Baltimore-Washington Rail Intermodal Facility HIA
- Columbia, Maryland
- National Center for Healthy Housing
This HIA will determine the impacts of the proposed Baltimore-Washington Rail Intermodal Facility at several potential sites in the region. The project will inform the site selection and authorization of the proposed facility. Each of the sites under consideration for the facility would transfer freight cargo between trains and trucks. The facility poses potential health concerns that include, for example, air and noise pollution and substantial increases in local truck traffic leading to safety risks. Its construction and operation may also benefit health by creating local jobs and generating community tax revenue that supports services essential to health. The communities surrounding the potential sites have a higher proportion of people of color than the rest of the state and suffer from disproportionate rates of infant mortality, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes-related deaths.
The potential impacts of siting the facility at each of the alternate sites will be assessed under the environmental impact assessment process mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA review will guide the final site selection and project design decisions, which are planned for 2013. Decision makers include the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration.
NCHH will conduct the HIA in parallel with the NEPA process, and will use the findings and recommendations of the HIA to improve both the consideration of health and the implementation of specific mitigation measures to protect health in the final agency decision. NCHH is partnering with key decision-makers and stakeholders, including the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to conduct the HIA.
Supported by The Kresge Foundation.
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