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Interagency Guidance: Transportation Funding
for Federal Agency Coordination
Associated with Environmental Streamlining Activities

OVERVIEW

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On August 10, 2005, the President signed into law the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). With guaranteed funding for highways, highway safety, and public transportation totaling $244.1 billion, SAFETEA-LU represents the largest surface transportation investment in our nation's history. The two landmark bills that brought surface transportation into the 21st century — the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) — shaped the highway program to meet the nation's changing transportation needs. SAFETEA-LU builds on this firm foundation by containing a provision authorizing States to provide Title 23 funds to agencies performing certain environmental review activities and preserving any funding agreements in place pursuant to it. SAFETEA-LU promotes more efficient and effective Federal surface transportation programs by focusing on transportation issues of national significance, while giving State and local transportation decision makers more flexibility for solving transportation problems in their communities.

The purpose of this guidance is to provide a common understanding among the U. S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), State Departments of Transportation (DOT), local transit operators, and Federal resource agencies regarding options for using funding under Title 23 to support Federal resource agency coordination for streamlining the review of Federal-aid transportation projects. Funding mechanisms, eligible activities, and recommended elements of interagency agreements are identified in this guidance to provide the agencies with the tools needed to develop mutually beneficial agreements to meet their environmental stewardship and streamlining goals and those of SAFETEA-LU. This guidance lists several other funding mechanisms currently being used and includes in the appendices a template that should be helpful as interagency agreements are being developed. Examples of interagency agreements and summaries of associated best practices/lessons learned to expedite environmental reviews are also included.

For further information regarding environmental streamlining, please refer to FHWA's website http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/index.asp. It contains an inventory of information regarding current activities, best practices, and inventories and can be used as a reference for environmental stewardship and streamlining.

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