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Planning and Environment Linkages: Case Studies

Slide 1
Planning and Environment Linkages: Case Studies
Michael Culp and John Humeston
FHWA
November 2, 2006
Slide 2
Presentation Topics
  • Range of method, complexity
  • Case studies we know of:
    • Pennsylvania Planning Partners
    • Sacramento Area Council of Governments
    • Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
    • Houston-Galveston Area Council
  • Case studies you know of! (audience participation solicited)
Slide 3
Pennsylvania Planning Partners: Environmental Checklist
  • Application: project and regional transportation planning
  • Products developed: tools to help with planning processes (MS Word format)
    • Checklist of natural, cultural considerations to factor into planning process
    • Supplemental ‘pop-up’ list of data sources
Slide 4
Planning Partners Checklist
  • Checklist of resources, topics to be considered during project planning
  • To identify
    • resources that could affect project planning, environmental documentation
    • other efforts in the region to promote coordination
  • Precursor to the formal scoping process under NEPA; information to serve as the basis for scoping document
Slide 5
Checklist Details
  • Guides planners to note if a resource is present, and whether or not there might be an effect on it
  • Sampling of considerations:
    • Aquatic: surface waters, public water supplies, wetlands, floodplains
    • Land: agricultural resources, geotechnical concerns, wilderness areas, conservation areas
    • Section 4(f): historic resources, public parks
    • Socioeconomic: environmental justice populations, cemeteries
    • Coordination and Public Involvement: community characteristics, existing and planned development
Slide 6
This slide shows an example of the Planning Partners Checklist. It contains a table with four main columns: Resource, Presence, Potential Impacts, and Remarks Attached. The last three columns are broken down into two columns of Yes and No, under which there are boxes so the user can place a check mark for that resource item. Categories under the Resource column include:
  1. Agricultural resources
    1. Active Farms
    2. Agricultural Protection
  2. Geotechnical concerns
  3. Wilderness, Natural, and Wild Areas
  4. CERCLA/Superfund Site
  5. Utility/Rail/Pipe Lines
  6. Other Initiatives
    1. Conservation Easements
    2. Stream Restoration
    3. Wetland Creation/Enhancements
    4. Cultural Preservation/Heritage Efforts
    5. Economic Growth Investments
    6. Other Investments
Slide 7
‘Pop-Up’ Data Source List
  • Provides information about where to obtain data for each consideration on Checklist
Slide 8
Sacramento Area Council of Governments: RTP Coordination
  • Application: regional transportation planning
  • Products developed:
    • ‘Blueprint’ to coordinate regional land use growth plans and transportation plans
    • Greenprint’ to coordinate conservation efforts (concept under discussion)
    • Program-level environmental analysis of RTP (as required by CA law), called MTP 2035, including mitigation opportunities
    • Purpose and Need for projects within MTP 2035
Slide 9
Sacramento Region Blueprint
  • Used public process to developed map of regionally preferred land use
  • Results expected to drive MTP 2035 process
  • Will consider results of "Greenprint"
Slide 10
Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission: LRTP Analysis
  • Application: regional transportation planning
  • Product developed: evaluation and comparison of alternative transportation system plans
Slide 11
SEWRPC Comparison Details
  • Among system plan alternatives, evaluation compared acreage needed by planned projects that would affect:
    • Residential and commercial dislocations
    • Historic buildings and sites
    • Park lands
    • Environmental Corridors
  • Other sensitive lands: wetlands, natural areas, geological areas, archeological areas, Department of Natural Resources Legacy Locations, land trusts, prime agricultural lands
Slide 12
Example of GIS output
This slide depicts a map of the Regional Land Use Plan for the Southeastern Wisconsin Region to 2035.
Slide 13
Houston-Galveston Area Council: Environmental Considerations
  • Application: long-range transportation planning
  • Products developed:
    • Environmental Advisory Committee
    • Environmental maps created by GIS-ST screening, for identification of natural areas for conservation
    • Mitigation recommendations
Slide 14
Environmental Mapping
  • Uses TxDOT's GIS-ST model, developed with EPA, other agencies
  • Environmental data on: wetlands, habitat, endangered or threatened species, managed lands, floodplains
  • Flags regionally significant projects that intersect a GIS-ST grid, 1 mile sq.
  • Data will be incorporated into corridor level analyses for the 2040 RTP
Slide 15
This slide depicts two maps of Undeveloped Environmental Resources in the Houston-Galveston area. The map on the left shows 2005, and the map on the right shows a 2035 forecast.
Slide 16
Mitigation Activities
  • Analysis uses mapping to illustrate which projects might require NEPA mitigation activities and/or are recommended for realignment
    • Provides opportunity to examine cumulative environmental impacts collectively within region
    • Maps will be supplied to assist sponsors in determining whether their projects may be affected
Slide 17
Other Relevant Practices?
  • Audience participation requested!
  • Please volunteer relevant practice — can be oriented to
    • Data and analysis tools
    • Inter-agency coordination efforts
    • Planning processes conducted with environmental considerations

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For questions or feedback on this subject matter content, please contact Jody McCullough, Dave Harris, or Bruce Bender.

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