Transportation
11:40 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

East-West Gateway says transportation plan will meet EPA standards

Last night the East-West Gateway Council of Governments wrapped up a series of open houses for Missouri residents who have questions about the agency’s $2 billion transportation plan.

Earlier this month the organization that oversees regional ground transportation projects released its funding report for the next three fiscal years.

Speaking at last night’s open house, Manager of Environmental Services Mike Coulson said they will meet EPA standards for reducing emissions.

“We have to document that in a report, and, so, yes the projects that we have proposed are in compliance with the Clean Air Act amendments,” Coulson said. 

Levels of ozone and particulate matter in the region exceed standards set by the Clean Air Act, and a fair amount out of that comes out of tail pipes. 

In order to have their plan approved East-West Gateway used computer models to show transportation improvements will rein in emissions.

“We have to actually demonstrate that the transportation improvement that we’re proposing does not negatively impact the air quality resources in the St. Louis area.”   

So far, officials say they haven’t heard much from the public and comments have been generally positive.

“Out in St. Charles, we had a pretty good amount of people that came there, and they were supportive of continuing several projects that are in line right now,” said Jason Lange, a transportation planner with East-West Gateway.

The organization will have an open house for residents on the Illinois side Thursday at the IDOT office in Collinsville.  The comment period closes on July 6, and the plan will be considered by East-West Gateway’s board of directors next month for final approval.  

Comments can also be submitted on the agency's website.