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FHWA/FTA Interim Guidance on Purpose and Need

From:Skaer, Fred
Sent:Thursday, August 21, 2003 4:04 PM
To:##ALLHDA; ##ALLFLH; ##ALLDFS
Cc:Cote, Don; Kussy, Edward; Aikens, Harold; Marchese, April; HEPODs; HEPE; Mittelholtz, Camille <OST>; Borinsky, Susan <FTA>; Irving, Lori; Clinton, Glenn; Randall, Lisa
Subject:Action: FHWA/FTA Interim Guidance on Purpose and Need
To the attention of:Division Administrators, Assistant DAs, Environmental Coordinators, Planners

Action: Please inform your State DOT of this new guidance and contact relevant Federal agencies as requested in the guidance.

Summary: Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters and Federal Transit Administrator Jenna Dorn issued the attached new guidance on purpose and need in the NEPA process.

Background: The FTA and FHWA co-authored this joint interim guidance to assist the field offices in the preparation of Purpose and Need statements and to facilitate interagency coordination of these statements for projects undergoing NEPA environmental review. This guidance is based on, and further elucidates, clarifying information received in response to a letter exchange between Secretary Mineta (May 6, 2003 letter attached) and Council on Environmental Quality Chairman, James Connaughton (May 12, 2003 response attached) regarding the roles of lead and cooperating Federal agencies in the development of Purpose and Need Statements for projects in the NEPA process. We provided you with a copy of those letters in May; the interim guidance helps interpret those letters. The interim guidance was developed in coordination with CEQ.

Although the interim guidance was signed by the modal Administrators on July 22, field distribution has been deferred until now due to a commitment made to CEQ for the Secretary to provide a copy of the guidance to agencies represented on the Executive Order 13274 Task Force prior to field distribution. This attached guidance includes a sample of the Secretary's transmittal letter to the federal resource agencies in which he requests that the guidance be shared with resource agency field personnel in order to assist FTA and FHWA in its implementation.

Please feel free to call either me at 202-366-2058 or Pam Stephenson of my staff at 202-366-2062, if you have any questions regarding the interim guidance.

CEQ Guidance Letter from Connaughton
CEQ Guidance Letter from Secretary Mineta
FHWA_FTA Joint Guidance on Purpose and Need
Guidance Letter to Ann Veneman from Secretary Mineta
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