NOTICE OF RECORD OF DECISION AND INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS
This Notice is related to Federal assistance provided in response to the Presidentially-declared disaster, Superstorm Sandy. This notice shall satisfy procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by the Connecticut Department of Housing.
REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS
On or about November 12, 2019 the CT DOH will submit a request to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the release of Federal funds under the Community Development Block Grant Program Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) pursuant to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-2, approved January 29, 2013) for the National Disaster Resilience (NDR) and Rebuild by Design (RBD) programs, to undertake a project known as Resilient Bridgeport for the purpose of lowering the risk of acute and chronic flooding, providing dry egress during emergencies, and educating the public about flood risks and sea level rise in the South End of Bridgeport, Connecticut. CT DOH expects to fund the project using approximately $42 million in CDBG-NDR funds and $10 million in CDBG-DR RBD funds.
The Proposed Action consists of three projects located within the South End of Bridgeport, Connecticut: the RBD Pilot Project at the Marina Village public housing site, a Flood Risk Reduction Project on the east side of the South End, and a Resilience Center. The Proposed Action would be in the South End of Bridgeport, which experienced the most significant impacts during Superstorm Sandy and has also faced acute challenges in other storms (e.g., Hurricane Irene) and chronic flooding challenges posed by an aged and combined stormwater sewer system. The intended combined effect of these project components is to protect residents, property, and infrastructure assets from future storm surge events and chronic flooding during high-frequency rainfall events by lowering the risk of acute and chronic flooding; protect life and public health by providing dry egress during emergencies; and to educate the public about flood risks and sea level rise. The Proposed Action projects are summarized as follows:
- The RBD Pilot Project at the Marina Village public housing/Windward apartments’ site will include a new road, Johnson Street extension, raised to provide dry egress and a new 2.5-acre stormwater park with a wet well pump and force main connection into Cedar Creek outfall.
- The Flood Risk Reduction Project within the eastern South End will consist of a coastal flood defense system along the Preferred Alternative 1 alignment (see Attachment 1 in Record of Decision) that would raise a portion of University Avenue and install sheet piling and floodwalls, and implement both green and gray stormwater and internal drainage management strategies (e.g., detention/retention features, drainage structures, pump systems, and an overland flow system for pump station discharge) to reduce the flood risk within the study area from future coastal surge and chronic rainfall events. The sections of the coastal flood defense system along University Avenue will be buried under the elevated road and public access to Seaside Park will be maintained via a vehicular ramp at the intersection of Broad Street and University Avenue and ADA-accessible ramps and stairs at the intersection of Main Street and University Avenue.
- A Resilience Center will educate and facilitate increased resiliency within the community by providing funding to The Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community to support renovations of a community space within the Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses that would provide a location in the South End that would operate as a community center, a central location for resilience information dissemination, and a location that could store supplies to assist the community with recovery efforts during or after storm events. The project would include another open-air site with green infrastructure improvements near the entrance to Seaside Park at University Avenue.
RECORD OF DECISION
CT DOH has determined that this project will have impacts on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) was required. An Environmental Review Record (ERR) that includes the Record of Decision (ROD), which documents the environmental determinations for this project, is on file at the CT DOH NDR website https://portal.ct.gov/doh/doh/Sandy-Pages/Sandy-Programs/NDRC. The ROD can also be viewed HERE.
Documentation is also available for public review at CT DOH, 2nd Floor, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106. The record is available for review and may be examined or copied weekdays 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Any individual, group, or agency disagreeing with this determination or wishing to comment on this project may submit written comments to Rebecca French, Director of Resilience, CT DOH, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (ATTN: Resilient Bridgeport) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments received by November 10, 2019, 11:59pm EST will be considered by the CT DOH prior to authorizing submission of a Request for Release of Funds and Environmental Certification to HUD.
The CT DOH certifies to HUD that Hermia Delaire in her capacity as Program Manager of the CDBG – Sandy Disaster Recovery Program consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the CT DOH to use CDBG-DR funds.
OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS
HUD will accept objections to its release of fund and the CT DOH’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date of November 12, 2019 or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer of the CT DOH; (b) the CT DOH has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to Tennille Smith Parker, Director, Division of Disaster Recovery Special Issues Division, Office of Block Grant Assistance, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development at 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20410. Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period.
Program Manager of the CDBG – Sandy Disaster Recovery Program
Certifying Officer of the CT DOH
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Resilient Bridgeport: Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Relief Projects is available!
Please use the following links to review the Final Environmental Impact Statement:
Copies of the FEIS will also be available for review at the following locations during regular business hours:
- Bridgeport City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace, Bridgeport, CT 06604, (203) 576-7081
- Bridgeport Public Library Main Branch, 925 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT, (203) 576-7400
- Bridgeport Public Library Black Rock Branch, 2705 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, (203) 576-7025
- University of Bridgeport Magnus Wahlstrom Library, 126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, (203) 576-2388