potential effects of the Proposed Action on local and
                       regional development and businesses. Potential effects due to a bypass are
                       considered, as well as potential adverse and beneficial effects on new commercial
                       development, local economic development, agriculture and forestry, and tourism.




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                       Bypass Effects

                       Segment 4 is a bypass of downtown Caribou. This will not be the first time Caribou
                       has been bypassed. A previous project resulted in a portion of Route 1 being
                       relocated to bypass downtown Caribou. The Route 1-161 Connector may result in
                       economic and social impacts on the affected community as a result of the diversion of
                       traffic from the existing street system. Such impacts could include the loss of
                       business activity/sales revenue for certain businesses and/or possible diminution of
                       property values. On the other hand, the reduction of traffic may enhance the
                       “livability” of downtown Caribou, thereby enhancing the attractiveness and value of
                       residential units and commercial properties that are not as dependent on through
                       traffic.

                       Surveys of businesses were conducted as part of the DEIS (page 4-58). Although some
                       businesses were concerned about the impacts of removing through traffic from certain
                       locations, they indicated that the overall impacts would be offset by the improved
                       regional mobility resulting from the Route 1-161 Connector. Caribou is one of the only
                       economic centers in the region. Therefore, impacts to businesses in downtown Caribou
                       are expected to be minimal. A secondary impact of the construction of a bypass is the
                       resulting development of highway-related commercial uses at
                       interchanges/intersections or at the termini of the bypass segment. This, however, is
                       dependent on local zoning and land use regulations and may or may not occur in the
                       future.

                       Removing traffic from downtown Caribou to a Segment 4 connection could affect
                       revenues of some businesses that depend on pass-by traffic. Accurately quantifying
                       the economic impacts of the diversion of traffic from the downtown center due to a
                       bypass is difficult without having detailed property-specific data on revenues,
                       customers, and activity levels. These types of data are typically not collected (or
                       shared) by most businesses or local government agencies. In addition, whether or not
                       a through traveler would get off the bypass and come into the downtown/village
                       core, for example to buy fuel or food, is dependent on many other variables and
                       cannot be accurately quantified without additional data.

                       Removal of traffic from downtown Caribou could have positive social impacts on
                       Caribou. The construction of the Route 1-161 Connector would mitigate for 3 high
                       crash locations in Caribou and improve the overall traffic safety in the area. Public
                       health would also be improved upon in Downtown Caribou as it would be more safe
                       for pedestrians and bicyclists and result in a small improvement in air quality.


                       New Commercial Development Locations

                       The Proposed Action may result in the opening of new land that could potentially be
                       available for commercial development. This would be dependent on local zoning and
                       land use regulations. Commercial uses typically are developed in or near population
                       centers or along heavily traveled highways. These uses would likely consist of travel-



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                       related services, such as gas stations, convenience stores, or fast food outlets. The
                       most likely area for new commercial development is likely to be where each
                       alignment option intersects Route 1 (Van Buren Road) north of downtown Caribou.
                       There is a relatively large amount of commercial development located directly south
                       of this location, which is likely to absorb any demand generated by the highway
                       improvements, therefore, no change in use is predicted to occur in the reasonably
                       foreseeable future. The new alignment portion of Segment 4 will be controlled access,
                       not open area for new development.

                       Land along Route 161 is mostly used for residential uses and farmland. Therefore,
                       new developments at the intersection of Route 161 and each alignment option are not
                       anticipated. The No-Action Alternative would not result in any new commercial
                       development.

                       The extent of commercial development at this location is difficult to quantify and
                       cannot be reasonably foreseen under current economic conditions. Any new
                       development would represent an incremental change in overall development
                       patterns and economic activity in the Study Area. In some cases, new development
                       might represent a localized shift as existing businesses that are highly dependent on
                       through traffic move to the new location to take advantage of the change in traffic
                       patterns. In other cases, new businesses might be started. In addition to local zoning,
                       commercial development is also dependent on the availability of suitable land free of
                       environmental and other development constraints and that is owned by parties
                       willing to sell or develop their property.


                       Local Economic Development Effects

                       Communities and organizations throughout Aroostook County actively promote and
                       encourage economic development, including operating several existing industrial
                       parks. By improving access and reducing travel times, the proposed highway
                       improvements will enhance local economic development efforts to attract and retain
                       businesses, making the region more competitive. The extent of this impact cannot be
                       specifically quantified, other than in a general sense. Alignment Option 4C is expected
                       to have a greater negative impact on the local economic development, as it would
                       result in the least amount of traffic improvements among the 3 alignment options.
                       However, Alignment Options 4A and 4B would result in the displacement of 2
                       businesses in Caribou: one commercial business and 1 industrial business.


                       Agricultural and Forestry Impacts

                       The primary impact of the Proposed Action on the agricultural and forestry
                       industries is to reduce truck travel times and costs, thus reducing costs to producers
                       and making the region more economically competitive. As described in Section 5.3.2
                       Farmland and Farmland Soils (page 5-12), Alignment Option 4B has been designed
                       to minimize the impacts to farms by moving the alignment to the edges of farms and




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                       avoiding bisecting farms. One farm east of the Route 1/Alignment Option 4B
                       crossing will be bisected by the roadway. Alignment Options 4A and 4C would have
                       much greater impacts to farms as each alignment option bisects numerous farms east
                       of Route 1. Bisecting farms could lead to reduced production, increased cost of
                       production, and logistical problems related to maneuvering machinery.



5.3.3.4   Other Economic and Social Impacts
                       The construction of any of the Proposed Action would have other, less tangible social
                       and economic impacts on the residents of the Study Area. These types of impacts
                       would be the result of a combination of the proposed highway project with other
                       reasonably foreseeable actions within Aroostook County that, in combination, would
                       provide additional social and economic benefits.

                                                                                                                          7
                       A 2004 study on migration patterns of youth from Aroostook County indicated that
                       the lack of “urban amenities,” such as restaurants, cultural activities, and other
                       features was also a factor, along with limited educational opportunities, in the
                       decision by younger people to leave. The enhancement of Caribou’s downtown as a
                       place to live and work, perhaps resulting from the reduction in heavy truck traffic on
                       the main streets as a result of the Proposed Action, along with continued growth of
                       the region’s higher education institutions, could make Caribou more attractive,
                       thereby helping to stem the outflow of young people as well as attract more
                       permanent residents to Aroostook County.

                       The Proposed Action, in combination with revisions to Caribou’s zoning ordinance
                       that focus mixed-use growth in the downtown and directs residential growth, could
                       serve as an effective “urban boundary,” helping to enhance the image and
                       “livability” of downtown. This, in turn, might affect the out-migration rate of the
                       region’s youth and serve to attract additional employers to the community.



5.3.4     Impacts on Minority and Low Income Populations
                       Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in
                       Minority and Low Income Populations, requires agencies to identify and address
                                                                                      8
                       potential disproportionate high and adverse impacts on minority and low income
                       populations. The Proposed Action will have a minor positive impact on Caribou’s
                       disadvantaged populations by providing additional short term employment
                       opportunities and reducing the costs of commuting. The distribution of low income



                       7   Colgan, Charles and Bruce Andrews. October 2004. Migration and Youth Migration from Aroostook County: Trends,
                           Factors, and Implications. Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Southern Maine. Prepared for
                           Northern Maine Development Commission.
                       8   The U.S. Census defines a minority as a person who is Black (a person having origins in any of the black racial
                           groups of Africa); Asian American (a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast
                           Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands); or American Indian and Alaskan Native (a person having origins
                           in any of the original people of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or
                           community recognition).




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                       and minorities in Aroostook County is widespread among the individual
                       communities and rural areas, therefore there will be no neighborhood disruption or
                       other action that will specifically impact these groups. Census data for income and
                       poverty status at the block group level were analyzed for each of the 3 FEIS
                       Alignment Options for the Route 1-161 Connector (see Figure 5-2). Alignment
                       Options 4A and 4B would travel through block groups with minority populations
                       above the state average at the southern most part of the Route 1-161 Connector.
                       Alignment Options 4A and 4C would travel through census block groups with
                       minority populations higher than the state average in Woodland at the western-most
                       end of the Route 1-161 Connector. No impacts, including noise or air quality
                       impacts, to these populations are anticipated (see Section 5.5, page 5-56.)



5.3.5     Uncontrolled Petroleum and Hazardous Materials
                       This section discusses the potential impacts that previous releases of subsurface
                       petroleum and/or hazardous materials would have on construction of the Proposed
                       Action. Measures to mitigate impacts from subsurface contamination are also
                       provided.

                       The presence of contaminated soils and/or groundwater contamination poses a
                       potential liability for MaineDOT. Purchasing contaminated properties may result in
                       clean-up costs as well as other liabilities including compensation to surrounding
                       property owners that were impacted by the hazardous waste.



5.3.5.1   Impacts
                       Construction of the Proposed Action may encounter contaminated soils, and/or
                       groundwater, in some locations. The project will not generate any hazardous
                       materials.

                       All alignment options for the Proposed Action traverse relatively undeveloped
                       woodland and agricultural fields, except the southern portion of Alignment
                       Option 4A and 4B which traverse an industrial area east of Route 1. There is no
                       evidence for the generation of hazardous materials within areas that would be
                       impacted by the Proposed Action.

                       There is, however, evidence of uncontrolled releases of hazardous materials
                       (petroleum spills) in the Study Area, as shown on Figure 5-6. Contamination could be
                       encountered during construction, particularly at the southern terminus of the
                       Route 1-161 Connector. The documented volume of petroleum released in 5 of these
                       incidents exceeded 100 gallons each, however, the majority of the incidents did not
                       exceed 51 gallons. Given that these releases were relatively minor, the likelihood of
                       encountering significant contamination along the Route 1-161 Connector is very low.




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                        Alignment Option 4B may encounter contamination where is crosses Route 1.
                        Alignment Options 4A and 4B may encounter oil and hazardous materials
                        contamination at the MaineDOT salt storage area at the intersection of Route 1 and
                        Route 89.

                        MaineDOT will include the appropriate provisions in the construction contract to
                        protect worker safety and the environment in case hazardous materials are
                        encountered during construction. The procedures for construction contractors will
                        reduce the likelihood of a spill and ensure worker safety.

                        If necessary, MaineDOT will perform Phase II subsurface explorations and testing for
                        the Proposed Action during the final design phase to determine if waste or
                        contamination would be encountered during construction, only if it has been
                        determined that contamination is likely to occur. These explorations would be
                        focused on areas where excavation would be necessary to construct the highway and
                        in areas where drainage structures or utilities may be installed below the existing
                        grade. The type of explorations and testing would be determined based on previous
                        findings concerning the various sites of concern. If waste or contaminants are
                        encountered during explorations, MaineDOT will prepare a Contamination
                        Assessment detailing the exploration’s findings. MaineDOT would provide Maine
                        DEP with these assessment and draft specifications for the handling, reuse, and/or
                        disposal of any contaminated materials encountered. The handling, use, and disposal
                        would be proposed based on Maine DEP, EPA, and OSHA rules and guidance
                        documents.



5.3.6     Cultural Environment

                        This section discusses impacts to properties that are listed on, or eligible for listing
                        on, the National Register of Historic Places. Section 106 of the NHPA (Section 106)
                        requires federal agencies to take into account the effect of their undertakings on
                        historic properties and to afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
                        (ACHP) reasonable opportunity to comment on such undertakings.


5.3.6.1   Impacts to Properties Listed on or Eligible for
          Listing on the National Register of Historic Places
                        Historic properties were considered impacted if the proposed right-of-way of the
                        Proposed Action intersected the National Register boundary for the property.
                        Evaluation of adverse effects under Section 106 was conducted in accordance with
                        36 CFR, Assessment of Adverse Effect.

                        Potential adverse effects resulting from the Proposed Action include demolition of all
                        or part of a historic property, land takings from a historic property resulting in a loss of
                        integrity, and the introduction of visible or audible elements that diminish the integrity
                        of historic property. Impacts resulting in no adverse effect could include minor




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                       frontage takings along an existing highway segment, or isolated strip takings on an
                       associated parcel far removed from the eligible resources.

                       Two National Register-eligible properties could potentially be affected by the Proposed
                       Action. These properties include the Banked Dairy Barn and the Colonial Revival-style
                       House and New England Dairy Barn.

                       These impacts to National Register-eligible properties all consist of frontage takings.
                       A “substantial” frontage taking means that the majority of the land between a historic
                       structure and the highway would be acquired, resulting in demolition or a loss of
                       integrity for the property. Substantial frontage takings typically result in a finding of
                       Adverse Effect under Section 106. A “moderate” frontage taking means that some of
                       the land between a historic structure and the highway would be acquired. Moderate
                       frontage takings can result in a finding of No Adverse Effect or Adverse Effect,
                       depending on whether the taking removes character-defining features from a property
                       or diminishes the integrity of the property. A “minor” frontage taking means that a
                       narrow strip of land along the highway edge would be acquired, with negligible or no
                       effect on the property’s integrity. Minor frontage takings typically result in a finding of
                       No Adverse Effect.

                       The Banked Dairy Barn is late 19th- or early 20th-century, 1½-story detached dairy barn
                       (MHPC Site Number 862, 863, and 864). This property was determined eligible for the
                       National Register under Criterion C as a well preserved example of the form. The
                       privately-owned barn retains many of the formal characteristics and popular design
                       features of this type and period of construction, the most basic being its situation on a
                       sloped site to provide additional space and easier access to the basement level. The
                       National Register boundary for the property includes the buildings and cleared
                       agricultural land, totaling approximately 65 acres.

                       The second National Register-eligible property potentially affected by the Proposed
                       Action is an early 20th-century Colonial Revival-style house and New England Dairy
                       Barn (MHPC Site Numbers 847 and 849, respectively) on Van Buren Road in Caribou.
                       These adjacent buildings were determined eligible for the National Register under
                       Criterion C as well preserved examples of their respective styles. The entire complex
                       remains surrounded by cleared agricultural land, though the farm is no longer in
                       active production. The National Register boundary for the property includes the
                       buildings and cleared agricultural land.

                       Alignment Option 4A would impact one National Register-eligible property, the
                       Banked Dairy Barn. Alignment Option 4C would impact 2 National Register-eligible
                       properties, the Banked Dairy Barn and the Colonial Revival-style House and New
                       England Dairy Barn. Alignment Option 4B would not impact any historic properties
                       (see Figures 5-7 through 5-9).

                       Alignment Option 4A would require the acquisition of approximately 5.16 acres of
                       land from the 65 acres of land included in the National Register boundary for the




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                       Banked Dairy Barn (Inventory No. 862) in the Town of Woodland. The impact area is
                       located along the property frontage on Route 161 and includes an agricultural field
                       and yard space (see Figure 5-8). There would be no physical impact to the existing
                       buildings on the property, and the use would not impair the use or occupancy of the
                       property. The use was determined to have No Adverse Effect under Section 106 of
                       the National Historic Preservation Act and meets the criteria for a finding of
                       de minimus impact as outline in the SAFETEA-LU amendment to the Section 4(f)
                       requirements.

                       Alignment Option 4C would impact two historic properties. Alignment Option 4C
                       would impact the Banked Dairy Barn property (identical impact as Alignment
                       Option 4A) and the Colonial Revival-style house and New England Dairy Barn. The
                       impact area to the Colonial Revival-style house and New England Dairy Barn is
                       located along the eastern edge of the property and includes agricultural fields and a
                       wooded area. There would be no physical impact to the existing buildings on the
                       property, and the use would not impair the use or occupancy of the property (see
                       Figure 5-9). While Alignment Option 4C is not the preferred alternative, it would
                       likely to be determined to have No Adverse Effect under Section 106 of the National
                       Historic Preservation Act.

                       Alignment Option 4C would also impact the 5.16 acres of the 65 acre Banked Dairy
                       Barn property. As previously stated, this impact was determined to have No
                       Adverse Effect under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

                       Alignment Option 4B would not impact any land or structures from historic
                       properties.



5.3.6.2   Impacts to Archaeological Resources

                       This section describes impacts to known prehistoric and historic archaeological sites
                       within the APE for the Proposed Action regulated under Section 106 of the National
                       Historic Preservation Act (see Figure 5-10). This section also describes impacts to
                       land within the Segment 4 Study Area identified by the MHPC as being
                       archaeologically sensitive (see Figure 5-11). The Maine Historic Preservation
                       Commission conducted a review of the archaeological records for the Segment 4
                       Study Area and identified 2 potentially sensitive areas. Historic archaeological field
                       work was conducted and the sensitive areas were found to be not significant based
                       on background work and field conditions. In a letter dated June 5, 2007, the Maine
                       Historic Preservation Commission recommended a finding that no archaeological
                       properties will be affected by the Route 1-161 Connector project (see Appendix A-4).




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5.3.6.3   Impacts to Traditional Cultural Properties

                       Areas of traditional cultural significance were considered impacted if the Proposed
                       Action intersected any part of the areas delineated by the MHPC in consultation with
                       the Maliseet and Micmac Tribal Nations.

                       None of the Alignment Options for the Route 1-161 Connector would impact any
                       known TCPs because none have been identified in the Study Area.



5.3.7     Public Parks, Recreation Areas, and Wildlife
          Refuges
                       The Alignment Options 4A and 4B will require acquisition of property immediately
                       adjacent to the western boundary of the Bangor-Aroostook Trail (BAT), east of Otter
                       Street in Caribou. The BAT is a multi-use recreational trail owned by the Maine
                       Bureau of Parks and Lands (MBPL). The BAT is a Section 4(f) property. MaineDOT
                       narrowed the width of the proposed highway right-of-way for
                       Alignment Options 4A and 4B east of Otter Street to eliminate any impact to the BAT.

                       Alignment Options 4A, 4B, and 4C would require crossing a snowmobile trail on the
                       Interconnected Trail System, ITS 83, between Route 161 and Route 1. This trail is
                       privately owned and not a Section 4(f) Property.

                       Alignment Options 4A and 4B require the acquisition of the Otter Street parking area
                       at the southern terminus of the BAT, which is owned by the City of Caribou. This
                       parking area is an exception to the approval requirements for Section 4(f) because it
                                                                               9
                       was purchased with Recreation Trails Program funds. MaineDOT will coordinate
                       with the City of Caribou to ensure that access to the trail is minimally interrupted
                       and to create a plan to relocate the parking area.

                       MaineDOT, in consultation with the MBPL and the City of Caribou, will develop a
                       plan to provide only brief interruptions in access to the BAT during construction.

                       MaineDOT will also work with the City of Caribou and local snowmobile clubs to
                       relocate ITS 83 trail crossings on private lands, ensuring adequate sight distances and
                       trail continuity.



5.3.8     Section 4(f) Properties
                       This section describes properties within the Segment 4 Study Area afforded
                       protection under Section 4(f) that could be affected by the Proposed Action.



                       9
                           23 CFR 774.13(f)




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5.3.8.1    Introduction

                       Section 4(f) of the DOT Act of 1966, as amended in 1983 and 2008, specifies that the
                       Secretary of the DOT may approve a transportation program or project requiring the
                       use of publicly owned land (such as a park, recreation area, or wildlife or waterfowl
                       refuge) or land of an historic site of national, state, or local significance (as
                       determined by federal, state, or local officials having jurisdiction over the park,
                       recreation area, refuge, or site) only if:

                                 There is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use of land from the
                                 property; and
                                 The action includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the property
                                 resulting from the use.

                       Use is defined as the permanent incorporation of land from a Section 4(f) property
                       into a transportation facility, temporary occupancy of a Section 4(f) property, or
                       constructive use of a Section 4(f) property. Once the FHWA determines that
                       transportation use of a Section 4(f) property, after consideration of any impact
                       avoidance, minimization and mitigation or enhancement measures, results in a
                       de minimis impact on that property, an analysis of avoidance alternatives is not
                                                                                        10
                       required and the Section 4(f) evaluation process is complete. De minimis impacts
                       related to historic sites are defined as the determination of either “no adverse effect”
                       or “no historic properties affected” in compliance with Section 106 of the National
                                                             11
                       Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Similarly, de minimis impacts related to parks,
                       recreation areas, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges are defined as impacts that will
                       not adversely affect the features, attributes, or activities qualifying the property for
                       protection under Section 4(f).

                       Uses of Section 4(f) property were assessed based on a conceptual design for the
                       Proposed Action, which provides a preliminary assessment of the location of the
                       limits of new right-of-way. The limits of existing rights-of-way were obtained from
                       MaineDOT mapping. The limits of each property and existing property lines for
                       historic properties were obtained from municipal tax assessment maps. The National
                       Register property boundaries of historic properties were developed in consultation
                       with the MHPC based on the nature of the property's significance, integrity, setting,
                       landscape features, functions, and research value. National Register property
                       boundaries are used to define the boundaries of historic properties for the purposes
                       of review under Section 4(f) because legal property boundaries do not always
                       coincide with the distribution of buildings, landscape features, or elements of setting
                                                                                   12
                       that contribute to the significance of an historic property. Where the property
                       acquisition for the Proposed Action did not require taking land within the National



                       10 Federal Highway Administration Memorandum, Cynthia J. Burbank. December 13, 2005.
                       11 23 CFR 774.17, Definitions.
                       12 Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning. March 1, 2005.Environment and Realty; Project Development and
                          Environmental Review. Section 4(f) Policy Paper. Section 4(f) Applicability, #3 Historic Sites, Question C.




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                       Register property boundary, a finding of “no effect” was made and there would be
                       no “use” under Section 4(f). Findings of MaineDOT and FHWA regarding properties
                       to which there would be “no adverse effect” were provided to MHPC for
                                    13
                       concurrence.

                       Archaeological sites are subject to Section 4(f) only if the State Historic Preservation
                       Office (in Maine, the Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission
                       [MHPC]) concurs with FHWA’s finding that preservation of archaeological material
                       in place is warranted. This determination has not been made for any known
                       archaeological resource within the project area. In a letter dated June 5, 2007
                       (Appendix A-4), MHPC, based on a review of archeological survey records and maps
                       and historical archeological field work, recommended a finding “that there will be no
                       archeological properties affected by the proposed undertaking.”

                       Data used to identify recreational facilities subject to Section 4(f) were obtained from
                       public agencies having jurisdiction over public lands and recreational facilities and
                       the Maine Office of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Review of the data
                       revealed no properties adjacent to or intersected by the Segment 4 Alignment
                       Options subject to protection under Section 6(f) of the Land and Water Conservation
                       Funds Act.



5.3.8.2    Impact on Section 4(f) Resources

                       Two National Register-eligible properties could potentially be affected by the Proposed
                       Action. These properties, described in Section 5.3.6.1 (page 5-22), include the Banked
                       Dairy Barn and the Colonial Revival-style House and New England Dairy Barn. As
                       National Register-eligible properties, these properties are subject to Section 4(f).

                       Alignment Option 4A would impact one National Register-eligible property, the
                       Banked Dairy Barn. Alignment Option 4C would impact 2 National Register-eligible
                       properties, the Banked Dairy Barn and the Colonial Revival-style House and New
                       England Dairy Barn. Alignment Option 4B would not impact any historic properties
                       (see Figures 5-7 through 5-9).

                       Alignment Option 4A would require the acquisition of approximately 5.16 acres of
                       land from the 65 acres of land included in the National Register boundary for the
                       Banked Dairy Barn (Inventory No. 862) in the Town of Woodland. The impact area is
                       located along the property frontage on Route 161 and includes an agricultural field
                       and yard space (see Figure 5-7). There would be no physical impact to the existing
                       buildings on the property, and the use would not impair the use or occupancy of the
                       property. The use was determined to have No Adverse Effect under Section 106 of
                       the National Historic Preservation Act and meets the criteria for a finding of



                       13 Aroostook County Transportation Study, Section 106 Determination of Effects Report, January 2006 and Spiess, A.
                          2007.




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                       de minimus impact as outline in the SAFETEA-LU amendment to the Section 4(f)
                       requirements.

                       Alignment Option 4C would impact two historic properties. Alignment Option 4C
                       would impact the Banked Dairy Barn property (Figure 5-7) and the Colonial
                       Revival-style house and New England Dairy Barn (Figure 5-8). The impact area to
                       the Colonial Revival-style house and New England Dairy Barn is located along the
                       eastern edge of the property and includes agricultural fields and a wooded area.
                       There would be no physical impact to the existing buildings on the property, and the
                       use would not impair the use or occupancy of the property. An evaluation of effects
                       has not been completed for this impact, but it is likely to be determined to have No
                       Adverse Effect under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
                       Alignment Option 4C would also impact 5.16 acres of the 65-acre Banked Dairy Barn
                       property. As previously stated, this impact was determined to have No Adverse
                       Effect under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

                       Alignment Option 4B would not require any land or structure takings from historic
                       properties.

                       The Alignment Options 4A and 4B would require acquisition of property
                       immediately adjacent to the western boundary of the Bangor-Aroostook Trail (BAT),
                       east of Otter Street in Caribou. The BAT is a multi-use recreational trail owned by the
                       Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (MBPL). The BAT is a Section 4(f) property.
                       MaineDOT narrowed the width of the proposed highway right-of-way for
                       Alignment Options 4A and 4B east of Otter Street to eliminate any impact to the BAT.
                       Additional recreational properties are located adjacent to the Segment 4 Alignment
                       Options. These properties are not Section 4(f) properties. See Section 5.3.7
                       (page 5-25) for the discussion of these properties.

                       As Alignment Option 4B, the Preferred Alternative, does not require the use of any
                       Section 4(f) Resources, preparation of a Section 4(f) Evaluation is not required and no
                       mitigation for Section 4(f) property impacts is proposed.



5.4      Physical and Biological Environment
                       This section examines the potential effects of the Proposed Action on the physical
                       and biological environment within the Segment 4 Study Area, including:

                           Vegetation (forests);
                           Aquatic resources and wetlands;
                           Water resources;
                           Aquatic habitats;
                           Wetlands;
                           Floodplains;
                           Outstanding River Segments;




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                           Wildlife and wildlife habitats;
                           Fisheries;
                           State-regulated wildlife habitats; and
                           Endangered, Threatened, and Species of Special Concern.

                       The Proposed Action will require regulatory review under numerous federal and
                       state programs, including but not limited to review by the USACE under Section 404
                       of the Clean Water Act and by the Maine DEP under the NRPA. The preliminary
                       impact analyses and proposed mitigation measures presented in this FEIS will be
                       further developed and refined through final design and permitting.



5.4.1    Forests
                       Forests and other plant communities are regulated under federal, state, and local
                       regulations if they are located in wetlands (see Section 5.4.2.3, page 5-34) or contain
                       rare plants (see Section 5.4.4, page 5-55). While there are no federal or state
                       regulations that specifically regulate upland natural communities, federal NEPA
                       guidelines require consideration of environmental impacts on biodiversity.

                       Impacts to forested areas were determined through analysis of MaineGIS data (see
                       Figure 5-3). Direct impacts to forests were based on the 300-foot conceptual right-of-
                       way width for each alignment option. The loss of forest land could affect wildlife
                       habitat and could have economic effects on commercial forestry businesses. The loss
                       of forest habitat, particularly within Spruce-Northern Hardwoods forests, may result
                       in the greatest impact to species diversity since this habitat type supports a wide
                       range of mammals, amphibians, and both year-round resident and neotropical
                       migratory bird species. Section 5.4.3.1 (page 5-52) discusses impacts to wildlife
                       associated with these forested areas.



                       Table 5-7
                       Forest Impacts by Forest Type (Acres)1

                                                                                                      Percent of
                                                                                             Total1   Study Area
                                                                   Forest Type              Impact      Forest
                                                          Boreal   Deciduous      Spruce-
                                                          Forest     Forest      Hardwood
                       Alignment Option 4A                  26         18           31         75          1.9
                       Alignment Option 4B                  12         14           16         42          1.1
                       Alignment Option 4C                   5         12           10         27         0.69
                       Total Within Study Area             896       1,326         1,667     3,889
                       1   Based on width of two-lane highway


                       Table 5-7, page 5-29, shows the impacts to forest type from each alignment option.
                       Alignment Option 4A would impact a total of 75 acres of forest,



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                       Alignment Option 4B would impact a total of 42 acres, and Alignment Option 4C
                       would impact a total of 27 acres. None of the alignment options would impact
                       Exemplary Natural Resources.

                       To provide context for these impacts, consider that according to the Maine Forest
                       Service, Maine has the largest contiguous block of undeveloped forestland east of the
                       Mississippi River (17.7 million acres), approximately 10.5 million acres of which are
                                                                 14
                       actively managed for timber production. There are approximately 3,900 acres of
                       forested land within the Segment 4 Study Area.



5.4.2     Aquatic Resources and Wetlands

                       Impacts to aquatic resources evaluated in this section include potential direct and
                       indirect impacts to:

                             Water resources;
                             Aquatic habitats;
                             Wetlands;
                             Floodplains; and
                             Wild and Scenic Rivers and Outstanding River Segments.


5.4.2.1   Water Resources

                       Surface water and groundwater are important natural resources that have many uses
                       in the Study Area, from providing drinking water to supporting agricultural and
                       recreational uses. Highways and roads may impact surface and groundwater by
                       increasing pollutant loads and by impacting stormwater runoff. Highways generate
                       non-point source pollution when stormwater runoff collects pollutants and flows to
                       wetlands and waterbodies. The construction of a new location highway may also
                       result in short-term impacts to surface waters, such as increases in turbidity due to
                       sedimentation.

                       Analysis of existing conditions identified potential receptors in the Study Area that
                       are sensitive to highway pollution impact. The receptors analyzed include: public
                       drinking water wells, public drinking water Wellhead Protection Areas, mapped
                       aquifer areas, public drinking water surface water intakes, surface water intake
                       buffer zones, and surface water supply watershed protection areas (Figure 5-12). In
                       addition, there are unmapped private wells that may be affected by runoff.




                       14   Department of Conservation, Maine Forest Service. 2005. The 2005 Biennial Report on the State of the Forest and
                            Progress Report on Sustainability Standards. Report to the Joint Standing Committee of the 122nd Legislature on
                            Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.




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                       Stormwater runoff from highways can contribute metals, hydrocarbons, salts,
                       sediments, and other substances to surface waters and groundwater. The
                       accumulation of pollutants from vehicles on highway surfaces is primarily
                       dependent upon vehicle traffic volumes. During storm events, the substances that
                       have accumulated on the highways are carried in runoff into the drainage system
                       and into receiving waters. Impacts to surface water bodies from runoff are addressed
                       in Section 5.4.2.2 (page 5-33).

                       The pollutants carried in highway runoff may have adverse effects on the aquatic
                       ecosystem if they occur within surface waters in sufficient concentrations. According to
                       a report titled Effects of Highway Runoff on Receiving Waters (FHWA/RD-84/062-066,
                       June 1987), pollutants generated by traffic volumes under 30,000 vehicles per day exert
                       minimal to no effect on the aquatic components of most surface waters and
                       groundwater, although the size of the watershed relative to the amount of stormwater
                       discharge is also an important factor in assessing impacts. The forecasted average daily
                       traffic in 2030 for Route 1 in Caribou is approximately 13,730 vehicles. Therefore, in
                       general, annual pollutant loads from highways are low relative to the entire watershed.

                       Precipitation cannot infiltrate a paved highway surface and will either evaporate
                       from the surface or drain to the side of the road, where it enters the soil and
                       contributes to groundwater recharge. Net groundwater recharge volumes may be
                       reduced due to the increase in impervious surfaces, but are not expected to change
                       substantially. Contaminants discharged with runoff from highways have the
                       potential to infiltrate groundwater and impact groundwater quality.


                       Surface Water Supplies

                       The surface water intake for the City of Caribou at the Aroostook River is
                       approximately 500 feet east of Route 1 and is approximately 1 mile south of
                       Segment 4, Alignment Option 4A and 4B, as shown on Figure 5-12. There would be
                       no increase in impervious surface within the wellhead protection area of this surface
                       water intake and no adverse affect to the water quality in the Aroostook River.


                       Public Drinking Water Wells / Wellhead Protection Areas

                       Locations of public drinking wells and wellhead protection areas in the vicinity of
                       the Segment 4 Study Area are shown on Figure 5-12.

                       There are 2 public drinking wells (in one wellhead protection area) near the southern
                       end of the Segment 4 Study Area in the vicinity of the
                       Route 1/Route 89/Bennett Drive intersection. Another wellhead protection area is
                       directly south of the Alignment Option 4B/Route 1 crossing, north of the Cary
                       Medical Center. Alignment Options 4A and 4C intersect a wellhead protection area
                       west of Route 1 for a well associated with a farm. The Proposed Action will result in
                       a 10.3-acre increase in impervious area within the wellhead protection area of these




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                       wells. However, with appropriate construction management methods developed
                       through the EPA’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
                       Construction General Permit, and appropriate permanent stormwater controls, these
                       wells will not be affected by the Proposed Action.


                       At-Risk Watersheds

                       The Proposed Action in Segment 4 (all alignment options) would not require
                       construction within an At-Risk watershed.


                       Measures to Reduce the Impacts
                       of Stormwater Runoff
                       Specific measures to improve stormwater runoff and to limit stormwater volumes
                       will be identified during subsequent design of the Proposed Action. MaineDOT has
                       signed a MOA with the Maine DEP to achieve stormwater quantity and quality
                       controls that are reasonably consistent with the Maine DEP’s Stormwater
                       Management Rules and the requirements of the Maine Pollutant Discharge
                       Elimination System (MEPDES) General Permit for Construction Activity. Pursuant to
                       the MOA, MaineDOT agreed to adopt the standards set out in the current version of
                       MaineDOT’s Best Management Practices for Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual
                       (the BMP Manual), and Maine DEP has determined that application of those
                       standards will result in substantial environmental benefits in the watersheds that are
                       most at risk from development, namely the threatened and sensitive watersheds.

                       MaineDOT will ensure that the BMP Manual is followed for construction of the
                       Proposed Action, including that appropriate erosion and sediment control BMPs are
                       followed and that stormwater pollution prevention plans are implemented. For areas
                       where it is required under the MOA, MaineDOT will also design ditches, culverts,
                       and outlet areas to be stable and to minimize any increase in peak flow from the
                               15
                       project. In any instances in which a peak flow increase would result, MaineDOT
                       will implement measures to avoid adverse impacts to off-site property as a result of
                       drainage increases. BMPs may include minimizing impervious surface within
                       recharge areas and avoiding surface water intakes and wellheads.

                       These BMPs are required for any MaineDOT action, and would be incorporated into
                       the design and specifications for the Proposed Action. Additional (mitigation)
                       measures to protect water quality are not necessary or proposed.




                       15 In accordance with the Stormwater MOA, MaineDOT will calculate peak flow from the project site if 1) the project
                          combines two or more subwatershed areas, and 2) includes 20,000 square feet of more of new impervious surface or
                          five acres or more of disturbed area in the direct watershed of a waterbody most at risk from new development, or one
                          acre or more of new impervious area or five acres or more of disturbed area elsewhere.




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5.4.2.2   Aquatic Habitats

                       This section discusses the potential direct and indirect impacts on lakes, ponds, and
                       streams, as well as potential mitigation measures for these impacts.


                       Impacts

                       As described in Section 4.4.2.2 (page 4-41), Caribou Mill Pond is the only lake or
                       pond in the Segment 4 Study Area. As shown on Figure 5-12, Caribou Mill Pond is in
                       the western side of downtown Caribou, outside of the work area of any proposed
                       alignment option.

                       Impacts to intermittent and perennial streams were assessed by overlaying the
                       alignment options onto MaineGIS rivers and streams layers and counting the
                       number of individual streams that are crossed by the proposed Segment 4 Alignment
                       Options. Intermittent and perennial streams in the Study Area are shown on
                       Figure 5-12.

                       Alignment Options 4A and 4B would cross Longfellow Brook, a perennial stream,
                       near the Route 1/Route 89/Bennett Drive Intersection. No other water bodies would
                       be impacted by the 3 alignment options.

                       Roadway construction may affect lentic (open water) and lotic (river and stream)
                       systems. New highway construction or upgrades to existing highways near or over
                       streams and ponds may result in these direct and indirect impacts to aquatic habitats:

                             Stream channelization;
                             Loss of bank structural complexity;
                             Loss of stream flow complexity (riffles/pools);
                             Shading from bridges;
                             Alteration of water temperature;
                             Reduction of water quality from highway runoff impacts; and
                             Alteration of stream hydrology.

                       Direct impacts would result if Alignment Option 4A or 4B crosses the stream channel
                       of Longfellow Brook through the placement of drainage structures within or adjacent
                       to the channel. Direct impact to Longfellow Brook may include the loss of fisheries
                       habitat, where natural channel substrates and banks are replaced with artificial
                       substrates that do not provide spawning habitat, cover, or support food resources
                       such as mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), or caddisflies (Trichoptera).
                       Direct impacts may also include alteration of upstream and/or downstream
                       hydrology of the system, if stream crossings are not designed in equilibrium with the
                       existing stream system. MaineDOT policy is to minimize impacts to fish passage by
                       appropriate drainage crossing design.




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                       The design and construction of new roadways in the vicinity of Longfellow Brook
                       may result in decreases in water quality from roadway runoff and increased water
                       temperatures from the loss of streamside vegetation. Where roadway construction
                       encroaches into riverine buffers, the loss of natural vegetation may affect the
                       contribution of non-aquatic insects to lentic systems, may reduce the contribution of
                       vegetation detritus that contributes to the aquatic food chain, and may affect water
                       temperatures by removing overhanging vegetation.


                       Mitigation

                       Potential mitigation measures for impacts to Longfellow Brook would consist
                       primarily of avoidance and minimization. During final design and permitting, every
                       effort will be made to avoid the need to fill aquatic habitats.

                       Avoidance of impact to Longfellow Brook is not possible since it crosses the
                       alignment of the Proposed Action. Potential stream mitigation will focus on
                       minimizing the impacts of new crossings. These measures may include:

                           Crossing the stream at its narrowest points;

                           Using bridges rather than culverts to maintain channel substrate, flow, and bank
                           characteristics where possible; and

                           Using retaining walls rather than fill slopes to minimize impact areas.

                       All culverts will be designed in accordance with MaineDOT’s 2008 Waterway and
                       Wildlife Passage Policy and Design Guide. Additional mitigation measures may also
                       include bank and channel restoration of crossing areas to provide naturally vegetated
                       banks and increase channel habitat. These measures will also provide stabilization to
                       reduce erosion and sedimentation. Crossing structures would also be designed to
                       minimize impact to floodplains, as discussed in Section 5.4.2.4 (page 5-51).


5.4.2.3   Wetlands
                       This section discusses the potential direct and indirect impacts on wetlands, as well
                       as potential mitigation measures for these impacts.


                       Impacts
                       Direct permanent and temporary wetland impacts include wetland fill, vegetation
                       removal, dredging, and watercourse relocation or alteration. Temporary impacts
                       would involve short-term disturbance to wetlands and waterways during construction
                       that would cease once construction activities are complete.

                       Indirect impacts to wetlands can occur when wetland hydrology is altered as a result
                       of new impervious surfaces in a watershed, new or modified drainage patterns, or




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                       wetland fill. Modifications to wetland hydrology can alter the extent of wetlands
                       and/or performance of functions and values provided by wetlands. Other indirect
                       effects could include fragmentation; edge effects, such as changes in species
                       composition; and increased disturbance. Where the new alignment crosses streams
                       and adjacent wetlands, riparian corridors and associated wildlife movements can be
                       disrupted. As discussed in Section 5.4.2.1 (page 5-30), stormwater runoff may also
                       affect water quality in wetlands or may result in the deposition of sediments from
                       de-icing materials, such as sand.

                       Direct, permanent wetland impacts (loss of wetland) were quantified for the proposed
                       Segment 4 Alignment Options. Table 5-8 (page 5-35) shows impacts to wetlands by
                       wetland class. Wetlands in the Study Area are shown on Figure 5-12. This section
                       evaluates impacts to individual wetlands and to the larger wetland systems
                       identified as part of this study. A wetland system contains all adjacent wetlands as
                       well as those wetlands that occur within 100 feet of the same waterway. For context
                       when considering wetland impacts, there are approximately 1,280 acres of wetlands
                       within the Segment 4 Study Area.



                       Table 5-8
                       Wetland Impacts by Wetland Type (Acres)1

                                                                                                                                   Percent of
                                                                                                                    Total1         Study Area
                                                                        Wetland Type2                              Impact           Wetlands
                                                          PEM                PFO                  PSS
                       Alignment Option 4A                 2.0                7.2                  6.3                15.5              1.2
                       Alignment Option 4B                 2.2                1.2                   0                 3.4              0.26
                       Alignment Option 4C                  0                 1.7                  6.2                7.9              0.62
                       Total Within Study Area                                                                       1,280
                       1   Based on width of two-lane highway
                       2   PEM = palustrine emergent marsh. PFO = palustrine forested wetland. PSS = palustrine scrub-shrub wetland.


                       The different alignment options in Segment 4 will impact between 3.4 and 15.5 acres of
                       wetlands. These impacts are discussed in more detail in the following paragraphs and
                       are shown in Tables 5-8 through 5-10 (page 5-35 to page 5-37), and shown on
                       Figures 2-7a to 2-7g.

                       Alignment Option 4A would impact a total of approximately 15.5 acres in 5 wetland
                       systems. The majority of the impacts would be to PFO (approximately 7.2 acres).
                       Wetland system 90003 would have the greatest impacts as a result of Alignment
                       Option 4A (approximately 8.9 acres). Wetland system 90003 provides the following
                       functions and values: groundwater recharge/discharge, floodflow alteration, fisheries
                       habitat, sediment/toxicant retention, and wildlife habitat. The impact on a wetland’s
                       functions and values may be more severe when it is bisected rather than affected along
                       its edge. For example, a bisected wetland may function less effectively altering floodflow




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                              or providing wildlife habitat. Alignment Option 4A would bisect wetland systems 3751
                              and 90003. Wetland system 4008 would be bisected at a narrow point.

                              Alignment Option 4B would impact a total of approximately 3.4 acres in 4 wetland
                              systems. The majority of impact would be to PEM (approximately 2.2 acres). The
                              majority of the impacts would occur in wetland system 4008 (approximately 2.8 acres),
                              which provides a variety of functions and values, including groundwater recharge/
                              discharge, fisheries habitat, wildlife habitat, and sediment/shoreline stabilization.
                              Alignment Option 4B would bisect wetland system 4008 at a narrow point and the large
                              wetland system, 90003, would also be bisected.

                              Alignment Option 4C would impact a total of approximately 7.9 acres in 2 wetland
                              systems. The majority of the impacts would be to PSS (approximately 6.2 acres). The
                              impacts are divided nearly evenly between wetland systems 3751 (3.8 acres of
                              impact) and 90003 (4.1 acres of impact). Functions and values for wetland system
                              3751 include groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat. Alignment
                              Option 4C would bisect wetland systems 3751 and 90003.

      Table 5-9
      Functions and Values of Affected Wetlands

                                                    Functions and Values 1                                          System
                                      S/T/   NR/                                                                       Area   Alignment
       System   GR/D     FF      FH    R      R/T     PE        SS     WH    R   E/SV    UH     VQ/A      ES        (acres)    Option

       4008      Y       N       Y    N       N       N         Y      Y     N   N        N      N        N         2,182      4A, 4B
       3715      Y       Y       N     Y      N       N         N      Y     N   N        N      N        N         <0.1         4A
       3751      Y       N       N    N       N       N         N      Y     N   N        N      N        N            27      4A, 4C
       3928      Y       Y       N    N       N       N         N      Y     N   N        N      N        N             1        4A
       90003     Y       Y       Y    N       N       N         Y      Y     N   N        N      N        N         1,202     4A, 4B, 4C
       3885      Y       N       N    N       N       N         N      Y     N   N        N      N        N             0        4B
       3896      Y       N       N    N       N       N         N      Y     N   N        N      N        N             1        4B
                     1   GR/D: Groundwater Recharge/Discharge                    WH: Wildlife Habitat
                         FF: Floodflow Alteration                                R: Recreation
                         FH: Fisheries Habitat                                    E/SV: Educational/Scientific Value
                         S/TR: Sediment/Toxicant Retention                        UH: Uniqueness/Heritage
                         NR/R/T: Nutrient Removal/Retention/Transformation        VQ/A: Visual Quality/Aesthetics
                         PE: Production Export                                    ES: Endangered Species
                         SS: Sediment/Shoreline Stabilization




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     Table 5-10
     Wetland Impacts by Wetland

                                                                                                   Total1   Percent of Study
                                                               Wetland System                     Impact     Area Wetlands
                                       4008     3715    3751       3928     90003   3885   3896
      Alignment Option 4A               2.8     <0.01   3.8        0.03      8.9     0       0      15.5           1.2
      Alignment Option 4B               2.8       0      0           0       0.4    0.1    0.06      3.4          0.26
      Alignment Option 4C                0        0     3.8          0       4.1     0       0      7.9           0.62
      1    Based on width of two-lane highway


                               Mitigation

                               This section describes the measures MaineDOT would employ to mitigate impacts to
                               wetlands. These measures include design choices made to avoid and minimize
                               impacts; erosion and sedimentation controls designed to minimize impacts from
                               construction activities; and a plan for wetland mitigation to replace wetlands or
                               wetland functions unavoidably lost.

                               The Proposed Action would result in unavoidable wetland impacts that would
                               require mitigation, based on the mitigation goals and guidance of the USACE and
                               MaineDEP. This FEIS presents a mitigation strategy that articulates mitigation goals
                               and objectives, approaches, site identification, site and mitigation priorities, site
                               feasibility and selection, acquisition, design, implementation, performance standards,
                               and monitoring.

                               Avoidance and Minimization
                               Avoidance of all direct wetland impacts (the loss of wetlands) would only be
                               possible by implementing the No-Action Alternative or the TSM Alternative, neither
                               of which satisfies the project purpose.

                               Wetland impacts have been minimized through the NEPA and USACE Highway
                               Methodology processes, as shown in Table 5-11 (page 5-38). Wetland impacts have
                               been reduced from a maximum of 65 acres (SDEIS Option 3) to 3.4 acres (FEIS
                               Option 4B) by modifying the alignment options to avoid and minimize wetland
                               impacts, and by reducing the width of the Proposed Action from 4 lanes to 2 lanes.
                               Additional minimization measures will be investigated during the subsequent design
                               phase of the study, possibly including the use of steeper slopes or slight adjustments
                               to the alignment of the alternative. Wetland impacts will also be refined based on
                               field-delineated wetland boundaries.




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                       Table 5-11       Wetland Impact Minimization
                                                                                             Proposed
                        Document       Alternative                                         Wetland Impacts
                        SDEIS          Option 1                                                24 Acres
                                       Option 2                                                51 Acres
                                       Option 3                                                65 Acres
                        FEIS           Option 4A                                              15.5 acres
                                       Option 4B                                               3.4 acres
                                       Option 4C                                               7.9 acres


                       Mitigation Approach

                       The USACE has issued rules for compensatory wetland mitigation (33 CFR Parts 325
                       and 332, 10 April 2008). This guidance emphasizes a watershed approach to selecting
                       compensatory mitigation measures and locations. 4 types of compensatory
                       mitigation are recognized:

                                Restoring previously existing wetlands or other aquatic sites (this should be
                                considered the first option);
                                Enhancing an existing aquatic site’s functions and values;
                                Establishing a new wetland or aquatic site; or
                                Preserving land that serves to protect aquatic resources by providing a buffer
                                or corridor between aquatic resources.

                       Wetland mitigation banks, where available, and in-lieu fee programs, where
                       available, may also be used to mitigate for unavoidable impacts. The regulations
                       recognize that mitigation may be located on-site (at or adjacent to the impact site) or
                       off-site (at another location in the same watershed).
                       The MaineDEP regulations in Chapter 310, Wetlands and Waterways Protection, state
                       similar objectives. The goal of compensation is to result in no net loss of functions
                       and values, and is required when the MaineDEP determines that a wetland alteration
                       will cause a wetland function or functions to be lost or degraded. The state
                       regulations recognize the same types of compensatory mitigation as the USACE.

                       These regulations recognize that compensatory mitigation must be commensurate
                       with the amount and type of impact, and requires that the USACE District Engineer
                       determine what is practicable and capable of compensating for the aquatic resource
                       functions that would be lost, and what is environmentally preferable. Considerations
                       include:
                                The likelihood for ecological success;
                                The location relative to the impact site;
                                The significance within the watershed; and
                                The costs of the compensatory mitigation project.




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                                     These regulations require a watershed-based approach, ideally based on an existing
                                     watershed plan that provides information on the land uses, natural habitats, water
                                     quality, and aquatic resources within a watershed. The goal of using a watershed
                                     approach is to maintain and improve the quality and quantity of aquatic resources
                                     within a watershed, by strategically siting compensatory mitigation sites. The Rule
                                     also notes that compensatory projects should not be located where they will increase
                                     the risks to aviation by attracting wildlife near airports.

                                     In setting mitigation requirements for Section 404 permits, USACE considers
                                     watershed needs, mix of habitat types, and compatibility with adjacent land use. The
                                                                                                                    16
                                     USACE New England District has published guidance on mitigation ratios that
                                     generally requires 3:1 compensation for restoration or creation, and
                                     15:1 compensation for preservation. These ratios are greater than Maine DEP’s
                                     ratios, which require 1:1 compensation for impacts to wetlands that are not of special
                                     significance, 2:1 for wetlands of special significance, and 8:1 for preservation.

                                     Table 5-12 (Page 5-39) identifies the range of mitigation requirements for the
                                     Preferred Alternative (Alignment Option 4B). These range from 6.8 acres (restoration
                                     only) to 11.4 acres (creation only), or 51 acres for preservation. The primary losses of
                                     functions would be groundwater recharge/discharge, floodflow alteration, fisheries
                                     habitat, sediment/toxicant retention, and wildlife habitat. These functions would
                                     primarily be lost in Wetland 4008, which borders an un-named tributary to the
                                     Aroostook River within the developed part of the City of Caribou. Wetland
                                     mitigation areas would be designed to provide these functions.

Table 5-12
USACE Recommended Compensatory Mitigation- Alignment Option 4B
                                                                             USACE Recommended Compensatory Mitigation

    Impact by          Impact1                    Restoration3                       Creation                           Enhancement                        Preservation
     Wetland            (acres)
      Type                                  Ratio           Acres            Ratio            Acres              Ratio               Acres               Ratio     Acres
      PEM                 2.2                2:1              4.4          2:1 to 3:1       4.4 to 6.6        3:1 to    10:14       6.6 to 22            15:1       33

      PFO                 1.2            2:1 to 3:1       2.4 to 3.6       3:1 to 4:1       3.6 to 4.8        5:1 to 10:14           6 to 12             15:1       18

      Total               3.42                -            6.8 to 8             -           8 to 11.4               -              12.6 to 24             -         51


1       Based on width of a two-lane highway.
2       Impact total rounded to nearest tenth of an acre.
3       Assumes no irreversible change has occurred to the hydrology. If there is such a change, then the corresponding creation ratio should be used.
4       Based on types of functions enhanced and/or degree of functional enhancement.




                                     16 Addendum to New England District Compensatory Mitigation Guidance: Compensation for Impacted Aquatic
                                        Resource Functions. December 18, 2007.




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                       Mitigation Approaches
                       Replacing wetlands and their important functions and values could be achieved with
                       several approaches, including: restoring wetland from a filled, former wetland area
                       that is now a non-wetland area; establishing new wetland from a non-wetland area;
                       restoring functions to an existing, degraded wetland; enhancing wetland functions;
                       and contributions to a mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program. Caribou is in the
                       Aroostook Lowlands Biophysical Region of Maine. The appropriate wetland
                       mitigation approach will take the biophysical region into account.

                       Watershed Approach
                       The Caribou Route 1-161 Connector is within the Aroostook River Watershed. In this
                       watershed, wetlands have been lost through conversion to agriculture or have been lost
                       to development. Neither a comprehensive watershed plan for the Aroostook River,
                       nor a wetland restoration plan has been prepared for this area.

                       Types of Mitigation Being Considered
                       The evaluation of mitigation sites included establishing new wetlands (wetland
                       creation, wetland replacement), wetland restoration, wetland functional
                       enhancement, and wetland preservation. Restoration can be a valuable contribution
                       to the quality of the ecological functions and values of the existing wetlands in the
                       affected watershed. Wetland functional enhancements off-site may partially
                       compensate for the functions and values provided by the impacted site; however,
                       there would still be a net loss in wetland area. Restoration of degraded wetlands can
                       sometimes be paired with expanding the same wetland. This may be considered
                       creation or re-establishment, and may result in an increase in wetland area.

                       Maine DEP and the USACE also allow an applicant to purchase credits from a
                       mitigation bank or pay a compensation fee in lieu of constructing compensatory
                                 17
                       wetlands. Where on-site mitigation is not available, practicable, or ecologically
                       appropriate, an applicant may be allowed to pay an in-lieu compensation fee to be
                       used for the purpose of restoring, enhancing, creating, or preserving other wetland
                       functions or values. The amount of the fee would be determined based on the
                       compensation that would be necessary to restore, enhance, create, or preserve
                       aquatic resources with functions or values similar to the aquatic resources impacted
                       by the activity.

                       Site Selection Criteria

                       The mitigation site selection criteria were based on agency recommendations and
                       USACE compensatory mitigation guidance report. Figure 5-13 shows the potential
                       mitigation sites where the selection criteria were used. These include:




                       17 Maine In-Lieu Fee Agreement Between the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the New England
                          District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and The Nature Conservancy. 2007.




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                           Sites in the Caribou area within the Aroostook River watershed;
                           Degraded wetlands and adjacent uplands along edges of farm fields that are
                           adjacent to existing wetland systems;
                           Sites with a low topography that is practical to work with (consisting of soil,
                           gravel or other easily graded materials) and a size that is appropriate for effective
                           mitigation;
                           Non-forested areas or other areas with low wildlife habitat quality; and
                           Damaged sites with restoration potential (such as abandoned farm fields).

                       The design of the wetland mitigation areas, following final site selection, will include
                       the following considerations:

                           Identifying marginal fields on wet soils, tilled fields, poor quality or recently
                           abandoned fields (most fields are topographically higher than the adjacent
                           wetlands and sloped down to the wetland, and very few tilled fields are at the
                           same elevation as the wetlands);
                           Selecting sites that will be able to accommodate a variety of habitat types and
                           hydrologic regimes in order to replace in-kind wetland impacts;

                           Purchase and construction costs associated with the mitigation site;
                           Monitoring and controlling invasive species;
                           Following DEP recommendations that alder wetlands be enhanced to improve
                           habitat for the American woodcock; and
                           Requiring that all mitigation areas be permanently protected from future impact
                           by conservation restriction or by transfer of ownership to an appropriate land
                           conservation agency.

                       Potential Compensatory Wetland Sites
                       Fifteen potential mitigation sites were identified based on aerial photographs,
                       topographic mapping, and soils maps. They range from 4.3 acres to 24.5 acres in size
                       and are located adjacent to existing wetland systems. All the sites, with exception of
                       Site 10, are within non-hydric soils. Therefore, Site 10 is the only place where
                       restoration would be proposed instead of creation. These wetlands systems were
                       preliminarily mapped on aerial photographs using available hydric soils mapping,
                       NWI mapping, and photo interpretation. This preliminary mapping was
                       field-verified and adjusted, as warranted. Vegetated wetland delineations were made
                       in accordance with the USACE Wetland Delineation Manual (USACE 1987). Wetland
                       functions and values were assessed in a manner consistent with the USACE
                       “Highway Methodology Workbook Supplement”. Table 5-13 (page 5-42) provides a
                       summary of the potential mitigation sites that are adjacent to these wetland systems.




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Table 5-13
Potential Wetland Mitigation Sites
                                                 Adjacent Wetland System
    Wetland         Size       Hydric                                                                      Current Conditions                            Potential
     No.          (acres)       Soil           No. 1        Type      Functions &                                                                      Functions &
                                                                        Values2                                                                           values
       1              6           N            4008        PFO        GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PFO on the eastern side.              GR/D and WH


       2            15.8          N            3892        PFO        GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PFO on the western side.              GR/D and WH
       3             4.3          N            90003       PEM/       GR/D and WH       Abandoned field/ shrub / logged area adjacent to PEM and     GR/D and WH
                                                           PFO/                         PFO on the eastern side and PSS on the southern end.
                                                           PSS/                         Road on western side of site.
       4             11           N            3847/       PEM/       GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PEM and PFO on the northern and       GR/D and WH
                                               3874        PFO/                         northwestern side and PSS on the southwestern side.
                                                           PSS
       5            13.8          N        3874/ 3847      PEM/       GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PEM on the eastern side and center    GR/D and WH
                                                           PSS                          of the site and PSS on the southern side.
       6             7.1          N            90003/      PSS/       GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PSS on the northwestern sides.        GR/D and WH
                                               3885/       PEM                          North of nearby PEM.
                                                3881
       7            12.3          N             3847       PEM/       GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PFO and PEM on the western side       GR/D and WH
                                                           PFO                          and PEM on the northwestern end.

       8            14.5          N        3831/ 3828/     PFO/       GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PFO on the western side.              GR/D and WH
                                              3800         PEM/
                                                           PSS
       9            10.8          N            90003       PSS/       GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PFO and PSS on the northern side.     GR/D and WH
                                                           PFO
      10            24.5          Y            90003       PFO        GR/D and WH       Farm fields adjacent to PFO on the north and southern end    GR/D and WH
                                                                                        of the site. Structure and roads on the southern and
                                                                                        southwestern sections.
      11            15.3          N            90003/      PFO/       GR/D and WH       Farm fields adjacent to PFO and PSS on the eastern side      GR/D and WH
                                                           PSS                          and southern end. Upland forest in the southwestern side.

      12             18           N         Unknown        PSS        GR/D and WH       Farm field adjacent to PSS on the northwestern side and      GR/D and WH
                                             3769                                       shrub/forest on the western and southwestern sides of the
                                                                                        site.
      13            10.8          N            3656        PFO        GR/D and WH       Farm field near PFO on the northwestern side. Residential    GR/D and WH
                                                                                        areas in the northeastern of the site.
      14            12.3          N            90003       PFO        GR/D and WH       Abandoned fields mixed with shrubs adjacent to PFO on        GR/D and WH
                                                                                        the eastern side and road on the southern end.
      15             9.8          N            4096        PFO/       GR/D, FF,         Uplands disturbed by gravel mining and beaver pond           GR/D, WH, E/SV
                                                           PSS/       WH, and E/SV
                                                           PEM

1          Wetlands 3892, 3881, 3831, 3828, 3769 and 3656 are NWI wetlands that were not field delineated by VHB. The wetland type is based on aerial photography.
2      GR/D: Groundwater Recharge/Discharge                                 WH: Wildlife Habitat
       FF: Floodflow Alteration                                             R: Recreation
       FH: Fisheries Habitat                                                E/SV: Educational/Scientific Value
       S/TR: Sediment/Toxicant Retention                                    UH: Uniqueness/Heritage
       NR/R/T: Nutrient Removal/Retention/Transformation                    VQ/A: Visual Quality/Aesthetics
       PE: Production Export                                                ES: Endangered Species
       SS: Sediment/Shoreline Stabilization
Note: Highlighted mitigations sites have been dismissed.




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                       The following text describes the 15 potential wetland creation sites identified in the
                       Caribou area, shown on Figure 5-13. Where access to these sites was available, they
                       were field-checked for suitability for wetland mitigation.

                       Mitigation Site 1
                       Site 1 is adjacent to Wetland #4008 (PFO), which is one of the wetland systems
                       impacted by Alignment Option 4B. The site consists of 6 acres in farm fields adjacent
                       to a PFO on the eastern side option. It is located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to
                       other farm fields on the western side. It has the potential to provide the same
                       functions and values as Wetland #4008, including groundwater recharge/discharge
                       and fisheries and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 2
                       Site 2 is adjacent to Wetland #3892 (PFO). The site consists of 15.8 acres in farm fields
                       that are adjacent to a PFO on the western side and forested upland on the south end.
                       At the center of the southern end of the site there is a small forested upland area. It is
                       located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the eastern side. It
                       has the potential to provide the same functions and values as Wetland #3892,
                       including groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 3
                       Site 3 is adjacent to Wetland #90003 (PSS, PEM and PFO at mitigation site 3). The site
                       consists of 4.3 acres in abandoned field/ shrub/ logged area adjacent to a PSS on the
                       southern end. There is a road (probable logging road) that separates the western side
                       of the site from a PEM and PFO. It is located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to
                       upland forest and shrubs on the eastern side. It has the potential to provide the same
                       functions and values as adjacent wetlands, including groundwater
                       recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat. A field investigation conducted for Site 3
                       found it was unsuitable based on the topography of the site. Site 3 has therefore been
                       dismissed.

                       Mitigation Site 4
                       Site 4 is adjacent to Wetland #3847 (PEM, PFO) and Wetland #3874 (PSS). The site
                       consists of 11 acres in farm fields that are adjacent to a PFO and PEM on the northern
                       and northwestern sides. It is also adjacent to a PSS on the southwestern side. It is
                       located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the southern side and
                       residential development on the southeastern side – adjacent to Van Buren Road. It
                       has the potential to provide the same functions and values as adjacent wetlands,
                       including groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat. A field investigation
                       conducted for Site 4 and found it unsuitable for wetland mitigation based on the
                       topography of the site. Site 4 has therefore been dismissed.




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                       Mitigation Site 5
                       Site 5 is adjacent to Wetland #3847 (PEM) and Wetland #3874 (PSS). The site consists
                       of 13.8 acres in farm fields that are adjacent to a PEM on the eastern side and on the
                       center of the site. It is also adjacent to a PSS on the southern end. It is located in
                       non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the western side. It has the
                       potential to provide the same functions and values as adjacent wetlands, including
                       groundwater recharge/ discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 6
                       Site 6 is adjacent to Wetland #90003 (PSS, PFO) and approximately 0.19 miles north
                       of Wetland #3885 (PEM). Wetland #90003 and Wetland #3885 are systems impacted
                       by Alignment Option 4B. The site consists of 7.1 acres in farm fields that are adjacent
                       to a PSS on the northwestern side and shrub/forested upland on the southwestern
                       side. It is located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the eastern
                       side. It has the potential to provide the same functions and values as adjacent
                       Wetland #90003 and nearby Wetland #3885, including groundwater
                       recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 7
                       Site 7 is adjacent to Wetland #3847 (PEM, PFO). The site consists of 12.3 acres in farm
                       fields that are adjacent to a PFO mixed with PEM on the western side, and a
                       predominant PEM area on the northwestern end. It is located in non-hydric soils and
                       adjacent to other farm fields on the eastern side. It has the potential to provide the
                       same functions and values as adjacent wetlands, including groundwater
                       recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 8
                       Site 8 is adjacent to Wetland #3831 (PFO), Wetland #3828 (PFO) and Wetland #3800
                       (PSS). The site consists of 14.5 acres in farm fields that are adjacent to a PFO on the
                       western side and forested upland on the southern end. It is located in non-hydric
                       soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the northern end and eastern side. It has the
                       potential to provide the same functions and values as adjacent wetlands including
                       groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 9
                       Site 9 is adjacent to Wetland #90003 (PSS, PFO). The site consists of 10.8 acres in farm
                       fields that are adjacent to a PFO on the northern side, and PSS on the northwestern
                       and northeastern ends. It is located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm
                       fields on the southern side. It has the potential to provide the same functions and
                       values as adjacent wetlands including groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife
                       habitat.




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                       Mitigation Site 10
                       Site 10 is adjacent to Wetland #90003 (PFO). The site consists of 24.5 acres in farm
                       fields that are adjacent to a PFO on the southern end and upland forest on the
                       northern end. There is residential development (structure and roads) on the southern
                       and southwestern sections. It is located in hydric soils and adjacent to other farm
                       fields on both the eastern and western sides. It has the potential to be restored and
                       provide the same functions and values as adjacent wetlands, including groundwater
                       recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat. Based on a field investigation, Site 10 was
                       found to be suitable for wetland mitigation.

                       Mitigation Site 11
                       Site 11 is adjacent to Wetland #90003 (PFO, PSS and PEM). The site consists of 15.3
                       acres in farm fields adjacent to a PFO and PSS on the eastern side and southern end.
                       It is located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the western side
                       and upland forest on the southwestern side. It has the potential to provide the same
                       functions and values as adjacent wetlands, including groundwater
                       recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 12
                       Site 12 is adjacent to Wetland #unknown (PSS) and Wetland #3769 (PSS). The site
                       consists of 18 acres in farm fields that are adjacent to a PSS on the northwestern side
                       and upland shrub/forest on the western and southwestern sides of the site. It is
                       located in non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the eastern side. It has
                       the potential to provide the same functions and values as adjacent wetlands,
                       including groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife habitat.

                       Mitigation Site 13
                       Site 13 is near Wetland #3656 (PFO). The site consists of 10.8 acres in farm fields that
                       are approximately 156 feet from a PFO on the northwestern side. It is located in
                       non-hydric soils and adjacent to other farm fields on the eastern side and residential
                       areas on the northeastern side. It has the potential to provide the same functions and
                       values as adjacent wetlands, including groundwater recharge/discharge and wildlife
                       habitat. Based on field verification, Site 13 was dismissed due to unsuitable
                       topography.

                       Mitigation Site 14
                       Site 14 is adjacent to Wetland #90003 (PFO). The site consists of 12.3 acres in
                       abandoned fields that are mixed with shrubs and adjacent to a PFO on the eastern
                       side and upland forest on the northern side. It is located in non-hydric soils and
                       adjacent to Belanger Road on the southern end and to other abandoned and
                       disturbed area on the western side. It has the potential to provide the same functions
                       and values as adjacent wetlands, including groundwater recharge/discharge and
                       wildlife habitat. Site 14 has the potential to provide the suitable mitigation area that
                       is the practical to construct compared to the other sites due to the low slope and the
                       fact that it is an abandoned field not being farmed.




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                       Mitigation Site 15
                       Site 15 is adjacent to Wetland #4096 (PEM, PFO), Caribou Stream. This is an 80-acre
                       parcel recently purchased by the City of Caribou and is adjacent to an existing City
                       park, playground, and walking trail system. The park is used for educational
                       programs to teach about wetland environments and habitat. The parcel consists of
                       uplands that were previously disturbed for gravel mining and is adjacent to a large
                       beaver-impounded pond. The site has the potential to provide approximately
                       9.8 acres of wetlands that provide floodflow alteration, groundwater
                       recharge/discharge, wildlife habitat, and recreational/educational functions. It is
                       relatively close to the area of greatest wetland loss (Wetland 4008) and borders a
                       tributary to the Aroostook River. Field work conducted at Site 15 found it to be
                       potentially suitable for wetland mitigation.

                       Mitigation Design and Construction
                       Wetlands can be newly created through excavation of a non-wetland area adjacent to
                       an existing wetland or water body. Excavation of a non-wetland area requires
                       excavation to groundwater and/or establishment of a hydrological connection to a
                       water source of sufficient volume and duration to maintain wetland hydrology
                       which will result in the support of wetland vegetation and hydric soils. Gravel-
                       mining operations, common in the area, represent an opportunity to create wetlands
                       from existing pits.

                       Final mitigation plans would be developed for each site based on updated
                       topographic survey, groundwater monitoring, test borings, and soil sampling. The
                       replacement wetlands would be designed to conform to the guidelines developed by
                                  18
                       the USACE and Maine DEP.

                       Vegetated Wetlands
                       Each mitigation site would be graded to match the elevation of the adjacent, existing
                       wetland. By sharing the local hydrology and by approximating the elevations of
                       existing wetlands, the replacement areas will have sufficient hydrology to support
                       wetland plant communities. Each site would be graded using micro-topography to
                       mimic the surface of the wetlands that will be impacted.

                       Each mitigation site would be vegetated with native wetland species in accordance
                       with USACE guidance. The mitigation areas would be designed and constructed in
                       accordance with a final mitigation plan prepared as required by the USACE
                       Mitigation Checklist and Guidelines (2006 Draft). The sections below provide
                       additional information on wildlife habitat features, supervision, construction
                       sequence, invasive species control, and post-construction monitoring.



                       18   USACE, Regulatory Guidance Letter, Number 02-2, Guidance on Compensatory Mitigation projects for Aquatic
                            Resource Impacts under the Corps Regulatory Program Pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and
                            Section 10 of the Rives and Harbors Act of 1899, December 24, 2002.




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                       Wildlife Habitat Features
                       In addition to the wetland plantings and establishment of appropriate wetland
                       hydrology within the replacement area, several wildlife habitat features are proposed
                       to be established within the replacement areas. These features include creation of
                       mound and pool micro-topography, several deepened pool areas that may develop
                       into vernal pools, the placement of decaying logs and other natural woody debris on
                       the ground, and placement of rocks and small boulders.

                       Fallen logs and woody debris provide important cover and foraging habitat for a variety
                       of wildlife species. In order to provide this benefit to the replacement area, woody debris
                       will be established within the replacement area. Logs and smaller woody branches will
                       be identified and collected within the impact areas or upland areas scheduled to be
                       altered. This material will be of varying stages of decay and will be randomly placed to
                       provide habitat features. Freshly cut logs will not be the primary source for this feature,
                       but may be used if approved by the supervising wetland scientist.

                       Replacement Wetland Construction Supervision
                       The construction of successful replacement areas often requires minor field adjustments
                       in grading or planting. When directly overseen by an experienced professional, these
                       minor modifications can be made to provide the hydrologic conditions necessary to
                       support wetland vegetation and functions. During planting, the supervising wetland
                       scientist may relocate up to 50 percent of the plantings if as-built conditions would pose
                       an unreasonable threat to the survival of plantings installed according to the mitigation
                       plan. The plantings shall be relocated to locations with suitable hydrology and soils and
                       where appropriate structural context with other plantings can be maintained.

                       Construction of the replacement areas, including fine grading, soils placement, and
                       planting, will be done under the supervision of an experienced wetland scientist. The
                       wetland scientist will monitor the replacement area construction work for
                       compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal wetland permits.

                       Sequence of Construction
                       Construction of the replacement areas would be designed to minimize erosion,
                       prevent sediment from entering adjacent wetlands, and to maximize the
                       establishment of planted vegetation. The areas will be constructed per the following:


                           The replacement areas will be cleared and grubbed, if not already, and will be
                           excavated to a depth of 12 inches below the final design elevations. In response
                           to subsurface hydrologic conditions, the wetland scientist may make minor
                           modifications to this grading plan in the field.
                           The replacement areas will then be backfilled with the wetland soils and brought
                           to final grade.
                           Rocks and boulders, uncovered during excavation, may be left in place provided
                           they do not significantly decrease the plantable area of the replacement areas.




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                           These rocks and boulders will be placed in such a way as to provide crevices and
                           cavities suitable for use by wildlife.
                           Fallen logs, branches, and other natural debris existing within the proposed
                           impact areas, or other upland areas proposed to be disturbed, will be relocated to
                           the replacement areas to provide beneficial habitat features for wildlife. These
                           materials will not include species shown on the USACE draft list of invasive
                           species.
                           An erosion control barrier of staked hay bales will be placed around the
                           upgradient edge of the replacement areas.
                           Replacement area plantings will take place once the tasks listed above have been
                           completed. The species, size, and quantity of the plantings will follow a planting
                           schedule.
                           All plantings will be spaced randomly at the direction of the wetland scientist to
                           simulate natural growth patterns.
                           Upon completion of planting, the areas around each plant will be mulched with a
                           2-inch thick layer of leaf litter or other natural organic material.

                           The erosion control barriers will be disassembled and properly disposed of
                           before September 1st of the third full growing season after planting of the
                           replacement areas.

                           The replacement areas will be inspected each fall in perpetuity for invasive or
                           unwanted plants. If invasive species are found, they will be uprooted and
                           removed from the area, or treated with a glyphosate herbicide approved for
                           wetland use. Invasive plants may include purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria),
                           reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), common reed (Phragmites australis), and
                           glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus).

                           Long-term monitoring of the replacement areas will be conducted as directed in
                           the Post-Construction Monitoring section below.

                       Invasive Species Control Plan
                       Exotic invasive species may be present in the surrounding landscape and may
                       colonize the mitigation areas as the vegetation community develops. To protect the
                       functions and integrity of the mitigation areas, each mitigation area will be inspected in
                       the early growing season (June) of each monitoring year. If feasible, any exotic invasives
                       will be pulled by hand and removed from the mitigation area.

                       In the event that herbaceous species have become strongly established and mowing
                       or hand removal is not feasible, a qualified pesticide applicator will be contracted to
                       spray plants with the appropriate herbicide. Spraying will be done using a backpack
                       unit and dye mixed with the liquid herbicide to minimize overspray and damage to
                       native wetland species.




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                       In the event that woody species have become strongly established and hand removal
                       is not feasible, stems will be cut at ground level and a qualified pesticide applicator
                       will be contracted to spray the cut stump with the appropriate herbicide.

                       Post-Construction Monitoring
                       This section provides a detailed monitoring and assessment plan for the wetland
                       mitigation areas.

                       For each of the first 3 full growing seasons following construction of the mitigation
                       sites, the sites will be monitored and monitoring reports will be prepared in the
                       format required by the USACE Mitigation Guidance.

                       If there are problems that need to be addressed and if the measures to correct them
                       require prior approval from the agencies, the applicant will contact the agencies as
                       soon as the need for corrective action is discovered.

                       Each monitoring report will answer the following questions:

                       1.   Does the site have at least 500 trees and shrubs per acre, of which at least 350 per
                            acre are trees that are at least 18 inches tall in 75 percent of each planned woody
                            zone and include at non-exotic species including planted and volunteer species?

                       2.   Does each mitigation site have at least 80 percent aerial cover, excluding planned
                            open water areas or planned bare soil areas?

                            a.   Do planned emergent areas have at least 80 percent cover by noninvasive
                                 hydrophytes?

                            b. Do planned scrub-shrub and forested cover types have at least 60 percent
                               cover by non-invasive hydrophytes, of which at least 15 percent are woody
                               species?

                       3.   Are invasive species (including but not limited to common reed (Phragmites
                            australis), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Russian and autumn olive
                            (Elaeagnus umbellata and Elaeagnus angustifolia ), buckthorn (Frangula alnus),
                            and/or multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)) being controlled?

                       4.   Are all slopes, soils, substrates and constructed features within and adjacent to
                            the mitigation area stabilized?

                       Each report will include a narrative that will address the following items:

                       1.   Dates that work began and ended.

                       2.   Description of monitoring inspections since the last report.

                       3.   Soils and hydrology data.

                       4.   Remedial actions done to meet success standards.




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                       5.   Status of erosion control measures.

                       6.   Visual estimates of total percent cover, and visual estimate of percent cover of
                            invasive species.

                       7.   Fish and wildlife use of the mitigation site.

                       8.   General health and vigor of each of the plant species in the mitigation site, with
                            diagnosis of cause(s) of morbidity or mortality.

                       9.   Remedial measures recommended to achieve or maintain success and improve
                            the extent to which the mitigation site replaces the lost functions and values.

                       Each monitoring report will include four appendices:

                       1.   A copy of the permit, with mitigation special conditions and mitigation goals.

                       2.   An as-built planting plan showing the location and extent of the designed plant
                            community type. This is required only in the first monitoring report.

                       3.   A species list of volunteer plant species in each community type.

                       4.   Representative photos of each mitigation site, taken from the same location for
                            each monitoring event.

                       Assessment
                       A post-construction assessment of the condition of the mitigation sites will be
                       performed by the end of the 5-year monitoring period. This assessment must be
                       performed by a person other than the person(s) responsible for the annual
                       monitoring reports, unless approved by the USACE. The assessment report will be
                       submitted to the USACE by December 15 of the year the assessment is conducted.
                       This assessment will:

                       1.   Summarize the original or modified mitigation goals and discuss the level of
                            attainment of these goals.

                       2.   Describe significant problems and solutions during construction and post-
                            construction.

                       3.   Discuss successes of the mitigation sites and remediation activities during
                            construction.

                       4.   Identify agency procedures or policies that encumbered implementation of the
                            mitigation plan. The assessment will specifically note procedures or policies that
                            contributed to lower success or effectiveness than anticipated.

                       5.   Recommend measures to improve efficiency, reduce cost, or improve
                            effectiveness of similar projects.




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                        The assessment will include the following appendices:

                        1.   Summary of the functions and values assessment of the mitigation areas.

                        2.   Calculation of the area of wetlands in each site, accompanied by a scaled
                             drawing showing the wetland boundary and representative transects, with data
                             sheets supporting the delineation.

                        3.   Comparison of the area and extent of delineated constructed with the area and
                             extent of created wetlands proposed in the mitigation plan.

                        4.   Photos of each mitigation site taken from the same locations as the monitoring
                             photos.



5.4.2.4   Floodplains

                        This section describes the potential impacts of the Proposed Action on the 100-year
                        floodplains in the Study Area.

                        Direct impacts to floodplains are assessed as the loss of floodplain area. The loss of
                        flood storage or new obstructions within the floodplain or floodway could result in an
                        increase in depth or duration of flooding, or increase the lateral extent of the flooding.
                        These impacts depend on the location of the impact relative to the floodway, and the
                        proximity of sensitive land uses. New location corridors that cross floodplains may
                        potentially have the greatest effect on floodplains. New river crossings downstream of
                        existing residences and neighborhoods may create more property impacts than new
                        crossings in undeveloped areas. Widening existing roads, or constructing new roads
                        may have the least impacts because these may result in less loss of storage or
                        obstruction within the floodway. Impacts to 100-year floodplains were estimated based
                        on proposed right-of-way widths for the Proposed Action.

                        Alignment Option 4A crosses through mapped floodplains east of Route 1 and
                        would result in 4.4 acres of floodplain impact within Wetland # 3715 south of
                        Hardwood Brook. Alignment Options 4B and 4C would not require construction
                        within any floodplain (Figure 5-12). MaineDOT and FHWA are required by law to
                        comply with Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management. To ensure compliance,
                        MaineDOT evaluates each project to assess and reduce the long- and short-term
                        adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains.



5.4.2.5   Outstanding River Segments

                        The Aroostook River in Caribou is not classified as an Outstanding River Segment
                        (ORS); therefore, the Proposed Action will not impact any ORSs.




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5.4.3     Wildlife Habitat, Significant Wildlife Habitat, and
          Essential Fish Habitat
                        This section describes potential impacts to wildlife habitats, fisheries, and
                        state-regulated “Significant Wildlife Habitats,” as well as potential mitigation
                        measures for these impacts. Endangered and threatened wildlife species are
                        addressed in Section 5.4.4 (page 5-55).



5.4.3.1   Wildlife Habitat

                        Habitat loss is a direct effect of transportation improvements. Habitat is lost when an
                        area previously providing wildlife habitat is converted to an area that does not
                        provide food, cover, water, and/or breeding resources to wildlife. Habitat
                        conversion is another direct effect of transportation projects, where an area providing
                        habitat for one wildlife community may be altered so that it no longer provides
                        resources to the original wildlife community.

                        Exemplary natural communities are identified by the Natural Resources Information
                        and Mapping Center (NRIMC) and contain ecologically sensitive communities with
                        uncommon populations of plant diversity. Although Exemplary Natural
                        Communities are a non-regulated resource, a database is maintained by the MNAP
                        and used as an informational planning tool during project development and design.

                        In general, the loss of herbaceous upland vegetation may result in the loss of nesting
                        habitat for grassland birds, the loss of feeding habitat for raptors and mammalian
                        predators, the loss of year-round habitat for small mammals and reptiles, and the
                        loss of wintering habitat for some northern birds.

                        The loss of shrub habitat may result in the loss of nesting habitat for birds,
                        particularly warblers, and the loss of year-round habitat for small mammals and
                        their predators.

                        The loss of forest habitat, particularly in the Spruce-Northern Hardwoods forests,
                        may result in the greatest impact to species diversity, since this habitat type supports
                        a wide range of mammals and amphibians, and both year-round resident and
                        neotropical migratory bird species.

                        Indirect effects of new highway construction may include fragmentation and associated
                        “edge effects”, loss of genetic diversity, increased competition for resources, isolating
                        habitats from each other, and physical or psychological restrictions on movements or
                        migration by some feature within a corridor that wildlife are unwilling or unable to cross.

                        Fragmentation is defined as the subdivision of once large and continuous tracts of
                        habitat into smaller patches. Fragmentation clearly has consequences on wildlife
                        communities. In general, fragmentation of habitat is viewed as detrimental when




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                       considering species composition and abundance and relative ecological stability of
                       animal populations, particularly for wildlife that require large areas of unfragmented
                       forest habitat. Construction of new highways may also interrupt riparian (stream or
                       river) corridors used by wildlife that provide important connections between wildlife
                       populations. While there are few unfragmented forest habitats in the Segment 4
                       Study Area, there are some larger, unfragmented forest blocks east of Route 1, north
                       of the Cary Medical Center.

                       New location highways create edges between forest and open land. Edge effects
                       include a range of beneficial and detrimental ecological consequences that are
                       associated with habitat diversity, the most common of which are increased predation
                       and parasitism. Indirect effects, such as increased songbird nest parasitism from
                       brown-headed cowbirds, can be expected where new roads cross through
                       agricultural areas. Predation on small mammals, amphibians, and songbirds may
                       also increase as opportunist predators such as, crows and raccoons, move into the
                       edges adjacent to the new highway.

                       Because undeveloped forest makes up the majority of wildlife habitat in the area, the
                       impacts presented in Table 5-3 (page 5-10) for undeveloped forest (range of
                       28-75 acres) gives a general sense of the magnitude of impacts to potential wildlife
                       habitat. These numbers do not, however, give an indication of the value of that
                       habitat.

                       The 3 alignment options in Segment 4 pass through a mixture of urban, farm, and
                       small patches of forest. The southern terminus of Alignment Options 4A and 4B,
                       south of Route 89, are within the developed area of Caribou, where there is little to
                       no wildlife habitat. All 3 alignment options pass through the section of land from
                       Route 1 to Route 161, which is mostly within active agricultural land and would have
                       no impact on wildlife habitat (Figure 5-14). In the area north of the Cary Medical
                       Center, between Route 1 and Route 89, Alignment Options 4A and 4B pass through a
                       mixture of forest and agricultural land. Minor habitat impact may occur in this
                       section of the alignments. Alignment Options 4A and 4C may fragment wildlife
                       habitat within wetlands they impact in the area between Route 1 and 161. The
                       No-Action Alternative would result in no impacts to wildlife habitat.


                       Mitigation

                       Seasonal timing of construction to avoid critical breeding or migratory periods for
                       wildlife may be used to minimize indirect effects on wildlife resources. Other
                       measures, such as habitat preservation and vegetation management, may mitigate
                       for impacts to wildlife habitat.

                       During the final design phase, MaineDOT will attempt to incorporate facilities for
                       wildlife crossing. The crossing will be designed as a combination between bridges
                       and culverts and be in accordance with the 2008 MaineDOT Waterway and Wildlife




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                        Crossing Policy and Design Guide for Aquatic Organisms, Wildlife Habitat, and Hydrologic
                        Connectivity. Safety measures in high moose crash areas will also be incorporated
                        including signs, lighting, and fencing to encourage moose to cross at specific
                        locations.



5.4.3.2   Fisheries

                        Direct impacts to fisheries resources may result from construction that places fill
                        material in water bodies or waterways and causes the loss of habitat. Fisheries
                        resources may also be indirectly affected by transportation improvements by increased
                        water runoff. Increased runoff may result in higher rates of erosion, in turn, leading to
                        decreased water quality through sedimentation and pollutant loading. Contaminants
                        from highway runoff may also affect water quality, fish reproduction, or fish mortality,
                        particularly in areas of heavy traffic.

                        Figure 5-14 shows the location of important fisheries with respect to the three
                        alignment options. The Proposed Action for Segment 4 would not require new
                        crossings of important fisheries waters. Alignment Options 4A and 4B cross only one
                        small perennial stream, Longfellow Brook. Alignment Option 4C does not cross any
                        perennial streams.



5.4.3.3   Significant Wildlife Habitat

                        As described in Section 4.4.3 (4-46), one state-regulated Significant Wildlife Habitat
                        (SWH) type occurs in the Segment 4 Study Area: Waterfowl and Wading Bird
                        Habitat (WWH). Direct and indirect impacts to these wildlife resources are described
                        below. Figure 5-14 shows the location of the Proposed Action with respect to
                        mapped WWHs.

                        Significant Wildlife Habitat (SWH) impacts were determined by overlaying the Preferred
                        Alignment onto mapped SWH. If the alignment intercepted any portion of a SWH, this
                        area was counted as an impact. Impacts to WWHs along the Proposed Action were based
                        on a width of 300 feet. As shown in Figure 5-14, no impacts to WWHs would result from
                        the any of the alignment options considered for the Route 1-161 Connector.

                        It is likely that vernal pools are also present along the Proposed Action; however, no
                        Significant Vernal Pools have been mapped by IF&W or MaineDOT. MaineDOT will
                        conduct a field survey and coordinate with IF&W before construction of the
                        Preferred Alternative to verify that no impacts to Significant Vernal Pools will occur.
                        Alignment Option 4B traverses agricultural fields which have no amphibian
                        dispersal habitat. Therefore it is unlikely that any Significant Vernal Pools occur
                        along Alignment Option 4B. None of the alignment options in Segment 4 would affect
                        SWH.




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5.4.3.4   Essential Fish Habitat

                       The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service
                       protects Essential Fish Habitat (EFH), as authorized under the 1996 Amendments to
                       the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
                       (50 CFR Part 600). Section 305(b)(2)-(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act outlines a
                       process for NOAA Fisheries Service to provide recommendations on projects during
                       the NEPA review process. State actions that may adversely affect EFH do not require
                       consultation under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but NOAA Fisheries Service must
                       provide conservation recommendations if an adverse effect to EFH is anticipated.
                       The Atlantic Salmon Group, part of the Maine Department of Marine Resources
                       (MDMR), has been authorized with protecting Atlantic salmon in the state of Maine.
                       MaineDOT will coordinate with NOAA and MDMR on Atlantic salmon habitat
                       impacts as Longfellow Brook is a tributary of the Aroostook River.

                       The 3 alignment options in Segment 4 would not impact areas designated EFH, as no
                       construction would occur in these areas.



5.4.4     Endangered, Threatened, and Species of
          Special Concern
                       Potential impacts to federally- and state- listed endangered, threatened, and species of
                       special concern are discussed in this section. No federally or state-listed plant species
                       occur in the Segment 4 Study Area.


5.4.4.1   Federal Endangered and Threatened Species
                       Based on consultation with USFWS, the Proposed Action in Segment 4 is not likely to
                       adversely affect federally-listed species. In a letter dated June 25, 2007
                       (see Appendix A), the USFWS determined that the no federally threatened or
                       endangered species under the jurisdiction of the USFWS are known to occur in the
                       Segment 4 project area, with the exception of occasional, transient bald eagles.
                       Accordingly, no further action is required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species
                       Act.



5.4.4.2   State Endangered and Threatened Species

                       Impacts to state-listed wildlife habitat were assessed by overlaying the right-of-way
                       footprint of the alignment options on GIS rare species location and habitat data
                       received from IF&W. No state-listed wildlife habitats occur in the Segment 4 Study
                       Area. As described in Section 4.4.4.3 (4-55) the extra-striped snaketail (Ophiogomphus
                       anomalus) is no longer listed as a Species of Special Concern.




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5.5       Atmospheric Environment
                        This section discusses impacts to air quality and the noise environment for the
                        Segment 4 Study Area. Unlike other resources, the air and noise analyses were done
                        on a segment basis as opposed to an alignment option basis, so the results of the
                        analysis are for all of the Segment 4 Study Area.



5.5.1     Air Quality
                        The purpose of the air quality analysis is to assess whether construction of the
                        Route 1-161 Connector could result in adverse regional or local air quality impacts.
                        The ACTS Study Area is currently designated as attainment for ozone and CO and
                        maintenance for PM10. Ozone is a pollutant of regional concern and is evaluated
                        based upon the change in the precursor emissions of VOCs and NOx. Carbon
                        monoxide is of localized concern and is evaluated based upon CO concentrations at
                        congested intersections. PM10 refers to particulate matter with an aerodynamic
                        diameter of 10 micrometers or smaller.

                        The air quality analysis includes a microscale analysis that evaluates
                        CO concentrations at one of the most congested intersections in the ACTS Study
                        Area, the intersection of Route 1 (Main Street), Route 163 (Maysville Street), and the
                        Parson Street Connector in Presque Isle. This analysis was completed for the
                        SDEIS corridors. The SDEIS corridors have been accepted, unchanged, as the
                        FEIS corridors; therefore, this analysis is applicable to the FEIS corridors. The air
                        quality analysis did not include a regional analysis of emissions because the change
                        in traffic data can be used as a surrogate to demonstrate that the Proposed Action
                        does not have the potential to result in adverse regional air quality impacts. The
                        Proposed Action will not result in a substantial change in traffic volumes or highway
                        speeds as compared to existing conditions. Therefore, the Proposed Action is not
                        expected to result in a substantial change in regional emissions.



5.5.1.1   Methodology
                        Future project-related emission calculations are based upon changes in traffic and
                        emission factor data. The traffic data include traffic volumes, VMT, highway
                        operations, and physical highway improvements. The emission factor data included
                        emission reduction programs, years of analysis, and highway speeds. The following
                        section reports the findings of the microscale and mesoscale analyses for the
                        Proposed Action. The SDEIS EVTR provides additional information on the analysis
                        methodology.




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5.5.1.2   Local Impacts

                       The microscale analysis described in Section 4.5.1.2 (page 4-58) was used to calculate
                       2030 No-Action Alternative and Proposed Action concentrations for CO and PM10,
                       and demonstrated that the future CO and PM10 concentrations would be well below
                       the NAAQS.

                       The worst case No-Action Alternative and Proposed Action CO concentrations were
                       calculated for the intersection of Route 1 (Main Street), Route 163 (Maysville Street),
                       and the Parson Street Connector in Presque Isle for each of the 4 SDEIS corridors. The
                       highest No-Action Alternative CO concentration for the 1-hour analysis was
                       calculated to be 5.90 ppm and for the 8-hour analysis was calculated to be 4.13 ppm.
                       The highest SDEIS Proposed Action CO concentrations for the 1-hour and 8-hour
                       analyses were 5.80 ppm and 4.06 ppm, respectively. With the Segment 4 Proposed
                       Action, in 2030, the rerouting of traffic from downtown Caribou would result in
                       lower levels of CO concentrations for both the 1-hour and 8-hour analyses, as
                       compared to the No-Action Alternative in 2030. These results of the microscale
                       analysis (Table 5-14, page 5-57) demonstrate that, under all future conditions, the
                       predicted CO concentrations are substantially below the NAQQS of 35 ppm (1 hour)
                       and 9 ppm (8-hour).

                       Table 5-14
                       Carbon Monoxide (CO) Microscale Results1 (2030)

                           Carbon Monoxide (CO)                           1-hour (ppm)2                               8-hour (ppm)3
                           Existing Conditions                                   5.10                                        3.57
                           No-Action Alternative                                 5.90                                        4.13
                           SDEIS Proposed Action                                 5.80                                        4.06
                       1     The concentrations are expressed in parts per million (ppm) and include a background concentration of 1.0 ppm for the
                             1-hour analysis and 0.7 ppm for the 8-hour analysis.
                       2     NAAQS = 35 ppm
                       3     NAAQS = 9 ppm
                       Note: CO concentrations were calculated for the intersection of Route 1, Route 163, and the Parson Street Connector in
                             Presque Isle.


                       The Proposed Action PM10 concentrations for each of the SDEIS corridors, and the
                       No-Action Alternative, are presented in Table 5-15 (page 5-58). All of these
                       concentrations are substantially below the NAAQS of 150 µg/m3 (24 hour) and
                       50 µg/m3 (annual). The EPA has not developed procedures for including PM10 in
                       transportation conformity. For purposes of this document, concentrations of PM10
                       have been estimated from existing monitoring data for use in comparing future
                       conditions.

                       Composite Corridors C1m and C2m both contain Segment 4. The microscale analysis
                       demonstrates that the study corridors would not result in violations of the CO and PM10
                       standards in the Study Area and that the Proposed Action complies with the CAAA.




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                       Table 5-15
                       Particulate Matter (PM10) Microscale Results1

                                                                      2005                                       2030
                                                                     Existing          No-Action
                               Period             NAAQS             Conditions         Alternative          Corridor C1m         Corridor C2m
                              24 – Hour             150                  73                   50                   53                  52

                               Annual                50                  16                   11                   12                  11
                         1    Micrograms per cubic meter
                         Note: PM10 concentrations were calculated for the intersection of Route 1, Route 163, and the Parson Street Connector in
                         Presque Isle.



5.5.1.3   Regional Impacts

                       The ACTS Study Area is in attainment for ozone. The mesoscale analysis demonstrates
                       that the Proposed Action would result in a substantial increase that could adversely
                       affect this designation. The mesoscale analysis estimates the future ACTS Study Area
                       VOCs, NOx, and PM10 emissions due to the changes in average daily traffic volume,
                       highway characteristics, and vehicle emission rates for each SDEIS corridor and for
                       Segment 7 – the Presque Isle Bypass.

                       Because of their proximity and overall similarities as communities, this FEIS assumes
                       that the air quality analysis completed for Segment 7 is representative of Segment 4.
                       This assumption is conservative as the Route 1-161 Connector would be 4.3 miles long
                       while the Presque Isle Bypass would be 10 miles long. Therefore, the Route 1-161
                       Connector would carry less traffic and produce less emissions than the Presque Isle
                       Bypass.


                       No-Action Alternative

                       With the No-Action Alternative, in 2030, VOC emissions were estimated to be
                       1,201.7 kg/day, NOx emissions were estimated to be 988.3 kg/day, and PM10
                       emissions were estimated to be 80.3 kg/day. In the future (2030) No-Action
                       Alternative, VOC, NOx, and PM10 emissions are lower than the 2005 Existing
                       Conditions emissions due to the implementation of emission control programs,
                       such as the Federal Motor Vehicle Emission Control Program.


                       Segment 7

                       The entire ACTS Study Area is in attainment for ozone. The mesoscale analysis
                       demonstrates that none of the Segment 7 Alignment Options (and by inference
                       Segment 4) would result in a substantial increase that could adversely affect this
                       designation. The mesoscale analysis estimates the future VOC, NOx, and PM10




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                       emissions in the entire Study Area due to the changes in average daily traffic volume,
                       highway characteristics, and vehicle emission rates.

                       The following summarizes the mesoscale analysis for the Segment 7 Alignment
                       Options and the results are presented in Table 5-16 (page 5-59). The Proposed Action
                       for Segment 4 is expected to have similar, if not less, air quality emissions as the
                       Segment 7 Alignment Options.

                       Under the 2030 Proposed Action condition for Segment 7 (assuming no other
                       corridor segments are constructed) VOC emissions were estimated to be
                       1,192.5 kg/day, NOx emissions were estimated to be 992.6 kg/day, and PM10
                       emissions were estimated to be 79.9 kg/day. This results in a decrease of 9.2 kg/day
                       in VOC emissions, an increase of 4.4 kg/day in NOx emissions, and a decrease of
                       0.4 kg/day in PM10 from the 2030 No-Action Alternative.

                       Table 5-16
                       Mesoscale Analysis Results, Segment 71 (Presque Isle Bypass)

                                                                                                                            2030
                                                                                           2005
                                                                                          Existing            No-Action            Presque Isle
                       Pollutant                                                         Conditions           Alternative            Bypass2

                       VOC                                                                 2,530.6              1,201.7              1,192.5
                       Difference from No-Action Alternative                                  ---                  ---                 -9.2

                       NOx                                                                 5,000.9               988.3                992.6
                       Difference from No-Action Alternative                                  ---                 ---                 +4.4

                       PM10                                                                 127.2                 80.3                 79.9
                       Difference from No-Action Alternative                                 ---                   ---                 -0.4
                       1      Kilograms Per Day
                       2      Alignment Option 2 was used as a typical representation for all of the Segment 7 Alignment Options


                       The air quality study demonstrates that Segment 7 (the Presque Isle Bypass) would
                       comply with the CAAA. The mesoscale analysis demonstrates that the proposed
                       bypass would result in slight increases of regional NOx emissions, as compared to
                       the No-Action Alternative. The results of this analysis are assumed to be similar to
                       the Segment 4 Alignment Option results.

                       The air quality study demonstrates that the Proposed Action (Route 1-161 Connector)
                       conforms to the CAAA and the State Implementation Plan because:

                           No new violation of the NAAQS will be created;

                           No increase in the frequency or severity of any existing violations will occur; and

                           No delay in attainment of any NAAQS will result.




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5.5.1.4   Air Toxics

                       In addition to the criteria air pollutants for which there are NAAQS, EPA also regulates
                       air toxics. Most air toxics originate from human sources, including on-road mobile
                       sources, non-road mobile sources (e.g., airplanes), area sources (e.g., dry cleaners) and
                       stationary sources (e.g., factories or refineries).

                       Regulatory Background

                       Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATs) are a subset of the 188 air toxics defined by the
                       Clean Air Act. The MSATs are compounds emitted from highway vehicles and
                       non-road equipment. Some toxic compounds are present in fuel and are emitted to the
                       air when the fuel evaporates or passes through the engine unburned. Other toxics are
                       emitted from the incomplete combustion of fuels or as secondary combustion products.
                       Metal air toxics also result from engine wear or from impurities in oil or gasoline.

                       The EPA is the lead federal agency responsible for administering the Clean Air Act and
                       has certain responsibilities regarding the health effects of MSATs. The EPA issued a
                       Final Rule on Controlling Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants from Mobile Sources.
                       (66 FR 17229, March 29, 2001). This rule was issued under the authority in Section 202
                       of the Clean Air Act. In its rule, EPA examined the impacts of existing and newly
                       promulgated mobile source control programs, including its reformulated gasoline
                       (RFG) program, its national low emission vehicle (NLEV) standards, its Tier 2 motor
                       vehicle emissions standards and gasoline sulfur control requirements, and its proposed
                       heavy duty engine and vehicle standards and on-highway diesel fuel sulfur control
                       requirements. Between 2000 and 2020, FHWA estimates that, even with a 64 percent
                       increase in VMT, these programs will reduce on-highway emissions of benzene,
                       formaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, and acetaldehyde by 57 percent to 65 percent, and will
                       reduce on-highway diesel PM emissions by 87 percent, as shown in Figure 5-15
                       (page 5-61).

                       As a result, EPA concluded that no further motor vehicle emissions standards or fuel
                       standards were necessary to further control MSATs. The agency is preparing another
                       rule under authority of CAA Section 202(l) that will address these issues and could
                       make adjustments to the full 21 and the primary 6 MSATs.

                       Technical shortcomings of emissions and dispersion models and uncertain science
                       with respect to health effects prevent meaningful or reliable estimates of MSAT
                       emissions and effects of transportation projects. However, even though reliable
                       methods do not exist to accurately estimate the health impacts of MSATs at the
                       project level, it is possible to qualitatively assess the levels of future MSAT emissions.
                       Although a qualitative analysis cannot identify and measure health impacts from
                       MSATs, it can give a basis for identifying and comparing the potential differences
                       among MSAT emissions, if any, from the various alternatives. The qualitative
                       assessment presented below is derived in part from a study conducted by the FHWA




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                       entitled A Methodology for Evaluating Mobile Source Air Toxic Emissions Among
                                                           19
                       Transportation Project Alternatives.



                       Figure 5-15
                       Mobile Source Air Toxics Emissions


                                                                U.S. Annual Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) vs.
                                 VMT
                                                               Mobile Source Air Toxics Emissions, 2000-2020                                                      Emissions
                          (trillions/year)                                                                                                                        (tons/year)
                                                 6
                                                                                                                                                                   200,000
                                                              Benzene (-57%)

                                                                                                                                       VMT (+64%)

                           DPM+DEOG (-87%)

                                                 3                                                                                                                 100,000
                           Formaldehyde (-65%)


                            Acetaldehyde (-62%)
                            1,3-Butadiene (-60%)

                           Acrolein (-63%)       0                                                                                                              -
                                                 2000                       2005                       2010                      2015                       2020
                        Notes: For on-road mobile sources. Emissions factors were generated using MOBILE6.2. MTBE proportion of market for oxygenates is held constant, at 50%.
                        Gasoline RVP and oxygenate content are held constant. VMT: Highway Statistics 2000, Table VM-2 for 2000, analysis assumes annual growth rate of 2.5%.
                        "DPM + DEOG" is based on MOBILE6.2-generated factors for elemental carbon, organic carbon and SO4 from diesel-powered vehicles, with the particle size cutoff
                        set at 10.0 microns.




                       Impacts
                       The forecasted AADT for the Segment 4 Alignment Options in 2030 is approximately
                       13,730 vehicles per day. Using EPA’s MOBILE6.2 emissions model, FHWA has
                       estimated that an AADT of 150,000 would be roughly equivalent to the Clean Air Act
                       definition of a major Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) source, i.e. 25 tons per year (tpy)
                       for all HAPs or 10 tpy for any single HAP. The AADTs for Segment 4 Alignment
                       Options are substantially below these levels.

                       The amount of MSATs emitted would be proportional to the vehicle miles traveled, or
                       VMT, assuming that other variables, such as fleet mix are the same for each alignment



                       19 www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/airtoxic/msatcompare/msatemissions.htm




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                       option. The VMT estimated for each of the alignment options is slightly higher than that
                       for the No-Action Alternative, because the additional capacity increases the efficiency of
                       the roadway and attracts rerouted trips from elsewhere in the transportation network.
                       This increase in VMT would lead to higher MSAT emissions for the corridor, along with
                       a corresponding decrease in MSAT emissions along the routes where equivalent VMT
                       reductions would occur. The emissions increase is offset somewhat by lower MSAT
                       emission rates due to increased speeds; according to EPA’s MOBILE6.2 emissions model,
                       emissions of all of the priority MSATs, except for diesel particulate matter, decrease as
                       speed increases. The extent to which these speed-related emissions decreases will offset
                       VMT-related emissions increases cannot be reliably projected due to the inherent
                       deficiencies of technical models.

                       Because the estimated VMT for each of the alignment options is nearly the same, there
                       would be no appreciable difference in overall MSAT emissions among the alignment
                       options. Regardless of the alignment option chosen, emissions will likely be lower than
                       present levels in the design year as a result of EPA’s national control programs that are
                       projected to reduce MSAT emissions by 57 to 87 percent between 2000 and 2020. Local
                       conditions may differ from these national projections in terms of fleet mix and
                       turnover, VMT growth rates, and local control measures. However, the magnitude of
                       the EPA-projected reductions is so great (even after accounting for VMT growth) that
                       MSAT emissions in the Segment 4 Study Area are likely to be lower in the future in all
                       cases.

                       The new location highway included in each alignment option would have the effect
                       of moving some traffic closer to some nearby homes and businesses, therefore, there
                       may be localized areas where ambient concentrations of MSATs could be higher for
                       certain corridors than the No-Action Alternative. However, these localized increases
                       would be offset by decreases in vehicle and truck volumes in downtown Caribou.
                       The magnitude and the duration of these potential increases compared to the
                       No-Action Alternative cannot be accurately quantified due to the inherent
                       deficiencies of current air quality models. The localized level of MSAT emissions for
                       the Build Alternatives could be higher relative to the No-Action Alternative because
                       the highway could be closer to receptors, but this could be offset due to increases in
                       speeds and reductions in congestion (which are associated with lower MSAT
                       emissions). MSATs will be lower in other locations when traffic shifts away from
                       them. On a regional basis, EPA’s vehicle and fuel regulations, coupled with fleet
                       turnover, will over time cause substantial reductions that, in almost all cases, will
                       cause region-wide MSAT levels to be significantly lower than today, regardless of
                       which alignment option is selected.



5.5.2    Noise Environment
                       The MaineDOT and FHWA noise impact assessment procedures for Type I projects were
                       used to evaluate existing and future highway noise levels and to determine potential
                       noise impacts. A Type I project is a highway project that results in the construction of a




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                       new highway or the physical alteration of an existing highway that substantially changes
                       either the horizontal or vertical alignment or increases the number of through travel
                       lanes. The Route 1-161 Connector conforms to this definition.

                       The following summarizes the change in future sound levels for Segment 4, for the
                       2030 analysis year. Sound levels were predicted at a distance of 50 feet from the
                       centerline of the highway and are compared to the FHWA and MaineDOT noise
                       criteria. MaineDOT considers a receptor location to be impacted by noise when
                       sound levels approach (within 1 dBA), are at, or exceed the Noise Abatement Criteria
                       (NAC) for a particular land use, or when future sound levels exceed existing sound
                       levels by 15 dBA or more. Most of the Segment 4 Study Area would be considered
                       Category B (picnic areas, recreation areas, playgrounds, active sports areas, parks,
                       residences, motels, hotels, churches, libraries, and hospitals) for which the NAC is
                       67 dBA.


5.5.2.1   Noise Modeling Methodology
                       The most common way to account for the time-varying nature of sound (duration) is
                       through the equivalent sound level measurement, referred to as Leq. The Leq
                       averages the background sound levels with short-term transient sound levels and
                       provides a uniform method for comparing sound levels that vary over time. The time
                       period used for highway noise analysis is typically one hour. The peak hour Leq
                       represents the noisiest hour of the day/night and usually occurs during peak periods
                       of automobile and truck traffic. FHWA guidelines and criteria require use of the
                       1-hour Leq for assessing highway noise impacts on different land uses.

                       The following general relationships exist between hourly traffic noise levels and
                       human perception:

                            A 1 or 2 dBA increase/decrease is not perceptible to the average person;

                            A 3 dBA increase/decrease is a doubling/halving of acoustic energy but is just
                            barely perceptible to the human ear; and

                            A 10 dBA increase/decrease is a tenfold increase/decrease in acoustic energy but
                            is perceived as a doubling/halving in loudness to the average person.

                       Recognizing that different areas are sensitive to noise in different ways, the FHWA
                                                                  20
                       has established Noise Abatement Criteria (NAC) according to land use to help
                       protect the public health and welfare from excessive vehicle traffic noise. The NAC
                                                                                                          21
                       are described in Table 5-17 ( page 5-64). MaineDOT follows the FHWA procedures
                       and considers a receptor location to be impacted by noise when sound levels
                       approach (within 1 dBA), are at, or exceed the NAC, or when future sound levels
                       exceed existing sound levels by 15 dBA or more. The NAC for residential areas is


                       20 Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise, Federal Highway Administration’s Title 23
                          Code of Federal Regulations, Part 772.
                       21 Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement Policy and Guidance, Federal Highway Administration, June 1995.




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                       67 dBA. MaineDOT considers a residential receptor location to be impacted by noise
                       when sound levels equal to or exceed 66 dBA.

                       The noise analysis identified typical worst-case receptor locations and predicted
                       existing and future sound levels. The existing and future sound levels were
                       calculated using the FHWA’s TNM. The modeling input data included peak hour
                       traffic volumes, vehicle mix, free-flow vehicle speeds, and highway and receptor
                       geometry. The sound level predictions were based on evening peak hour traffic,
                       which was assumed to be the loudest hour of the day. The noise analysis calculated
                       the change in sound levels that are anticipated, calculated sound levels for each
                       receptor location, and compared the results to the MaineDOT’s noise impact criteria.
                       The noise analysis also calculated the distance from the centerline of each corridor
                       within which sound levels may exceed or equal the impact levels.

                       Table 5-17
                       Noise Abatement Criteria (NAC) One-Hour, A-Weighted Sound Levels in
                       Decibels (dBA)

                         Activity
                        Category           Leq(h) 1                                Description of Activity Category

                            A           57 (Exterior)     Lands on which serenity and quiet are of extraordinary significance and serve an
                                                          important public need and where the preservation of those qualities is essential
                                                          if the area is to continue to serve its intended purposes.

                            B           67 (Exterior)     Picnic areas, recreation areas, playgrounds, active sports areas, parks,
                                                          residences, motels, hotels, schools, churches, libraries, and hospitals.

                            C           72 (Exterior)     Developed lands, properties, or activities not included in Categories A or B
                                                          above.

                            D                 --          Undeveloped lands

                            E           52 (Interior)     Residences, motels, hotels, public meeting rooms, schools, churches, libraries,
                                                          hospitals, and auditoriums.
                       1       Leq(h) is a energy-averaged, one-hour, A-weighted sound level in decibels (dBA).
                       Source: 23 CFR Part 772 - Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise.




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5.5.2.2   Impacts

                       Noise impacts are expected to occur when the future sound levels equal or exceed the
                       residential NAC of 66 dBA or when the future sound levels equal or exceed the existing
                       sound levels by 15 dBA.

                       The Proposed Action would result in sound level increases along the new alignment
                       up to a distance of where the NAC of 66 dBA is exceeded or where a 15 dBA increase
                       would occur. The distance to the 66 dBA noise contour, the residential noise impact
                       criteria, was calculated to be 75 feet from the new highway alignment centerline.
                       Noise monitoring was conducted in a rural area of Caribou along Route 205 to
                       establish the existing sound levels for Segment 4. These sound levels were found to
                       be 39 dBA (Leq). The noise impact contour line representing a 15-decibel increase
                       (54 dBA) was calculated to be 175 feet from the new highway alignment centerline.
                       Since the 54 dBA contour line is located further from the new highway alignment
                       centerline than the 66 dBA contour line, it was used to determine the number of
                       impacted residences. For this FEIS, the noise analysis assumes that noise levels at all
                       residences within this distance (175 feet from centerline) would exceed the
                       MaineDOT and FHWA noise criteria.

                       As shown in Table 5-18 (page 5-65), the number of affected residential receptors
                       ranges from 6 (Alignment Option 4B) to 11 (Alignment Option 4A).

                       Table 5-18
                       Noise Receptor Impacts

                                                                     Alignment                  Alignment   Alignment
                                                                     Option 4A                  Option 4B   Option 4C
                       Number of Residences
                                                                          11                       6           8
                       Exceeding Noise Criteria1
                       1        Based on a 15 dBA increase relative to existing sound levels.



5.5.2.2   Mitigation

                       The primary noise mitigation measures for highway noise are noise barriers.
                       MaineDOT and FHWA have established guidelines to determine if a noise barrier is
                       feasible and reasonable. The feasibility of noise abatement measures is based upon
                       engineering and acoustic attributes. The engineering considerations include existing
                       geometry, cross streets, driveways, safety issues, and other environmental impacts.
                       While the goal of the noise abatement measures is to provide significant acoustic
                       benefits of 10 dBA (or higher) of noise reduction at the first row of receptors, the
                       measures must be able to provide a minimum of 7 dBA of noise reduction to at least
                       one first-row receptor.




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                       The reasonableness of noise abatement measures is based upon their economic and
                       social aspects. The costs of the noise abatement measures must be reasonable for the
                       number of receptors receiving a benefit and the amount of noise reduction being
                       achieved. The local community being affected must also support the implementation
                       of a noise abatement measure.

                       MaineDOT has developed a Cost Effectiveness Index (CEI) to evaluate the cost
                       effectiveness of a proposed noise barrier. The CEI is an index used to determine
                       barriers' reasonableness based on cost. It is calculated based upon the cost per unit
                       protected. All receivers beyond the right-of-way attaining at least a 5-dBA reduction
                                                                                                             22
                       are considered protected. According to the MaineDOT Highway Traffic Noise Policy,
                       the overall cost of abatement shall be equal to or less than $20,000 per impacted
                       receiver.

                       The noise analysis evaluated the impacted residential areas for the Proposed Action
                       to determine if noise barriers were feasible and reasonable. The feasibility of a noise
                       barrier was based upon whether or not a noise barrier could achieve a 7-dBA or
                       greater noise reduction for the receptor location. If a noise barrier was found to be
                       feasible, then the cost per benefited receptor was calculated to determine if the noise
                       barrier meets the MaineDOT criterion of $20,000 per benefited receptor. The costs of
                       potential noise barriers were calculated assuming a 14-foot height, varying lengths,
                       and 16 dollars per square foot. The estimate cost per linear foot is $224.

                       The height of the noise barriers can range depending upon specific
                       roadway/receptor location geometry. A 14-foot height was assumed for the noise
                       barriers because truck exhaust stacks are typically 12 feet in height and some
                       additional height is needed to achieve the MaineDOT minimal noise barrier
                       reduction criteria of 7 dBA. The lengths of the noise barriers were estimated based
                       upon FHWA’s guidance,23 which states that noise barriers should be extended
                       beyond the last receptor location to be protected by 4 times the perpendicular
                       distance from the receptor location to the barrier. For example, an individual receptor
                       location that was approximately 100 feet from the barrier was assumed to have a
                       minimum barrier length of 900 feet, 100 feet for the property and 4 times the
                       perpendicular distance to the barrier on each direction, or 800 feet. For areas with
                       multiple receptor locations, the distance between the receptor locations was
                       measured and 800 feet was added to it. The noise barrier lengths are presented in
                       Table 5-19 (page 5-67).

                       Segment 4 has 3 locations where noise impacts were calculated to occur (Table 5-19,
                       page 5-67). The estimated lengths for noise barriers to reduce sound levels ranged
                       from 1,000 to 2,000 feet. The corresponding number of impacted receptors and costs



                       22 Highway Traffic Noise Policy, State of Maine Department of Transportation, May 1, 2008.
                       23 Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement Policy and Guidance, Page 25, dated June 1995




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                          per receptor ranged from 2 to 6 and $156,000 to $53,000 respectively. This exceeds the
                          MaineDOT criteria, so noise barriers are not recommended for Segment 4. Although
                          the construction of noise barriers is feasible, they are not reasonable because they
                          exceed the MaineDOT cost criteria.

             Table 5-19
             Noise Receptor Mitigation Analysis

              Alignment           Location                                      Number of    Noise Barrier    Estimated
              Option                                                            Impacted    Recommended      Noise Barrier
                                                                                Receptors                     Length (ft)
              Option 4A
                                  Route 1 and Ouellette Road                        5            N1             1,200
                                  Route 1 and Midland Street                        4            N1             1,000
                                  Route 161 and Ogren Road                          2            N1             1,000
              Option 4B
                                  Route 1 and Midland Street                       4             N1             1,000
                                  Route 161                                        2             N1             1,400
              Option 4C
                                  Route 1 and Ouellette Road                        6            N1             2,000
                                  Route 1 and Ogren Road                            2            N1             1,000
               1          Noise Barriers were found to not be cost effective.




5.6      Construction Impacts and Mitigation
                          Construction impacts associated with a transportation project are those impacts that
                          are temporary or short term, and that occur only during construction. This section
                          provides an overview of construction impacts, compares the extent of impacts that
                          potentially may occur with each element of the Proposed Action, and outlines
                          mitigation measures that would be employed to reduce short-term impacts.



5.6.1    Water Quality and Wetlands
                          Activities associated with construction may require grading and blasting of bedrock
                          material in some areas. This construction may result in nearly complete reworking
                          and/or removal of both surficial and subsoils along the proposed alignment.
                          Exposure of previously vegetated soils could potentially lead to erosion and runoff
                          into adjacent streams or other water bodies if not properly controlled.

                          Erosion and sedimentation control plans will be required from the contractor prior to
                          commencement of work that will include ground disturbance. The Stormwater
                          Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) required by NPDES must identify potential
                          source areas and describe what measures will be employed as erosion control,
                          sedimentation control, temporary stormwater management measures, dust control,




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                       and winter stabilization measures. In sensitive areas, multiple BMPs must be used.
                       These BMPs must include source erosion control in addition to sedimentation
                       control. Erosion control plans must address in-water work at any stream crossing
                       location.



5.6.2    Wildlife
                       Human presence during construction and the associated construction noise may
                       temporarily displace some species of wildlife from the edge of the right-of-way. The
                       noise associated with construction may also mask territorial vocalizations of bird
                       species near the highway, interfering, at least temporarily, with breeding.
                       Amphibians, which breed more commonly at dusk or at night, are less likely to be
                       indirectly affected. Construction in forested areas may result in the mortality of
                       amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals within the work zone, and the loss of
                       nesting birds (if construction is initiated during nesting season).



5.6.3    Air Quality
                       Air quality in the Study Area would not be affected by construction due to the
                       transitory nature of highway construction and the confined construction area.
                       Emissions produced by the operation of construction machinery (NOx, sulfur oxides,
                       CO, and particulate matter) are short term.

                       Fugitive dust emissions are proportional to the amount of earth moved and the
                       length of travel on unpaved roads. Mitigating fugitive dust emissions involves
                       curbing or eliminating its generation. Mitigation measures that may be used in
                       highway construction include wetting and stabilization to suppress dust generation,
                       cleaning paved highways, and scheduling construction to minimize the amount and
                       duration of exposed earth.



5.6.4    Noise Impacts
                       Noise impacts from construction activities are closely related to the phase of
                       construction and the type and placement of construction equipment. Table 5-20
                       (page 5-70) shows a variety of construction equipment that may be deployed at
                       various stages of highway construction. Typical noise levels from these equipment
                       are also shown.

                       Construction activities may result in a substantial, but temporary, noise impact to
                       receptors at various locations adjacent to construction. Noise levels may vary depending
                       on the type and number of pieces of equipment active at any one time. It is expected that
                       noise levels exceeding 67 decibels could occur up to 500 feet away from construction
                       activities. In general, construction noise would be restricted to daylight hours.




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5.6.5    Traffic Management and Control
                       Construction of the Segment 4 Proposed Action may create the potential for
                       increased construction truck traffic on secondary roads. Retail establishments near
                       the Route 1/Route 89 intersection may also experience some temporary loss of
                       business due to the difficulty of access. Traffic delays and other types of congestion
                       are also largely unavoidable but would be short term and localized in nature.



5.6.6    Utilities
                       Utilities within the Route 1-161 Connector include overhead electric
                       transmission/distribution lines and substations, underground water lines, natural gas
                       pipelines, underground sanitary sewers, and aerial and buried telephone and TV cable
                       lines.
                       Construction of the Proposed Action may require relocating above-ground or subsurface
                       utility lines within or adjacent to existing highways and crossing under or over existing
                       utilities along new highway alignment segments. During subsequent phases of the
                       design, MaineDOT will coordinate with utility companies to investigate measures to
                       avoid and minimize impacts to utilities and to utility customers.




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                       Table 5-20
                       Typical Construction Equipment Noise Emissions

                       Equipment Type                                                   Noise Levels (dBA at 50 ft)
                       Earthmoving
                          Front Loader                                                               84
                          Backhoe                                                                    84
                          Bulldozer                                                                  88
                          Tractor                                                                    84
                          Scraper                                                                    90
                          Grader                                                                     83
                          Truck                                                                      90
                          Paver                                                                      84
                          Vibrator                                                                   76
                       Materials Handling
                          Concrete Mixer                                                             83
                          Crane                                                                      82
                          Derrick                                                                    88
                       Stationary
                          Pump                                                                       71
                          Generator                                                                  81
                          Compressor                                                                 89
                       Impact Devices
                          Pile Driver                                                                91
                          Pavement Breaker                                                           89
                          Pneumatic Tool                                                             80
                       Source: Highway Construction Noise: Environmental Assessment and Abatement, Volume IV: User’s Manual. Vanderbilt
                               University, Nashville, TN. Report No. VTR-81-3, 1981.




5.7      Secondary and Cumulative Impacts
                       This section examines the potential secondary and cumulative impacts of the Proposed
                       Action. Secondary impacts are defined as reasonably foreseeable consequences to the
                       environment that are caused by a proposed action, but that would occur either in the
                       future (later in time) or in the vicinity of (not at the same location as) the direct impacts.
                       The baseline for evaluating potential secondary impacts is the existing and reasonably
                       foreseeable expected environment, which is described in the No-Action Alternative
                       (Section 2.4.1, page 2-10). Cumulative impacts are defined as “the impact on the
                       environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to
                       other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what
                                                                       24
                       agency or person undertakes such actions.” The following sections discuss the



                       24 40 CFR Section 1508.7




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                       secondary impacts of the Proposed Action and the cumulative impacts of the Proposed
                       Action.

                       Section 5.7.1 (page 5-71) presents a general discussion of secondary impacts and a
                       specific analysis of the potential secondary effects associated with the Proposed Action.

                       Section 5.7.2 (page 5-73) presents a detailed analysis of cumulative effects of the
                       Proposed Action, including the methodology and assumptions used for the analysis.
                                                       25
                       As described in CEQ guidance a 3-step process was followed for cumulative impact
                       assessment:

                            Scoping
                                  Identify significant cumulative effects issues;

                                  Establish the geographic scope for the analysis;
                                  Establish the time frame for the analysis; and
                                  Identify other actions affecting resources, ecosystems, and human
                                  communities.
                            Describing the Affected Environment
                            Determining the Environmental Consequences



5.7.1    Secondary Impacts
                       Secondary impacts are likely to occur as a result of the circulation of construction
                       spending within the Study Area, improved access to employment opportunities,
                       improved mobility of goods and people, and changes in property values and land
                       uses. Construction spending may result in broad, short-term economic benefits
                       throughout the region. Highway improvements may improve access to employment
                       opportunities, changes in property values and land use along existing highways, and
                       improved access to Route 161. The Proposed Action may result in secondary impacts
                       to land use, as it may need to have intersections with local roads, which could result
                       in commercial or residential development in lands currently used for forestry or
                       agriculture. The proposed highway segment would have controlled access, except at
                       the intersection of the Route 1 -161 Connector and Route 1 (north of the Cary Medical
                       Center).

                       Segment 4 provides a new connection between Route 1 and Route 161 north of
                       Caribou. As described in Section 5.2.2 (page 5-4), this would reduce travel time
                       between Route 1 and Route 161, allowing traffic between Route 1 and the St. John
                       Valley to bypass downtown Caribou. This segment would divert approximately 22 to


                       25 Council on Environmental Quality. January 1997.Considering Cumulative Effects Under the National Environmental
                          Policy Act.




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                       25 percent of traffic from downtown Caribou. The new connector would be a
                       controlled-access highway and would not create new road frontage for development.

                       Removing traffic from downtown Caribou could affect revenues of some businesses
                       that depend on pass-by traffic. Accurately quantifying the economic impacts of the
                       diversion of traffic from the downtown or village center due to a bypass is difficult
                       without having detailed property-specific data on revenues, customers, and activity
                       levels. This type of data is typically not collected (or shared) by most businesses or
                       local government agencies. In addition, whether or not a through traveler would get
                       off the connector and come into the downtown/village core, for example to buy fuel
                       or food, is dependent on many other variables and cannot be accurately quantified
                       without additional data.

                       Segment 4 has the potential to induce new commercial development, likely to consist
                       of travel-related services, such as gas stations, convenience stores, or fast food
                       outlets, at the intersections of Segment 4 with Route 1 in Caribou and with Route 161
                       south of the Caribou Country Club. The land at the west (Route 161) intersection is
                       zoned Residential-3 and is mostly active agricultural land, with some residences.
                       There is unlikely to be further development at this intersection because it is remote
                       from a populated area and businesses would depend on pass-by traffic.

                       The most likely area for new commercial development is the intersection of the new
                       Route 1-161 Connector and Route 1 (Van Buren Road) in Caribou. Land at this
                       location is zoned Residential-3, which allows uses such as hotels, restaurants, grocery
                       stores, and shopping centers. Undeveloped parcels are present at this location.
                       Adjacent land uses include the Cary Medical Center, businesses, and residences. No
                       fast-food outlets currently exist in Caribou. Secondary development at this location
                       could include a gas station/convenience store and a fast-food outlet. However, there
                       is a relatively large amount of commercial development located directly south of this
                       location which is likely to absorb any demand generated by the highway
                       improvements, therefore, no change in use is estimated to occur in the reasonably
                       foreseeable future.

                       The extent of commercial development at this location is difficult to quantify and
                       cannot be reasonably foreseen under current economic conditions. New development
                       might represent a localized shift as existing downtown businesses that are highly
                       dependent on through traffic move to the new location to take advantage of the
                       change in traffic patterns, or new businesses might be started. In addition to local
                       zoning, commercial development is also dependent on the availability of suitable
                       land free of environmental and other development constraints and that is owned by
                       parties willing to sell or develop their property.




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                       If the maximum foreseeable secondary development were to occur (2 gas stations
                       and 1 fast-food outlet) the secondary impacts associated with Segment 4 would
                       include:

                            Conversion of (at most) 3 acres of upland used for farming to developed land
                            (parking lots and buildings);

                            Loss of (at most) 3 acres of prime farmland soils; and

                            Minor and localized increased runoff during precipitation events.



5.7.2    Cumulative Impacts

                       Cumulative impacts are defined as “the impact on the environment which results
                       from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and
                       reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency or person
                                                 26
                       undertakes such actions.” Cumulative impacts need to be analyzed in terms of the
                       specific resource or ecosystem being impacted. The list of environmental effects
                       focuses on those impacts and affected resources that are meaningful. For this FEIS,
                       the parameters of the cumulative impact study are:

                            Impacts are assessed for the Presque Isle-Caribou area, including the towns of
                            Mars Hill, Westfield, Easton, Mapleton, Washburn, Fort Fairfield, and Limestone.

                            The time frame extends from the recent past (approximately 1950) to the
                            foreseeable future (2030).

                            Actions included in the analysis include recent developments:

                                  Closing Loring Air Force Base (1994);
                                  Redeveloping the Loring Commerce Centre (1990 to 2030); and
                                  Construction of a roadway connection between Route 1 and Route 161 in
                                  Caribou (the Proposed Action).

                            Actions also include planned or likely future developments or actions:

                                  Expanding agricultural processing facilities;
                                  Expanding tourist-related activities; and
                                  Relocate Route 1 east of downtown Presque Isle.

                            Resources of concern include:

                                  Transportation;
                                  Land Use;
                                  Agriculture;


                       26 40 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1508.7 Cumulative Impact.




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                                   Cultural Resources;
                                   Economic Impacts;
                                   Forests;
                                   Aquatic Resources;
                                   Wetlands;
                                   Wildlife (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and fisheries);
                                   Endangered and Threatened Species; and
                                   Air Quality and Noise.

                        The purpose of the analysis of cumulative impacts is to determine whether the
                        Proposed Action (the Route 1-161 Connector), considered with other foreseeable
                        impacts, will result in significant degradation of a resource, loss of biological
                        diversity, or significant social or economic effects that would not result from the
                        Proposed Action considered separately. As the analysis summarized in Table 5-25
                        (page 5-86) shows, none of the elements of the Proposed Action being considered in
                        the FEIS are likely to result in cumulative impacts that would differ substantially
                        from the effects of past actions or other likely future actions and would not result in
                        substantial damage to, or loss of, an environmental resource.


5.7.2.1   Methodology
                                           27                           28
                        EPA guidance and CEQ guidance establish methods for analyzing cumulative
                        effects of a proposed action. The preparation of this analysis also relied on the
                                                                   29
                        FHWA’s Interim Guidance memorandum. These documents establish a process
                        which includes identifying a study area, time frame, past actions and their effects,
                        and reasonably foreseeable future actions and their effects.


                        Study Area

                        The Segment 4 Study Area identified for the analysis of cumulative impacts is
                        defined as approximately 295,000 acres, consisting of the Presque Isle-Caribou area in
                        the eastern portion of the ACTS Study Area. The majority of the population of the
                        ACTS Study Area (39,115) lives in the Presque Isle-Caribou area. The Segment 4 Study
                        Area for the analysis of cumulative impacts is the most densely developed in the
                        ACTS Study Area and includes the primary economic and business centers of the
                        region, within a matrix of dispersed farms and residences. The smaller towns of
                        Mars Hill, Westfield, Easton, Mapleton, Washburn, Fort Fairfield, and Limestone are
                        included in the Study Area and provide community services, libraries, churches, gas



                        27 United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Federal Activities. May 1999. Consideration of Cumulative
                           Impacts in EPA Review of NEPA Documents. EPA 315-R-99-002.
                        28 Council on Environmental Quality. January 1997. Considering Cumulative Effects Under the National Environmental
                           Policy Act.
                        29 United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. January 31, 2003. Interim Guidance:
                           Questions and Answers Regarding Indirect and Cumulative Impact Considerations in the NEPA Process.




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                       stations, small grocery stores, and cafes. Presque Isle and Caribou are small cities that
                       serve as the shopping, business, and employment center for this region. These cities
                       have dense population centers and provide a full range of community resources and
                       services, including educational, medical, civic, recreational, and commercial
                       businesses. Presque Isle, which contains the regional commercial airport, hospital,
                       several hotels, and a regional mall, is the major business and tourist center for the
                       outlying smaller communities and residents. Loring Commerce Centre, at the former
                       Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, is viewed as the region’s focus for industrial
                       development.


                       Time Frame

                       The time frame for the analysis of past actions was identified by the chronology of
                       events in the historic context of the Study Area that have had a major effect on
                       population growth, land use, and environmental resources. Although there has been
                       continuous development and land use change in the Segment 4 Study Area since the
                       first European settlement, events that have shaped the existing environment and
                       contributed to major changes in land use and the environment began in the early
                       1950s. The time frame for this analysis extends forward to 2030 which is the end of
                       the planning period for the ACTS.


                       Information Sources

                       Information used to evaluate past and future actions, trends, and impacts was
                       obtained from a range of sources. The primary documents consulted for this analysis
                       include:

                           United States Geological Survey maps, 1951-1953 (obtained from the University
                           of New Hampshire);

                           The Cultural Resources documents prepared as part of the SDEIS and
                           summarized in the SDEIS EVTR;

                           The economic and environmental impact analyses prepared as part of the SDEIS
                           (SDEIS ECTR and SDEIS EVTR);

                           City of Caribou Comprehensive Plan, January 2004;

                           City of Presque Isle Comprehensive Plan, draft, 2004;

                           Woodland Comprehensive Plan, March 1997;

                           Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Areas within the Jurisdiction of the LURC, MDOC,
                           March 1997; and




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                           Information provided by City and Town Managers and the NMDC.



5.7.2.2   Past and Future Actions and Trends

                       Past and future actions within the Segment 4 Study Area in this time frame that have
                       affected, or have the potential to affect the transportation environment, land use and
                       economics, the physical and biological environment, and the atmospheric
                       environment are listed in Table 5-21 (pages 5-77). The effects of these past actions are
                       reflected in the existing environmental conditions within the Segment 4 Study Area.
                       Generally, these actions have resulted in increased vehicular traffic, the loss of
                       undeveloped land, changes in farmland, and increased air quality emissions. The
                       effects of future actions are reflected in the No-Action Alternative.



5.7.2.3   Cumulative Environmental Effects

                       The analysis of cumulative effects takes into account, for each resource, the Proposed
                       Action’s direct and secondary impacts, and cumulative impacts for that resource
                       (Table 5-22, Page 5-79). This analysis is intended to determine if the Proposed Action,
                       considered in context, will result in unacceptable significant adverse impacts.


                       Transportation

                       The Proposed Action (the Route 1-161 Connector in Caribou) will have a
                       beneficial effect on the highway transportation environment. The Proposed
                       Action will improve mobility to and around Caribou, provide better access to
                       growth nodes in this community, enhance traffic flow by removing trucks from
                       congested downtown areas, and improve safety. Specifically, the Proposed
                       Action will save over 310 vehicle-hours of travel per day, reduce average daily
                       traffic in downtown Caribou by 3,060 vehicles (22 percent), and reduce average
                       daily truck traffic in downtown Caribou by 280 trucks (23 percent).

                       The effect of past and foreseeable future actions on the highway transportation
                       environment will also be beneficial. Construction of Segment 7, Presque Isle
                       Bypass will save over 540 vehicle-hours of travel per day, reduce average daily
                       traffic in downtown Presque Isle by 4,320 vehicles (31 percent), and reduce
                       average daily truck traffic in downtown Presque Isle by 540 trucks (54 percent).
                       Additionally, construction of projects on MaineDOT’s 6-year plan will provide
                       long-term benefit to existing infrastructure.




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Table 5-21
Past and Foreseeable Future Actions and Trends

                                         Approximate
Action                                      Date       Location                       Environmental Effects
Construct Loring Air Force Base             1950s      Limestone                      Loss of undeveloped land and wetlands
                                                                                      Increased stormwater runoff, resulting in surface and groundwater
                                                                                      contaminations
                                                                                      Increased population both on base and regionally
                                                                                      Increased employment resulting in positive economic benefits
Agricultural Industry – Introduced          1950s      Segment 4 Study Area,          Positive economic and employment effects
frozen food processing – increased                     Caribou,                       Converted fallow land to potato fields. Loss of some wildlife habitat
land in potato production,                             Presque Isle                   Increased agricultural runoff, adversely affecting water quality
constructed processing facilities
Agricultural Industry                      Ongoing     ACTS Study Area                Loss of employment, loss of population, and economic downturn for the
Trend: Since 1974, number of farms in                                                 region
Aroostook County has decreased from                                                   Loss of historic structures due to lack of maintenance
1,561 to 889; acres in cultivation has
decreased from 448,090 to 324,887;
acres planted in potatoes has
decreased from 78,000 (1994) to
63,500 (2004).
Forestry Industry                          Ongoing     Segment 4 Study Area           Construction of forest roads resulting in forest fragmentation, and
                                                                                      increased discharge of silt/sediment to waterways
                                                                                      Clearcutting resulting in decrease in forest land, forest
                                                                                      fragmentation, and increase in early-successional community types
Commercial Development                     Ongoing     Route 1 between Caribou        Increased traffic congestion and air pollution emissions from
                                                       and Presque Isle, south of     vehicles
                                                       Presque Isle                   Loss of undeveloped land and agricultural land
                                                       Presque Isle Industrial Park   Increased stormwater runoff
                                                       Aroostook Valley Mall
Close Loring Air Force Base                 1994       Limestone                      Loss of employment, loss of population, and economic downturn for
                                                                                      region
                                                                                      Environmental benefits: improved air quality (decreased emissions
                                                                                      of air pollutants from aircraft) and improved surface/groundwater
                                                                                      quality through remediation of hazardous material
                                                                                      discharge/disposal sites




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Table 5-21 (continued)
Past and Foreseeable Future Actions and Trends

                                       Approximate
Action                                    Date         Location            Environmental Effects

Commercial Redevelopment,                Ongoing       Limestone           Increased employment and increased tax revenues
Loring Commerce Center

Create Aroostook National Wildlife        2000         Limestone           Improved protection of wildlife habitat and improved protection
Refuge at former Loring AFB                                                of rare plant and animal species

Intermodal Transportation Center          2010         Presque Isle        Increased employment and increased tax revenues

Residential Subdivision                   2005         Presque Isle        Loss of undeveloped (some former agricultural) land
Development

Commercial/Retail Development            Ongoing       Presque Isle        Improved employment and increased tax revenues. In some
and redevelopment (including the                                           locations previously developed areas will be beneficially
                                                       Caribou Pine Tree
Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque                                           redeveloped. In other areas, development may result in loss of
                                                       District
Isle)                                                                      undeveloped land, and an increase in stormwater runoff.

Transportation Projects in                2010         Various             Minor impacts to wetlands, and water quality during
MaineDOT’s 6-year plan                                                     construction. Long-term benefits of maintaining existing
                                                                           infrastructure.

Presque Isle Bypass – Segment 7           2010         Presque Isle        Minor loss of wetlands, farmland, and structures
of the ACTS
                                                                           Increased runoff and contribution of highway runoff to
                                                                           waterways.

                                                                           Noise levels would decrease in some areas, and increase in
                                                                           others.

                                                                           Long-term benefit of improved transportation system, i.e.,
                                                                           reduced VHT, reduced VMT, elimination of functional conflicts in
                                                                           village centers, and improved regional mobility

Aroostook County Transportation      Unknown - based   I-95 to Madawaska   Increase in employment, gross regional product (by $45 million),
Study (ACTS) – Complete north-        upon funding                         and population.
south corridor: Would increase          availability
                                                                           Loss of undeveloped land, agricultural land, historic resources,
employment by 1,100 jobs, would
                                                                           wetlands, and residences
increase population by 1,300 (2%)
                                                                           Increased runoff and contribution of highway runoff to
                                                                           waterways.

                                                                           Noise levels would decrease in some areas, and increase in
                                                                           others.

                                                                           Reduced highway congestion, reduced VHT, reduced VMT,
                                                                           elimination of functional conflicts in village centers, and
                                                                           improved regional mobility




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                                   Land Use

                                   The Segment 4 Study Area for the cumulative impact analysis contains
                                   approximately 295,000 acres of land. This area is dominated by farmland and to a
                                   lesser extent undeveloped forest. Areas developed for residential, commercial,
                                   community, and government use are found mostly in the city centers of Caribou
                                   and Presque Isle and along the major roadway corridors of Route 1, Route 161,
                                   Route 164, and Route 10.

                                   As discussed in the SDEIS ECTR, land use in the Segment 4 Study Area, is not
                                   expected to change substantially in the No-Action Alternative, as the population
                                   would continue to decline and age, and there would be no increased demand for
                                   land. Existing and planned industrial parks, such as Loring Commerce Centre,
                                   Pine Tree Area in Caribou, and the Presque Isle Industrial Park, would fill out
                                   undeveloped space over the 25-year planning horizon.

                                   The Proposed Action, in combination with construction of Segment 7, the
                                   Presque Isle Bypass, would have a negligible effect on land use, resulting in
                                   minor losses of agricultural, commercial, residential, and undeveloped land (see
                                   Table 5-22, page 5-79). Considered together, the cumulative changes in land use
                                   as a direct effect of these actions would be minor with respect to the total
                                   amounts of Segment 4 Study Area lands in each category.

                                   The cumulative impact of past and foreseeable actions, without the construction
                                   of the Proposed Action, will be modest. Commercial, retail, and residential
                                   development will continue, although likely at a slower pace than would be
                                   anticipated with the Proposed Action. The effect of these developments will be
                                   modest losses of wetland, forest, and farmland, likely in areas adjacent to
                                   existing roadways.

Table 5-22
Cumulative Impacts to Land (Acres)

                                                                                                                            Undeveloped
                                     Farmland         Commercial         Community         Government         Residential     Forest      Total Land3
Proposed Action1                          66              33.3                 0                1.1                 11.2       75.2         230.1
Segment 7, Presque Isle
Bypass2                                 218               55.1                 0                 0                  55.3       21.0         461.1
Total                                   284               88.4                 0                1.1                 66.5       96.2         691.2
1       Based on Segment 4, Alignment Option 4B
2       Based on Segment 7, Alignment Option 7
3       Individual columns do not add up to Total Land because of unreported land uses, such as existing roadways




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                       Farmland Land

                       Farmland within the Segment 4 Study Area is one the dominant land uses. Active
                       farmland (which includes regulated farmland soils as well as less valuable soils)
                       varies year-by-year and depends on economic conditions.

                       Comparison of topographic maps (1951-1953) with 2003 aerial photographs for the
                       Study Area shows that there has been virtually no change in the amount of land in
                       agricultural use, or in the boundaries of forested land patches within or adjacent to
                       farm land. While a given field may not be in production in all years, the overall
                       amount and distribution of farmland has not changed substantially as a result of past
                       actions. According to the USDA Agriculture Census (1994-1997), actively farmed
                       land in Aroostook County decreased from 448,090 to 324,887 acres during this
                       period, a decrease of 27 percent. There are approximately 157,000 acres of
                       agricultural land within the Segment 4 Study Area

                       Segment 4 and Segment 7 combined would result in a loss of approximately
                       284 acres of farmland. This loss equals 0.18 percent of the approximately
                       157,000 acres of farmland in the Segment 4 Study Area. Future residential,
                       commercial and retail development in the Segment 4 Study area will likely result in
                       the loss of additional farmland as farmland is developed. However, the cumulative
                       effect of these actions, combined with the Proposed Action would be negligible with
                       respect to the total amounts of farmland in the Segment 4 Study Area and would not
                       affect agricultural production, particularly in light of the trend to decreasing
                       amounts of agricultural land actually in production.

                       The cumulative impact of past and foreseeable actions, without the construction
                       of the Proposed Action, will be modest. Commercial, retail, and residential
                       development will continue, although likely at a slower pace than would be
                       anticipated with the Proposed Action. The effect of these developments will be
                       modest losses of farmland, likely in areas adjacent to existing roadways.


                       Cultural Resources

                       No quantitative data are available to assess the cumulative effects of past actions on
                       cultural resources (historic properties, archaeological resources, and traditional cultural
                       properties) within the Segment 4 Study Area, as no formal survey of cultural resources
                       was available. Research conducted for this FEIS to establish the historical context for
                       cultural resources indicates that a substantial number of historic buildings in downtown
                       Caribou, downtown Presque Isle, and in smaller towns and farmsteads dispersed
                       throughout the Segment 4 Study Area have been lost over the past century and continue
                       to be demolished today as a result of lack of maintenance, redevelopment, or changes in
                       the tourist and agricultural industries. It is likely that archaeological and traditional
                       cultural resources have also been altered or lost as a result of agriculture, road




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                       construction, or development, because of a lack of knowledge and absence of regulatory
                       protection.

                       The study conducted for this FEIS focused on the areas proximate to the study
                       corridors, and did not analyze the Segment 4 Study Area as a whole. For this limited
                       area, the study found 2 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
                       and identified 19 additional properties and 2 additional districts that were
                       determined to be eligible for the National Register, for a total of 21 historic
                       properties.

                       The Proposed Action would not result in an adverse effect on any historic or
                       archeological properties. Neither would the Proposed Action have an impact on
                       Traditional Cultural Properties (TCP).

                       Future actions in the Segment 4 Study Area may affect historic and/or archeological
                       resources, however these impacts would likely be modest given the slow rate of
                       development in the Segment 4 Study Area. Additionally, a majority of the National
                       Register listed- or eligible-properties identified in the Segment 4 Study Area were in
                       downtown Presque Isle. It is unlikely that historic buildings in downtown Presque Isle
                       would be demolished for future development.


                       Economic and Social

                       The Proposed Action would have a beneficial effect on the economic and social resources
                       of the Segment 4 Study Area, by increasing construction spending, increasing
                       employment, and improving mobility and access to jobs, as documented in Section 4.3
                       (page 4-6) of this FEIS and in the SDEIS ECTR. The cumulative effect of the Proposed
                       Action would have a beneficial economic effect broadly distributed throughout the
                       Segment 4 Study Area.

                       The cumulative impact of past and foreseeable actions, without the construction
                       of the Proposed Action, will be modest. Commercial, retail, and residential
                       development will continue, although likely at a slower pace than would be
                       anticipated with the Proposed Action. These actions will have a beneficial effect
                       on the Segment 4 Study Area through increased construction spending and
                       employment.


                       Forests

                       Estimates of the total amount of forested land within the Segment 4 Study Area are
                       based on land use mapping, which indicates that there are currently approximately
                       130,000 acres of forest in the Study Area. Comparison of topographic maps
                       (1951-1953) with 2003 aerial photographs for the Segment 4 Study Area shows that
                       there has been virtually no change in the amount of forest land, or in the boundaries
                       of forested land patches within or adjacent to farm land. This land has been actively




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                       harvested for timber for 200 years, with the peak of forest cutting coinciding with the
                       construction of the railroads in the mid- to late-1800s. As a result of this continuous
                       cycle of forest harvest, forested areas within the Study Area are crossed by a large
                       number of logging roads, and forests on both public and private lands are in various
                       stages of succession following cutting. These activities have resulted in a mosaic of
                       habitat types that support a wide range of bird and mammal species.

                       Segment 4 and Segment 7 construction would result in the loss of approximately
                       96.2 acres of forested land, largely in small strips intertwined with agricultural fields.
                       This negligible loss (0.07 percent), in combination with potential secondary
                       development in non-forested areas, will not affect the ability of forests in the
                       Segment 4 Study Area to provide habitat for wildlife, nor would it affect the forest
                       industry. Future residential, commercial, and retail development will likely result in
                       the loss of additional forested areas. Given the slow rate of development in the Study
                       Area (particularly given the forecasted continued population loss), loss of forested
                       areas due to development would reasonably be expected to be minor.

                       The cumulative effects of the Proposed Action and other future developments would
                       not affect the ability of forests in the Study Area to provide habitat for wildlife, nor
                       would it affect the forest industry.


                       Aquatic Resources

                       Aquatic resources within the Study Area include groundwater (which is the source
                       for several public and all private water supplies) and surface water (lakes, ponds,
                       rivers, and streams), some of which provide public water supplies. There are
                       numerous streams, lakes, and ponds within the Segment 4 Study Area, including the
                       Aroostook River, Hardwood Brook, Longfellow Brook, Merritt Brook, Caribou Mill
                       Pond, and Echo Lake. These aquatic resources have been altered in various ways since
                       the time that Europeans settled this region. Streams have been filled and placed into
                       culverts for road crossings; bridges have been constructed across rivers; wastewater
                       from many cities and towns is discharged to the rivers; and agricultural runoff has
                       discharged silt and nutrients, affecting river and stream channels and water quality in
                       waterbodies and waterways.

                       Segment 7 would involve the construction of a major new highway over the
                       Aroostook River. However, construction of Segment 4 (the Route 1-161 Connector)
                       and Segment 7, designed and constructed with appropriate mitigation measures to
                       protect water quality, would have minor effects to aquatic resources. It would avoid
                       direct or indirect adverse impacts to lakes and ponds. The Route 1-161 Connector
                       would require crossing 1 stream, and could potentially affect aquatic habitat and
                       water quality within this stream, in the absence of mitigation measures. The
                       Route 1-161 Connector would require constructing new highway segments within
                       the Aroostook River watershed, designated as “at-risk”. This waterbody has been
                       determined to be at risk of significant degradation and to be highly sensitive to the




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                                                                                                30
                       discharge of pollutants. Studies of the Aroostook River have identified the primary
                       pollutant of concern to be phosphorus from agricultural operations. Phosphorus is
                       not a major constituent of highway runoff. With the mitigation measures identified in
                       this FEIS and future design stages, the Route 1-161 Connector is not anticipated to
                       contribute to further degradation of water quality.

                       The Route 1-161 Connector, in combination with the foreseeable future actions
                       including the Presque Isle Bypass, would require crossing a total of 11 streams and
                       rivers (Table 5-23, page 5-83), with construction in one at-risk watersheds. With the
                       appropriate mitigation measures, these actions would not be anticipated to
                       cumulatively result in significant adverse impacts to water resources.

                       Table 5-23
                       Cumulative Impacts to Perennial Streams (Number of New Crossings)

                                                                                Perennial Streams
                       Proposed Action 1                                                  1
                       Segment 72                                                         10
                       1       Based on Segment 4, Alignment Option 4B
                       2       Based on Segment 7, Alignment Option 7


                       Wetlands

                       Wetlands within the Study Area have undoubtedly been lost since European settlement
                       in the region, particularly along the major rivers. Agricultural regions have lost wetlands
                       that were historically drained to create cropland or filled to construct railroads and roads.
                       Because of the low density of development within the Study Area, it is likely that the loss
                       of wetlands historically has been less than in other portions of Maine. Comparison of the
                       1951-1953 topographic maps with 2003 aerial photographs and wetland mapping
                       indicates that there has been almost no loss of wetlands over the last 50 years.

                       The Proposed Action, in conjunction with the Presque Isle Bypass would result in the
                       loss of approximately 25.4 acres of wetlands (0.07 percent of the Study Area total), as
                       shown in Table 5-24 (page 5-84). The wetland impact related to Segment 4 alone is
                       substantially less than this (0.01 percent). This analysis presumes that the very limited
                       potential secondary development that could potentially result from the Route 1-161
                       Connector would be constructed in upland areas and would not create additional
                       wetland loss. This wetland loss (over approximately 13.7 miles of new highway and
                       1.0 mile of upgraded highway) is minor.




                       30 Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Land and Water Quality. September 2004. Aroostook River
                          Modeling Report.




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                       Table 5-24
                       Cumulative Wetland Impacts (Acres)

                                                                                              Wetland Type
                                                           Marsh                   Forested                   Shrub       Total Impact
                       Segment 41                             2.2                      1.2                         0.0         3.4
                       Segment 72                             1.1                     18.0                         2.9        22.0
                       Total                                  3.3                     19.2                         2.9        25.4
                       Total Within Segment 4
                       Study Area                           1,744                    23,442                       4,435     34,2103
                       Percent Study Area
                       Wetlands Impacted by
                       Proposed Action                       0.19                     0.08                        0.06        0.07
                       1       Based on Segment 4, Alignment Option 4B
                       2       Based on Segment 7, Alignment Option 7
                       3       Wetlands types do not add up to the Total Impact due to unreported wetland types


                       Endangered and Threatened Species
                       The Proposed Action would not have an adverse effect on any federal or state-listed
                       endangered or threatened species and therefore would not, in combination with past and
                       reasonably foreseeable future actions, have a cumulative adverse effect on these species.


                       Air Quality
                       The Proposed Action would be in compliance with the NAAQS. It would not result
                       in any exceedances of air quality standards and would not affect the attainment
                       status of the Study Area. The Proposed Action, in combination with other future
                       developments in the Project Area, would result in slight increases of regional VOCs,
                       NOx, and PM10 emissions as compared to past and future actions. However, these
                       minor increases would not affect the attainment status of the Study Area and would
                       not result in violations of the CO and PM10 standards.


                       Noise
                       No quantitative data are available to assess the cumulative effects of past actions on the
                       noise environment within the Study Area. Noise generators have existed within the
                       Study Area for over a century and include airports, railroads, trucks and other vehicles
                       on roads, agricultural equipment, forest clearing equipment, mills, sawmills, and other
                       processing plants. Noise experienced by residents in any particular area depends on
                       the type of surrounding development and proximity to a road, railroad, or airport.
                       Noise levels have changed over the study time frame as the type and level of
                       operations at Loring Air Force Base, the Presque Isle Airport, and the Caribou Airport
                       have changed (as either more active, or in the case or Loring Air Force Base, less
                       active); as railroad operations have ceased in many locations; and as highway truck
                       traffic has increased. The noise levels predicted at any location along the Route 1-161




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                       Connector Segment 4 Alignment Options for the future (2030) year reflect this history
                       of noise change, as well as the noise levels anticipated to result from foreseeable future
                       actions.

                       The Proposed Action would increase noise levels in areas near Segment 4 and
                       Segment 7, but would decrease noise levels on Route 1 south of Presque Isle and in
                       downtown Presque Isle and Caribou by removing vehicular and truck traffic. The
                                                                             31
                       Proposed Action would result in adverse noise impacts at 6 residences along the
                       Segment 4 Corridor.

                       The Proposed Action would similarly increase noise levels where there are
                       residential areas adjacent to new highway corridor segments, and would decrease
                       noise levels along some existing highway segments where traffic levels would
                       decrease.



5.7.3    Summary of Cumulative Impacts
                       A summary of cumulative impacts for the Proposed Action is presented in Table 5-25
                       (page 5-86).




                       31    MaineDOT defines adverse noise impacts as future sound levels equal or exceed the residential NAC of 66 dBA or
                            when the future sound levels equal or exceed the existing sound levels by 15 dBA)




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Table 5-25
Summary of Cumulative Impacts

                  Effects of                                        Potential Effects of                             Effects of
Resource          Past Actions                                      Future Actions                                   Current Study

Land Use          Loss of undeveloped land; beneficial re-use       Loss of undeveloped land; beneficial re-use      Minor losses of developed and undeveloped
                  of developed properties; and relocations of       of developed properties.                         land. Relocation of two residences, one
                  residences and businesses for highway                                                              commercial business, and one industrial
                  improvements.                                                                                      business.

Farmland          Loss of farmland.                                 Loss of farmland.                                Loss of 32 acres of farmland, with additional
                                                                                                                     losses of designated agricultural soils.

Social            Unknown.                                          Unknown.                                         Likely to improve neighborhood cohesion
                                                                                                                     through diversion of truck traffic. Would
                                                                                                                     reduce conflicts between local and through
                                                                                                                     traffic. Would improve pedestrian safety.

Economic          Positive economic effects due to increases in     Positive economic effects due to increases       Proposed Action would provide local and
                  employment, tax revenues; minor adverse           in employment, tax revenues and mobility.        regional economic benefits. Positive
                  effects due to loss of land (due to right of                                                       economic effect from reduced travel times for
                  way takings) from tax rolls. The loss of Loring                                                    trucking industry. Minor negative economic
                  AFB resulted in negative economic impacts.                                                         effects due to reductions in tax revenues.
                                                                                                                     Potential negative effect to businesses due to
                                                                                                                     loss of drive by business. This loss unlikely
                                                                                                                     due to downtown business mix.



Groundwater       Increased demand on groundwater                   Increased demand on groundwater                  No effect on groundwater resources. Roadway
                  resources.                                        resources.                                       construction will incorporate appropriate
                                                                                                                     mitigation measures to protect groundwater
                                                                                                                     quality.

Wetlands          Losses of wetland resources, generally not        Minor losses of wetland resources, likely to     Losses of wetland resources. As prudent and
                  mitigated by the construction of                  be mitigated with resulting “no net loss” of     feasible, wetland losses will be mitigated to
                  compensatory wetlands.                            wetland functions.                               strive for no anticipated loss of wetland
                                                                                                                     functions within the Study Area watersheds.

Wildlife          Losses of wildlife habitat.                       Losses of wildlife habitat.                      Losses of wildlife habitat.

Rare species      Unknown.                                          Unlikely to affect rare species, threatened or   Will not affect rare species.
                                                                    endangered species. Could affect critical
                                                                    habitat of the endangered Atlantic salmon
                                                                    or threatened Canada lynx.

Air quality       Unlikely to affect air quality.                   Unlikely to affect air quality.                  Will not affect air quality.




5.8            Summary of Study Commitments
                                 This section summarizes the Study Commitments for the Proposed Action. Following
                                 completion of NEPA compliance, and when funding is available, preliminary and
                                 final design of the Proposed Action will be undertaken. Design alternatives to avoid




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                       and minimize impacts will be developed, and specific mitigation measures
                       developed during final design for unavoidable impacts.



   5.8.1       Land Use
                       Preliminary and final design of the Route 1-161 Connector will look at avoidance and
                       minimization of losses of cultivated and developed land. When adjacent properties
                       are impacted or additional right-of-way must be acquired to accommodate highway
                       construction, impacts to property would be minimized to the greatest extent
                       practicable. Landowners would be compensated at fair market value for any
                       property and/or structures, and property owners would be assisted with relocation
                       costs for homes and businesses that are displaced in accordance with the Federal
                       Uniform Relocation Act.



   5.8.2       Farmlands
                       During the later design stages, impacts to farmland would be avoided wherever
                       feasible by avoiding bisecting farms and restricting access to farms. Unavoidable
                       impacts would be mitigated. Potential mitigation for indirect impacts of highways on
                       active farms may include measures that mitigate for loss of access or reduce
                       highway-related water pollution. Where feasible, construction will provide access to
                       farm fields over or under the highway as part of the mitigation. Improvements to
                       highway stormwater runoff quality may reduce indirect impacts to agricultural
                       production. More specific studies will be completed at a later phase of the design and
                       permitting to assess impacts to farms and farm operations and to identify specific
                       mitigation measures that could be implemented.



   5.8.3       Cultural Resources (Historical and
               Archaeological)
                       There will be no known archeological resources affected by the Proposed Action. The
                       MHPC, in a letter dated June 5, 2007 (Appendix A-4), recommended a finding “that there
                       will be no archeological properties affected by the proposed undertaking.”

                                                                                                                                     32
                       Based on cultural resources field surveys completed by MaineDOT in 2006 and 2007,
                       impact to National Register-eligible or listed properties is not anticipated for the
                       Preferred Alternative (Alignment Option 4B).

                       If it is determined during final design and permitting that historical properties or
                       archeological resources will be affected, MaineDOT will consult with FHWA, SHPO, and



                       32 Aroostook County Transportation Study, Section 106 Determination of Effects Report, January 2006 and Spiess, A.
                          2007.




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                       MHPC to determine a course of action and mitigation measures for potential harm.
                       These mitigation measures may include the replacement of removed features,
                       vegetative screening, and intensive documentation of buildings and properties for
                       above-ground historical resources.



   5.8.4       Public Parks, Recreation Areas, and
               Wildlife Refuges
                       Alignment Option 4B would require crossing a snowmobile trail on the
                       Interconnected Trail System, ITS 83, between Route 161 and Route 1. This trail is
                       privately owned and not a Section 4(f) Property. MaineDOT will work with the City
                       of Caribou and local snowmobile clubs to relocate trail crossings on private lands,
                       ensuring adequate sight distances and trail continuity.

                       Alignment Option 4B requires the acquisition of the Otter Street parking area at the
                       southern terminus of the BAT, which is owned by the City of Caribou. MaineDOT
                       will coordinate with the City of Caribou to ensure that access to the trail is minimally
                       interrupted and to create a plan to relocate the parking area. MaineDOT, in
                       consultation with the MBPL and the City of Caribou, will develop a plan to provide
                       only brief interruptions in access to the BAT during construction



   5.8.5       Surface and Groundwater Quality
                       Construction of Alignment Option 4B will include measures to collect and store
                       stormwater to minimize changes to the peak runoff rate. Stormwater collection
                       systems will be designed to reduce the potential for erosion, and provide treatment
                       by including Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as vegetated swales and
                       sedimentation basins. This project will be designed in compliance with MaineDOT’s
                       Best Management Practices for Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual (the BMP
                       manual).

                       Erosion and sedimentation control plans are required for work that will include
                       ground disturbance. Plans must identify potential source areas and describe what
                       measures will be employed as erosion control, sedimentation control, temporary
                       stormwater management measures, dust control, and winter stabilization measures.
                       In sensitive areas, multiple BMPs must be used and must include source erosion
                       control in addition to sedimentation control. Erosion control plans must address
                       in-water work at any stream crossing location.



   5.8.6       Aquatic Habitats
                       Potential mitigation measures include minimization of impact at Alignment




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                       Option 4B’s single stream crossing of Longfellow Brook. These minimization
                       measures may include:

                           Crossing the stream at a narrow point;

                           Using a bridge or open bottom culvert, rather than a closed box culvert, to
                           maintain channel substrate, flow, and bank characteristics; and

                           Using retaining walls rather than fill slopes to minimize impact areas.

                       Additional mitigation measures may also include bank and channel restoration to
                       provide naturally vegetated banks and increase channel habitat. These measures will
                       also provide stabilization to reduce erosion and sedimentation. Crossing structures
                       would be designed to minimize impact in accordance with MaineDOT’s 2004 Fish
                       Passage Policy and Design Guide.

                       The design and construction of Alignment Option 4B in the vicinity of the stream
                       crossing will include measures to reduce indirect water quality impacts from
                       highway runoff. Highway design will include measures to reduce alteration to
                       stream hydrology and BMPs to treat stormwater runoff water quality and control
                       flow velocities. Construction will include measures described in the MaineDOT BMP
                       Manual for sensitive waterbodies, which includes the use of source control measures
                       to reduce erosion, in addition to sedimentation control to keep sediment out of
                       waterbodies. Greater levels of protection, and consequently more stringent
                       mitigation measures to reduce direct and indirect impacts on aquatic habitats, water
                       quality, and water temperatures, may be undertaken for corridors that affect
                       sensitive or salmon rivers.



   5.8.7       Wetlands
                       The 1990 MOA between the EPA and the USACE prescribes a sequential approach to
                       wetland mitigation. This MOA requires that efforts be made to avoid and minimize
                       wetland impacts before undertaking compensatory mitigation efforts such as
                       restoration, creation, or enhancement.

                       The USACE has issued rules for compensatory wetland mitigation (33 CFR Parts 325
                       and 332, 10 April 2008). This new guidance emphasizes a watershed approach to
                       selecting compensatory mitigation measures and locations. Four types of
                       compensatory mitigation are recognized:

                               Restoring previously existing wetlands or other aquatic sites (this should be
                               considered the first option);
                               Enhancing an existing aquatic site’s functions and values;
                               Creating a new wetland or aquatic site; or




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                                 Preserving land that serves to protect aquatic resources by providing a buffer
                                 or corridor between aquatic resources.

                       Wetland mitigation banks, where available, and in-lieu fee programs, where
                       available, may also be used to mitigate for unavoidable impacts. The regulations
                       recognize that mitigation may be located on-site (at or adjacent to the impact site) or
                       off-site (at another location in the same watershed).

                       In setting mitigation requirements for Section 404 permits, USACE considers
                       watershed needs, mix of habitat types, and compatibility with adjacent land use. The
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                       USACE New England District has published guidance on mitigation ratios that
                       generally requires 3:1 compensation for restoration or creation, and 15:1
                       compensation for preservation. These ratios are greater than Maine DEP’s ratios,
                       which require 1:1 compensation for impacts to wetlands that are not of special
                       significance, 2:1 for wetlands of special significance, and 8:1 for preservation.
                       Based on this guidance, Alignment Option 4B would require a minimum of 6.8 acres
                       of compensatory wetlands, consisting of 2.4 acres of forested wetland and 4.4 acres of
                       emergent wetland.

                       There are several adequate suitable areas for wetland mitigation. 12 sites have been
                       identified as preliminary suitable wetland mitigation areas in Caribou. The proposed
                       mitigation sites were chosen due to their direct hydrologic connections to existing
                       streams and wetlands and proximity to the wetland resources that would be altered
                       by Alignment Option 4B. The proposed mitigation sites would provide a large
                       mitigation area designed to replace the functions and values that would be primarily
                       affected by construction of Alignment Option 4B. All mitigation areas would be
                       permanently protected from future impact by conservation restriction or by transfer
                       of ownership to an appropriate land conservation agency.



   5.8.8       Wildlife and Fisheries
                       Mitigation measures for impacts to wildlife and fisheries will include a variety of
                       structural measures intended to minimize wildlife mortality and mitigate for
                       fragmentation effects of a new highway facility, as well as measures to protect water
                       quality and habitat quality.

                       Protection of water quality will include measures to improve the quality of
                       stormwater runoff as described in the MaineDOT’s Best Management Practices for
                       Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual (the BMP Manual).

                       Constructing wildlife crossings can mitigate impacts to wildlife and fisheries from
                       highways. Wildlife crossing structures can be incorporated into the design of new


                       33 Addendum to New England District Compensatory Mitigation Guidance: Compensation for Impacted Aquatic Resource
                           Functions. December 18, 2007.




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                           highways as well as retrofit along upgraded road segments. Seasonal timing of
                           construction to avoid critical breeding or migratory periods for wildlife can also
                           minimize indirect effects.

                           The Preferred Alternative requires a new crossing of Longfellow Brook. Impacts to
                           fisheries resources within Longfellow Brook would be mitigated by providing
                           unobstructed passageways between suitable aquatic habitats and enhancing existing
                           habitat. This new crossing (a bridge or open bottom culvert) will be designed in
                           accordance with MaineDOT’s 2004 Fish Passage Policy and Design Guide. As with
                           wildlife resources, indirect impacts to fisheries can also be minimized by seasonal
                           timing of construction to avoid critical spawning periods. Construction impacts to
                           aquatic resources can be minimized by the appropriate use of BMPs.



   5.8.9       Air Quality
                           Adverse effects to air quality would only occur during construction of Alignment
                           Option 4B. Air quality may be affected during construction by fugitive dust
                           emissions, which are proportional to the amount of earth moved and the length of
                           travel on unpaved roads. Any impacts from fugitive dust particles would be of short
                           duration and localized. Mitigating fugitive dust emissions involves curbing or
                           eliminating its generation. Mitigation measures that may be used in highway
                           construction include wetting and stabilization to suppress dust generation, cleaning
                           paved highways, and scheduling construction to minimize the amount and duration
                           of exposed earth.



   5.8.10      Noise
                           The analysis conducted for this FEIS demonstrates (Section 5.5.2, page 5-62) that
                           noise barriers are not reasonable because they would exceed MaineDOT’s cost
                           criteria.

                           Construction activities may result in a substantial, but temporary, noise impact to
                           receptors at various locations adjacent to the proposed construction areas. Noise
                           levels may vary depending on the type and number of pieces of equipment active at
                           any one time. It is expected that noise levels exceeding 67 decibels could occur up to
                           500 feet away from construction activities. However, the vast majority of the
                           construction will occur outside of populated areas, well beyond this 500-foot
                           threshold. In populated areas, construction would be restricted to daylight hours.



   5.8.11      Utilities
                           Construction of Alignment Option 4B may require relocating above-ground or
                           subsurface utility lines within or adjacent to existing highways, and crossing under




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                       or over existing utilities along new highway alignments. During subsequent phases
                       of the study, coordination with the utility companies will be undertaken to evaluate
                       measures to avoid and minimize impacts to utilities and to utility customers.



5.9      Summary of Impacts
                       This FEIS provides an analysis of the potential impacts associated with the
                       construction of Alignment Option 4B (the Route 1-161 Connector) in Caribou.
                       Various resource categories were evaluated within the physical and biological
                       environment. Impacts to the atmospheric environment, transportation, cultural
                       resources, and the socioeconomic environment were also evaluated. As determined
                       in Chapter 3, Alignment Option 4B would meet the Purpose and Need of the project,
                       the USACE basic project purpose, and result in the least amount of impacts. Of the
                       alignment options considered, Alignment Option 4B results in the least amount of
                       impact to many key environmental resources, including wetlands, farmland,
                       structures, and stream crossings. For other resources, including undeveloped forest,
                       the impact of Alignment Option 4B is intermediate between Alignment Option 4A
                       and 4C.

                       Alignment Option 4B would not result in substantial impacts to air quality, noise,
                       rare species habitat, significant wildlife habitat, fisheries (including Essential Fish
                       Habitat), floodplains, historic properties, Section 4(f) resources, or archaeological
                       resources.

                       Impacts to land use were based on a right-of-way width of 300 feet for the new
                       alignment highway. As shown in Table 5-26 (page 5-93), Alignment Option 4B
                       would impact 3.4 acres of wetland, 32 acres of farmland, and 54.1 acres of
                       undeveloped forest. This alignment option would require 1 new stream crossing, and
                       impact 5 structures (2 residential, 1 commercial, 1 industrial, and 1 government).
                       Alignment Option 4B would impact 19 acres of Prime Farmland Soils and 52 acres of
                       Farmland of Statewide Importance.

                       Hazardous materials are present in the Segment 4 Study Area. Alignment Option 4B
                       may encounter contamination at its crossing of Route 1 and at the crossing of the
                       MaineDOT salt storage area at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 89
                       (see Figure 5-5).

                       One snowmobile trail (ITS-83) would be crossed by Alignment Option 4B. ITS-83 is a
                       maintained club trail on private lands (see Figure 4-6).




                       5-92    Environmental Consequences and Mitigation
FHWA-ME-EIS-02-1-F
Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou



Table 5-26
Summary of Key Environmental Impacts

                                 Aquatic Resources                                  Other Environmental Resources
                                               Number of
                        Wetland                 Stream           Farmland                                                        Historic            Section 4(f)
              Cost  4   Impacts1               Crossings         Impacts2          Undeveloped             Structures           Properties            Parcels
Alternative ($ Million) (acres)                                   (acres)            Forest                Impacted2            Affected2            Affected2,3
                                                     1


 Alignment
                    31            15.5               1                66                  75                    10                    1                    1
 Option 4A
Alignment
Option 4B                                                                                                       4
                    24         3.4 acres             1                32                 54.1                                         0                    0
(Preferred                                                                                               (1 residential)
Alternative)
 Alignment
                    14             7.9               0                62                  28                     5                    2                    2
 Option 4C
1 Based on width of a two-lane highway, rounded to nearest tenth of an acre.
2 Based on the full ROW Width.
3 Includes Historic Property Impacts
4 2007 Construction Cost Estimate.
5 The TSM Alternative was not developed because this alternative does not meet the project purpose. As a result, costs and project-related natural and social
environmental impacts are unknown.




                                     5-93        Environmental Consequences and Mitigation
FHWA-ME-EIS-02-1-F
Final Environmental Impact Statement
Tier 1 – Aroostook County Transportation Study
Tier 2 - Route 1 – 161 Connector, Caribou

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                       5-94   Environmental Consequences and Mitigation

				
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