Transfer of Poplar Point Section of Anacostia Park to the District of Columbia
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., the National Park Service (NPS) with the District of Columbia government (District), acting as joint lead agencies, will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to aid their decision-making under Title III of the Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-396, 120 Stat. 2711 (2006) (D.C. Lands Act). During this NEPA process, the NPS and the District will be complying with applicable laws and regulations, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and those pertaining to activities within floodplains. Other Federal and District agencies may serve as cooperating agencies and they are invited to contact the NPS and the District.
The D.C. Lands Act calls for the redevelopment of the Poplar Point section of Anacostia Park (the Site), by the District and, should the NPS and the District jointly determine that it is no longer appropriate for the NPS and U.S. Park Police (USPP), which is part of the NPS, to remain in their current Poplar Point facilities, new permanent replacement facilities will be provided by the District. The EIS will analyze alternatives for the District's redevelopment of the Site and for NPS and USPP replacement facilities which may be located elsewhere in Washington, D.C., and a no-action alternative. This EIS will be used in the decision-making processes for this relocation and redevelopment which are pursuant to the D.C. Lands Act.
Much of the Site is within National Capital Parks—East of the National Park System and, by law, as the NPS and USPP facilities situation is resolved, these lands will go to the District. Poplar Point occupies a prime and highly visible parcel along the eastern bank of the Anacostia River, directly across from the Washington Navy Yard.
The Site is approximately 130 acres, mostly under NPS jurisdiction, containing the NPS and USPP facilities and 60-acres of managed meadows, scrub-shrub vegetation and wetlands. Pursuant to the D.C. Lands Act, the redevelopment of Poplar Point will include approximately 70 acres of parkland in perpetuity that would include wetlands, landscaped areas, pedestrian walkways, bicycle trails, seating, open sided shelters, natural areas, recreational use areas and memorial sites. For the remaining acreage of the Site, the District is considering proposals for a cultural institution or museum, transit, and residential and commercial uses.
The NPS and USPP presently operate in approximately 100,000 square feet of facilities at the Site. The NPS and USPP relocation involves the NPS and District agreeing on a new location and on facilities design, followed by the District providing such facilities to the NPS at no cost to the NPS. Options for relocation include moving to other land in the District, or relocation at the Site. A determination could also be made for the NPS and USPP to remain in their current facilities.
However, the District of Columbia Government and the NPS are currently proposing to relocate the U.S. Park Police facilities currently located at Poplar Point to the "North Field" section of Anacostia Park (East bank, north of Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge and the Anacostia Park Pavilion). The North Field of Anacostia Park is not part of the "DC Lands Bill" legislation. The U.S. Park Police facilities include the Anacostia Operations Facility and the Aviation Section. Approximately 25 additional acres of Anacostia Park would be dedicated to, and developed as the new US Park Police replacement facilities and would no longer be available for recreation or as public open space. This action is due to the difficulty of finding a new location for the U.S. Park Police Aviation Section (helicopter base).
National Capital Parks—East
RE: Poplar Point Redevelopment
1900 Anacostia Drive, SE.
Washington, DC 20020.