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Environmental Review Toolkit

Collaborative Problem Solving: Better and Streamlined Outcomes for All

Guidance on Managing Conflict and Resolving Disputes between State and Federal Agencies During the Transportation Project Development and Environmental Review Process

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Example Guiding Principles for Problem Solving and Dispute Resolution

Following are overarching principles for negotiating, solving problems and resolving disputes during the project review stage. They have been borrowed from programs in selected states, and are offered here as initial considerations for developing a framework for negotiations and dispute resolution.

  • Each agency has a seat at the table, and its role and responsibility must be respected.
  • Each agency should come to the table with an open mind, prepared to work to find an acceptable transportation solution that is compatible with its mission.
  • Agencies will strive to provide sufficient staffing for full participation in the process.
  • Scoping is open and continuous throughout the process.
  • At major project milestones, agencies will participate in concurrence points.
  • After formal concurrence, agencies will not revisit a milestone unless there is substantive new information that warrants reconsideration.
  • To resolve disagreements, issues should be addressed as soon as possible and at the lowest level possible.

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