Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

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Eco-Logical On-Call Technical Assistance
is now available!

FHWA has a team of Eco-Logical experts ready to provide responsive, individualized guidance and support to agencies as they implement the Eco-Logical approach.

Click here for more information and to request assistance.

Implementing Eco-Logical

Implementing Eco-Logical is an ongoing effort to implement research products from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) and integrate activities into FHWA's Eco-Logical Program. The goal of Implementing Eco-Logical is to advance the state of practice for all transportation practitioners, and their partners, of bringing the Eco-Logical approach into their daily business practices.

Background of Eco-Logical

  • Developed by the Federal Highway Administration and seven Federal agency partners, the Eco-Logical approach brings together transportation, resource, and regulatory agencies to integrate their plans and arrive at a joint set of environmental priorities across an ecosystem. The approach results in time and cost savings, as well as better environmental outcomes. Learn more about FHWA's Eco-Logical programs and products on this website:
  • SHRP2 developed several research products that incorporate an advanced, integrated, and ecosystem-scale approach into standard business practices for transportation planning and development:
    • C06A developed a nine-step Integrated Eco-Logical Conservation and Transportation Planning Framework (IEF), which provides a structured process to avoid or minimize environmental impacts through the prioritization of natural resources in early infrastructure planning.
    • C06B defined the scientific and technical processes and tools needed to support the IEF.
    • C21 pilot projects explored implementation of the IEF steps in California, Colorado, Oregon, and West Virginia.
  • Implementing Eco-Logical will implement C06A and C06B research products nationwide through the coordinated efforts of FHWA and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
    • The product includes specific strategies and tools that will result in streamlined permitting processes while also achieving mobility and environmental goals.
    • The SHRP2 Solutions Implementation Plan for Implementing Eco-Logical C06B was developed in 2013 by a panel of experts and stakeholders representing transportation agencies, Federal resource and regulatory agencies, professional associations, and non-governmental organizations. The tactics and strategies in this plan came out of an Implementation Planning Workshop in September 2012 and aim to achieve widespread use of integrated highway and conservation planning and development strategies within 10 years.

Practitioners Tools

AASHTO is leading a multi-agency effort to develop tools and resources for State DOTs who are interested in bringing Eco-Logical into their agencies. Links to final products will be added to this website throughout 2013 and 2014, as they become available. Check back for more updates!

Lead Adopter and User Incentives Grant Recipients

FHWA distributed 14 Implementation Assistance Grants to State DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to advance implementation of Eco-Logical in these agencies.

Lead Adopter Incentives support practitioners that have completed early steps of the Eco-Logical approach, including agencies with existing collaborative partnerships that have developed or used Regional Ecosystem Frameworks.

  • Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)
    ARC is developing protocols and models to link economic factors with green infrastructure to enhance REF outcomes.
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO
    The MPO is testing the application of an existing REF in transportation projects and conservation prioritization throughout the Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO region.
  • Idaho Transportation Department (ITD)
    ITD is partnering with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to improve data delivery and sharing to IPLAN—a web-based, cloud portal that enables staff and customers to view ITD data sources. ITD's proposal includes refinement of the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) layers along Idaho highways and establishment of data sharing protocols. This will result in saving time and money during highway planning as well as protecting the ecology along the corridors.
  • MaineDOT
    MaineDOT is applying its REF to Categorical Exclusion projects, including gap analysis, procedural changes, preferred construction practices, and programmatic agreements.
  • Michigan DOT (MDOT)
    MDOT is implementing the IEF steps in the I-75 corridor in the southeast Michigan/Lake Erie coastal zone.
  • North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
    NCTCOG is updating its REF and identifying sub-watershed focus areas for mitigation, then applying the REF to a Pilot Corridor Feasibility Study and implementing mitigation as part of a regional shared mitigation program.
  • Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG)
    PPACOG is establishing an Integrated Regional Mitigation Plan to improve mitigation projects in the Pikes Peak area and applying it to project evaluation in the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

User Incentives support State DOTs and MPOs that have interest, though not necessarily prior experience, in adopting Eco-Logical into their organizations.

  • Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)
    AMBAG is gathering transportation and natural resource data needed for a new REF.
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
    Caltrans is expanding its Highway 89 Stewardship Team to address other animal/highway issues through mentoring new groups and providing training and technical assistance.
  • Idaho Transportation Department (ITD)
    ITD is working to update and revise the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ITD and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Incorporating new data sharing protocols and developing a gap analysis of data delivery, assessment, and policy will lead to recommendations for collaboration.
  • Missouri DOT (MoDOT)
    MoDOT is working with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to help identify and incorporate new information, technologies and best management practices that will be used to update the Missouri Natural Heritage Review website to provide better applications for transportation planning and deliver enhanced benefits for the natural resources. MoDOT will develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the MDC for data sharing of natural resource information.
  • New Hampshire DOT (NHDOT)
    NHDOT, in partnership with the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, is implementing a pilot project to assess wetlands impacted by roadway projects using standardized wetland assessment methodology (Ecological Integrity Assessment) and comparing the EIA assessment to the current wetland assessment method (Highway Methodology).
  • Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI)
    OKI is integrating and mapping data from three State Natural Heritage Databases with the OKI Regionally Significant Environmental Resource data to inform the OKI Regional LRTP.
  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
    SCAG is developing a regional open space database and an assessment methodology to identify important areas for conservation.

Resources for Practitioners - Coming Soon

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Implementing Eco-Logical
On-Call Technical Assistance Team

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has created an On-Call Technical Assistance Team to provide responsive, individualized guidance and support to State DOT, MPOs, resource and regulatory agencies as they implement the Eco-Logical approach. This effort is in support of the SHRP2 Solutions Implementation Plan for Implementing Eco-Logical (C06B).

The Team can assist with organizational, technological, regulatory, or scientific issues. Technical assistance with implementing the Eco-Logical approach, could include such things as:

  • Gaining general Eco-Logical implementation information
  • Building collaboration and coordination within an agency
  • Establishing connections and dialogue among agencies, including FHWA Division Offices, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), State Department of Transportations (State DOTs), and Federal and State resource/regulatory agencies
  • Building geospatial data based regional ecological and infrastructure development frameworks (REIDF)
  • Developing crediting strategies
  • Prioritizing ecological actions and conservation objectives

The Team is comprised of a set of experts from:

  • Federal Highway Administration,
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE),
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS),
  • U.S. DOT Volpe Center, and
  • Eco-Logical Champions.

If you are interested in receiving assistance, you may use the comment box below to request additional information. A representative from the On-Call Technical Assistance team will follow up with you by email.

Please fill in the fields before submitting the form.

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For questions or feedback on this subject, please contact Mike Ruth at 202-366-9509 or David Williams at 410-962-2482.
For general questions or web problems, please send feedback to the web administrator.

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