PROPOSED BERKELEY/ALBANY FERRY TERMINAL
DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT/STATEMENT (EIR/S) RELEASED
With the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (DEIR/S) for the proposed new Berkeley/Albany ferry terminal, WETA launched the beginning of a 45 day comment period to receive public input on the document. The DEIR/S was prepared over the last year in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and includes an evaluation of environmental impacts of four potential ferry terminal sites. Two sites are in the Berkeley Marina (one near the Double Tree dock and another just south of the Berkeley pier). A third site is near the Albany/Berkeley city boundary at the foot of Gilman Street and a fourth is in Albany at the foot of Buchanan Street. The possibility of new ferry service in Berkeley or Albany has generated considerable public interest since the new ferry service was identified as one of several new routes which could provide cost effective transit service in the July 2003 WTA Implementation and Operations Plan. The environmental process got underway in March 2007 with scoping meetings in Albany and Berkeley. Nearly 300 individual comments were received throughout the scoping period, when WETA (then WTA) initiated the environmental process in March 2007. The DEIR/S considers all public comments and other issues raised during the scoping period. Shirley Douglas, WETA’s Community Relations Manager, hopes the proposed project continues to spark public interest and support and adds that “we welcome comments on any issue in the DEIR/S during the public comment period, which runs from October 31 through December 31, 2008.”
For more information on submitting public comments please visit www.watertransit.org.
WETA will be holding a public hearing to solicit comments on the Draft EIR/S on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 7 to 9 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, California 94709 (near the Downtown Berkeley BART station). Members of the public, residents, business owners, media and anyone interested in providing input on the DEIR/S are encouraged to attend the hearing, which will provide an overview of the project, potential terminal locations, construction and operation impacts and proposed mitigation measures. Copies of the DEIR/S can be downloaded here or from WETA’s website at www.watertransit.org and can also be found at the following libraries:
Berkeley Central Library
2090 Kittredge at Shattuck
Berkeley, CA 94704
1247 Marin Ave
Albany, CA 94706
The WETA Board of Directors is expected to consider comments received during the public comment period and adopt a locally preferred alternative for the project at its meeting on January 8, 2009.
Additionally, a slide show presentation about the proposed ferry is available here.