Environmental Assessment

Runway 220

Overview

The vital role of the Rochester International Airport (RST) in serving the Mayo Clinic’s patient and medical materials transport needs requires the Airport to be open and operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To meet critical aircraft operational needs, at least one runway always needs to remain fully operational. During the development of RST’s recent Airport Master Plan, it was recognized that the most significant need to continue the safe and efficient operation of the Airport was the reconstruction of both runways within the next decade, as the pavement on each runway is reaching the end of its useful life. The Master Plan identified a plan to reconstruct and extend RST’s north-south runway, Runway 2/20, while maintaining uninterrupted service. This will provide adequate runway length for RST’s critical users in order to support 24/7/365 operation of the Airport whenever the east-west runway, Runway 13/31, becomes unavailable.

RST has undertaken an environmental review process for proposed airfield improvements to provide this uninterrupted service. In addition to the runway reconstruction and extension, the proposed project involves moving utilities and roadways to accommodate the extension of Runway 2/20, including a petroleum pipeline, overhead power lines, and portions of 31st Avenue SW, 90th Street SW (former Trunk Highway 30), and 95th Street SW, and acquiring land associated with the Runway Protection Zone. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), RST and its consultant have developed a Draft Federal Environmental Assessment (EA), which evaluates the potential physical, environmental, and social impacts of the proposed action.

Draft EA Documents for Public Review

The Draft EA is available online to the public through the following links. For ease of accessing the document, it has been divided into the main report body, figures and appendices listed below.

The comment period for the Draft EA is from Monday, April 19, 2021 through Tuesday June 1, 2021.

 

Report Body

Draft Federal Environmental Assessment for Runway 2/20 Project – Uninterrupted Service

 

Report Figures

Chapter 1 (Introduction) Figures

Chapter 2 (Purpose and Need) Figures

Chapter 3 (Alternatives) Figures

Chapter 4 (Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences) Figures

 

Appendices

Appendix A Secondary Runway Planning Study Project Justification Report

Appendix B Secondary Runway Planning Study Alternatives Analysis Report

Appendix C MDNR Correspondence

Appendix D IPaC and US FWS Documentation

Appendix E Farmland Documentation

Appendix F Phase I Environmental Assessment (Hazardous Materials)

Appendix G Cultural Resources

Appendix H Wetland Delineation and Correspondence

Appendix I Public and Stakeholder Engagement Materials

 

A physical copy of the Draft EA can be viewed at the RST Airport Administration office (7600 Helgerson Drive SW Rochester, MN 55902). In-person viewing is by appointment only; please call 507-282-2328 ext. 6 to schedule. The Airport Administration office is ADA accessible.

 

Public Hearing & Public Comments

Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 6:30 p.m.

The City of Rochester will hold a public hearing on May 19, 2021, via a virtual Zoom meeting, to receive testimony relative to the draft federal EA for the RST Runway 2/20 Project – Uninterrupted Service. There will be a presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m., including an opportunity for the public to ask questions, with the public hearing to follow. The purpose of the public hearing is to address the proposed action’s potential economic, social, and environmental effects, and the project’s consistency with the affected areas’ land use or planning strategy. All interested persons are invited to attend and to present concise, relevant oral and written statements concerning the economic, social, and environmental effects of the development. There is no set end time for the public hearing. The hearing will conclude once all who wish to give public testimony have had the opportunity to do so.

Due to the federal, state, and local public health emergency declarations regarding COVID-19, this public hearing will be held virtually. To attend, the public is encouraged to register in advance and receive the Zoom meeting link.

Zoom Public Hearing – Register Here

Alternately, the public can participate by phone (audio only) or the Zoom website by using the phone number or link along with the meeting ID and passcode listed below:

Phone: 312-626-6799

www.zoom.us/join

Meeting ID: 860 1941 4540

Passcode: 348905

 

Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. CDT on June 1, 2021. Written comments can be submitted via email to colleen.bosold@meadhunt.com or mailed to:

Rochester International Airport EA Comments

c/o Colleen Bosold, Mead & Hunt

7900 International Drive, Suite 980

Bloomington, MN 55425

 

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.