Charlestown Getting Ready for the Record of Decision

The official waiting period after the release of the Federal Railroad Administrations’s (FRA) Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement ended on January 31. The FRA could have published a Record of Decision (ROD) as early as Feburary 1st, but they have received hundreds of comments, including comments from other federal agencies, tribes, and state agencies, that raise concerns and opposition to the “Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass”. We have pasted a comprehensive list of opponents to the Bypass below. The FRA has now said the ROD could be released anytime in 2017. They have been slowed down, but we can’t predict what effect the tremendous opposition will have.

The Charlestown Town Council has prepared the Town for any outcome. At their May meeting they took the step of officially endorsing some of the most important opposition documents. They made this endorsement in a letter to the FRA. This endorsement has now made these documents part of the official record and ensures that the Town can use them in court if necessary.

The opposition to the Bypass has indeed been overwhelming and has ranged from national to local. We’re hopeful that the “Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass” will be removed from the Record of Decision, but it is certainly wise of the Town Council to be prepared for any outcome.

Although a lot of the public thinks we won, it was only round one of this match against the bypass. We are being vigilant on behalf of the residents of the town to be in a strong position to protect their welfare in round two and beyond, said Town Council President Virginia Lee.

Letters of Opposition to the “Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass”

Links below are to letters of opposition to the “Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass” written by organizations or officials to the Federal Railroad Administration. The opposition is truly impressive. The Charlestown Town Council, SECoast, CCA, and other groups have been working very hard to reach out and engage the largest number of people and organizations.

International Organizations
The Nature Conservancy

National Organizations
National Trust for Historic Preservation
NEC Commission (Membership from NEC states, Amtrak, and U.S. Department of Transportation)

Native American Tribes
Mashantucket Pequot

Federal Agencies/Departments
US Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Department of Interior

State Agencies/Departments
Rhode Island Division of Planning
Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission

Rhode Island’s Federal and State Delegations
Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation
Rhode Island’s US Representative Jim Langevin
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo
The Entire South County House and Senate members

Connecticut’s Federal and State Delegations
Connecticut’s US Senator Richard Blumenthal and US Representative Courtney
Connecticut’s US Senator Chris Murphy
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Connecticut State Senator Paul Formica
Connecticut State Senator Heather Somers
Connecticut State Representatives Joe De la Cruz, Chris Conley and Devin Carney
Connecticut Deputy Secretary of State Scott Bates

Rhode Island State or Regional Organizations
The Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association
The Rhode Island Land Trust Council
South County Tourism Council
Rhode Island Association of Railroad Passengers Opposes Bypass in Charlestown

Connecticut State or Regional Organizations
CT Trust for Historic Preservation
Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce
Connecticut Fund for the Environment

Rhode Island Local Organizations
The Charlestown Citizens Alliance
The Charlestown Land Trust
Charlestown Agricultural Preservation Commission
Westerly Land Trust
South Kingstown Land Trust
Columbia Heights Home Owners
Greater North End Community Development (Westerly)
Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce

Connecticut Local Organizations
Greenwich Preservation Trust
Greenwich Historical Society
New London City Center District
Hodges Square Village Association
New London Landmarks
New London Political Parties
New London Main Street
The Riverside Park Conservancy
Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region
Mystic Seaport Museum
Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Chamber of Commerce

Rhode Island Municipalities
Charlestown Rhode Island
Richmond Rhode Island
Westerly Rhode Island
Hopkinton Rhode Island
South Kingstown Rhode Island
Exeter Rhode Island
Jamestown Rhode Island
Burrillville Rhode Island

Connecticut Municipalities
Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments: Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook
The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments: Bozrah, Colchester, East Lyme, Franklin, Griswold, City of Groton, Town of Groton, Jewett City, Lebanon, Ledyard. Lisbon, Montville, New London, North Stonington, Norwich, Preston, Salem, Sprague, Stonington, Stonington Borough, Waterford, and Windham

You can still help with this effort by continuing to send your comments to NEC Future at

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