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Philadelphia International Airport Capacity Enhancement
Philadelphia, PA

VHB was the prime consultant responsible for all aspects of the $21 million Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared in support of the $5 billion Philadelphia International Airport Capacity Enhancement Program. The project includes a new runway, two major runway extensions, rebuilding most of the airport’s 7 terminals, a new people mover located partially under an existing runway and relocation of a 200-acre UPS facility and other airport facilities. Offsite relocations include a 100-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge disposal site, 72 residences, 80 business/3,200 employees, a railroad and several roadways.

VHB assisted FAA in developing and negotiating an environmental streamlining agreement with 16 agencies in three states. The agreement included early review of technical material and a fast-track issue-resolu¬tion process. The issue resolution process was successfully invoked by FAA for a number of issues.

VHB assisted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in negotiating mitigation for 107 acres of wetlands fill, including 24 acres of fill in the tidal area of the Delaware River and an additional 83 acres of fill in sensitive coastal wetlands, as well as a plan to achieve general conformity through the use of airport emissions reduction credits and the purchase of air quality emission off-sets. VHB assisted in avoiding impacts to the federally-endangered shortnose sturgeon and a large superfund site located on the airfield and Section 4(f) and Section 106 impacts to a national historic landmark and a national wildlife refuge.

VHB developed and implemented an alternatives screening process that evaluated a wide variety of alternatives, including use of other airports, a new airport, other transportation modes (e.g. high speed rail), demand management, NextGen/new technology, and evaluation of 29 on-airport runway configurations that were considered in the City’s Master Plan.

The project included a robust public involvement program for 12 counties in three states and a mailing list of 3,000 individuals.

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Project Highlights
Assisted the FAA in successfully negotiating mitigation for 24 acres of river fill, 83 acres of sensitive coastal wetlands fill and a plan to achieve General Conformity during 12 years of construction
Developed plans to avoid impacts to a National Historic Landmark and national wildlife refuge
Environmental streamlining process developed by VHB and implemented with 16 state and federal agencies in three states is now a model for FAA projects nationwide
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