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South Coast Rail makes it through another checkpoint



South Coast Rail has moved on to the next step in bringing service from the South Coast to Boston.

According to MassDOT, the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued a Certificate on the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) for Phase 1 of South Coast Rail on June 15, 2018. Secretary Matthew Beaton stated that the FSEIR adequately and properly complies with MEPA and its implementing regulations. The Certificate, which is now posted on the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Environmental Monitor website, reviews the project’s history and lays out requirements for Phase 1 of South Coast Rail service. As described in the FSEIR, Phase 1 service will provide a one-seat ride from Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford to Boston using the Middleborough Secondary (currently a freight line) to connect South Coast passengers with service on the existing Middleborough/Lakeville commuter rail line.

The Certificate lists the comments on the FSEIR and the Secretary notes his appreciation of the ongoing participation of, and comments provided by, stakeholders during the environmental review of South Coast Rail Phase 1 and the Full Build project. The Certificate remarks on the extensive public process associated with the project and the need for MassDOT to continue its commitment to stakeholder outreach and public input as it proceeds through permitting of Phase 1 and through design and permitting of the Full Build. MassDOT remains committed to completing design and permitting of the Full Build project.

The 14-page document outlines many requirements MassDOT will be required to follow during permitting and construction. The South Coast Rail team will be reviewing the Certificate in detail over the next few weeks and preparing to meet with southeastern Massachusetts cities and towns to advance the project.

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