KERAMIDA Helps Ports of Indiana Win $10M TIGER Grant
KERAMIDA prepared the Ports of Indiana’s application for TIGER 2015 Discretionary Grant Funding for the on-site improvements to the inland Port of Jeffersonville, located in Clark County, Indiana along the Ohio River, across from Louisville, Kentucky and within the Louisville MSA.
The improvements increased the Port’s cargo shipping capacity and included a:
- 4,050LF rail loop along the port’s waterfront to allow more efficient, continuous rail-to-water/water-to-rail transfer of product
- transload bulk transfer facility
- 7,500LF rail extension to increase site utilization
- 5,600LF rail extension along the heavy haul road corridor
- multimodal facility to accommodate rail-to-truck/truck-to-rail transfer of product.
The existing rail within the site did not “loop” which severely limited the Ports of Indiana’s ability to operate in an efficient and cost effective manner. To load and unload freight, each incoming train had to be split into shorter segments no greater than 15 train cars in length as it entered the Site. This cumbersome and time-consuming process was done repeatedly each day. The inefficient operation was more expensive and less safe.
KERAMIDA completed this project to address the need for increased capacity at the Ports of Indiana-Jeffersonville (Site) to accommodate the increasing demand for rail-to-barge, rail-to-truck, and truck-to-barge shipments to and from its waterfront. Ports of Indiana (POI) was awarded a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) in 2015 which KERAMIDA drafted on behalf of POI.
Environmental Assessment (EA)
A condition of POI’s federal grant award was to conduct a NEPA analysis pursuant to Section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as implemented by the regulations promulgated by the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508). NEPA (42 U.S. Code [USC] §4321 et seq.) requires an analysis of the possible environmental impacts for actions that involves federal funds, permits, or licenses. The purpose of the NEPA review is to inform federal decision makers about the environmental impacts associated with their projects (e.g., impacts on air quality, water resources, endangered species, etc.).
The purpose of this Environmental Assessment (EA) is to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project, and to determine whether there are significant impacts that would require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), or there are no significant impacts, in which case a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) can be issued.
The US Maritime Administration determined that the Environmental Assessment (EA), completed by KERAMIDA, adequately and accurately discussed the environmental issues and effects of the proposed action and specified appropriate mitigation measures and standard conditions of approval in order to minimize environmental effects. It was determined that this project would have no significant effect on the human or natural environment, individually or cumulatively, under normal conditions. Therefore, a FONSI was issued, and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-190) wass not required.
By increasing the capacity of existing port infrastructure, this project benefited area residents through the increased safety and convenience resulting from lower truck volumes and through the health benefits resulting from decreased roadway congestion and a reduction in harmful air emissions. Additionally, it was noted that lower truck volumes, as a result of this project, would increase safety from a decrease in truck accidents and would help the surrounding communities realize their goal of more walkable and bikable streets.