New Expert Review Exposes Critical Errors and Omissions in Governor Hogan’s I-495 and I-270 Toll Lane Expansion Plan


CONTACT: Josh Tulkin,, 240-764-5307

New Expert Review Exposes Critical Errors and Omissions in Governor Hogan’s
I-495 and I-270 Toll Lane Expansion Plan

Riverdale, MD - This week, the Sierra Club along with 43 organizations and the City of Rockville, issued a blistering critique of the controversial I-495 and I-270 toll lane expansion final environmental document (FEIS). The review, supported by expert statements from a range of disciplines and drafted with the assistance of the law firm Jill Grant & Associates, LLC, reveals failures of the environmental review process that, if not addressed, violate the National Environmental Policy Act and other governing statutes. Despite these flaws, federal and state agencies are expected to formally approve the project on August 5th.

The Sierra Club’s document responds to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) release of the FEIS on June 17 for a 30-day “availability period.” The proposed project would have severe adverse effects on communities in these corridors and on the region’s air, water, parks, and noise levels.

The legal and technical expert review of the over 26,000-page FEIS identifies serious problems with the analyses including the FEIS’s failure to:

  • Allow meaningful public comment throughout the NEPA review process, in part by failing to provide key documents and analyses that underpin the FEIS
  • Address previous and new, serious flaws in the traffic analysis
  • Adequately assess impacts to public health from the construction and operation of the project
  • Adequately address significant adverse effects on sensitive historic and cultural resources
  • Adequately address environmental justice issues.

The expert review and its attached exhibits can be read below. Those who reviewed the FEIS included national and international experts in traffic modeling, road safety, public health, epidemiology, historic resources, and rare and endangered species.

Sierra Club et al. FEIS Comments, July 18, 2022

Report Signatories:
Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
Aloha Enterprises, Inc.
ArchPlan Inc.
Audubon Naturalist Society
Carderock Springs Citizens Association
Central Maryland Transportation Alliance
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Citizens Against Beltway Expansion
City of Rockville
Climate Reality Montgomery County
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Conservation Montgomery
Downtown Residents Advocacy Network (Baltimore)
Elders Climate Action Maryland Chapter
Environmental Justice Ministry, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
Friends of Moses Hall/The Board of Trustees of Morningstar Tabernacle Number 88, Incorporated
Friends of Sligo Creek
Howard County Climate Action
Indivisible Howard County Maryland
Job Opportunities Task Force
Maryland Conservation Council
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Maryland Legislative Coalition
Maryland Nonprofits
MLC Climate Justice Wing
National Parks Conservation Association
Neighbors of the Northwest Branch
North Hills of Sligo Creek Civic Association
Northern Virginia Citizens Association
Our Revolution Maryland
Policy Foundation of Maryland
Rogue Tulips LLC
Strong Future MD
Takoma Park Mobilization Environment Committee
The Climate Mobilization, Montgomery County Chapter
Transform Maryland Transportation Coalition
Transit Choices
Voices Maryland
Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Washington Biologists' Field Club
Waterkeepers Chesapeake
Woodside Forest Civic Association
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