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Park Service Re-Enters Fray on Klingle

Your January 25, 2006 article, Park Service re-enters fray on Klingle, lacks important detail and context.   The article headlines and begins with the penultimate, afterthought paragraph of the National Park Service/ Department of Interior (NPS/DOI) January 4, 2006 letter on the planned reopening of Klingle Road for motor vehicle traffic. The mandated reopening, for which the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was prepared, is codified as D.C. Law 15-39, D.C. Official Code Section 9-115-11.  This mandate was enacted by the District of Columbia Council in 2003, signed into law by Mayor William and approved by the United States Congress in 2004.   

 As a cooperating agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), NPS had full opportunity to participate in formulation of the DEIS alternatives before they were released for public comment in June, 2005.  The NPS/DOI letter contains sixteen paragraphs commenting on each DEIS alternative.  Then, NPS/DOI lamely laments demise of the discarded recreation path considered by the D.C. Department of Transportation in 2001.  The article omits reference to the 2001 date, failing to note that it was floated three years before the City Council, Mayor and Congress formally eliminated that notion and mandated reopening of Klingle Road to motor vehicle traffic and, therefore, is far beyond the scope of reasonable NEPA alternatives.    

The article reports that the NPS/DOI letter was submitted more than three months after all other public comments were filed but fails to report that, at  District of Columbia Council hearing leading to enactment of the Repair Klingle Road legislation, NPS testified that it would respect whatever decision the District of Columbia made.  Throwing in a decayed, red herring lament for a useless, out-of-scope notion, more than six months after the DEIS was released for public comment, is hardly a sign of respect.   

Although the fray is over, it does not appear that the D.C. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration have the gumption to file the belated, dysfunctional NPS/DOI letter in the nearest trashcan and will, instead, take time to ponder and respond.  This bureaucracy run amok distorts the NEPA process. Its resultant delays will increase rebuilding costs.  Thats the story you missed. 

Sincerely,  William H. Carroll   

For additional information, please email support@repairklingleroad.org