The Purpose & Need of the Purple Line project, as outlined in the Environmental Assessment below, is to:
- Provide transit service that satisfies the long-term regional mobility and accessibility needs for businesses and the traveling public and supports sustainable development within the corridor area.
- Serving the needs of people who rely on transit.
- Meeting increasing demand for reliable, high-frequency transit.
- Planning for sustainable growth and development.
- Expanding multimodal travel options.
Environmental review and compliance is an integral component of the METRO Purple Line to identify benefits and impacts to the environment, community, and businesses in the corridor. All new transit projects applying for federal funding under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant Program are required to complete an environmental review document per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). This page provides information about the environmental regulations affecting the Purple Line and links to relevant environmental studies and reports.
Environmental assessment and decision documents (2021)
The METRO Purple Line has completed an environmental assessment document to describe the transportation, social, and environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of the project.
Public comments were collected from May 11 – June 25, 2021. View the Public Open House Boards (June 2021). The comments, along with the other environmental analysis that has been done, has been used to make a decision about how the Purple Line will impact the region it serves. The Metropolitan Council is the lead regional agency in this decision, and the Federal Transit Administration is the lead federal agency.
The FTA has determined the environmental assessment adequately addressed impacts of the project, and has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) document, which means the project will move forward without additional required analysis from the FTA. Responses to substantive comments on the environmental assessment are included in the FONSI.
The environmental assessment is an analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act that evaluates impacts and benefits from proposed projects.
What is the purpose of the analysis?
- Ensure compliance with environmental laws
- Evaluate benefits and impacts to environmental, social, economic, and transportation resources
- Identify solutions to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts
- Inform the public and agencies on impacts as part of the decision-making process
What is evaluated in the environmental assessment?
- Ridership and Operations
- Land Use and Economics
- Archaeology and Architecture History
- Environmental Justice
- Natural Resources
- Stormwater Resources
- Contaminated and Hazardous Materials
- Noise and Vibration
- Air Quality
- Section 4(f) and 6(f): Park and recreation areas
- Other Supporting Information: Railway, pedestrians and bicycles, energy, visual resources, safety and security, utilities, geology, groundwater, and soils
Section 106 Assessment of Effects and Final Determination of Effect for Historic Properties
Section 106 Memorandum of Agreement Implementation
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) requires projects receiving federal funding to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the FTA and Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (MnHPO) guides the implementation of this process.
The Council and FTA began reporting to MnSHPO and other Section 106 consulting parties in January 2022 on implementation of the MOA. These reports are available below.