The Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study was posted to the project website on February 23, 2021. Originally scheduled for December, release of the DEIS was delayed due to concerns with rising state COVID-19 rates and associated restrictions. In following public health guidance and to ensure adequate opportunity for the public to comment, MDTA and its federal partners at the FHWA updated the roll-out schedule. The DEIS evaluated four retained alternatives, including the No-Build Alternative and three Corridor Alternatives Retained for Analysis (CARA) that were presented to the public in the Fall of 2019. Corridor 7 has been identified as the Maryland Transportation Authority – Recommended Preferred Corridor Alternative based on analysis of a wide range of engineering and environmental factors and input received through public comments and coordination with State and federal agencies.

The MDTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) held Public Hearings to provide the public additional opportunities to review and comment on the DEIS, which had been prepared pursuant to the federally mandated NEPA. The Public Hearings were made up of two components – a Public Hearing Virtual Information Room (VIR) and Live Testimony Sessions. The live testimony consisted of four call-in sessions, with two in-person opportunities also available. Each testimony session included the opportunity to provide public and one-on-one testimony. There was no formal presentation during the testimony sessions, and no responses to questions were given. The MDTA accepted comments during the comment period through May 17, 2021 via mail, email, and the project website.

Per Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, MDTA and FHWA have initiated consultation with the Maryland Historical Trust, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other parties to identify historic properties within the CARA.

The MDTA accepted comments on the Bay Crossing Study Tier 1 DEIS through May 17, 2021.

The DEIS was available for review during the DEIS comment period at the following libraries: