Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

Legislation, Regulation and Policy

  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — NEPA promotes environmental preservation for Federal agencies by requiring them to consider environmental factors equally to other concerns in the planning of any agency action.
  • The Coastal Zone Management Act — As part of the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Coastal Zone Management Program is a partnership between coastal States and territories and the Federal government. The FHWA coordinates with the State Coastal Zone Management agency or appropriate local agency when a proposed action is within, or is likely to affect land or water uses within, the area covered by a State Coastal Zone Management Program approved by the Department of Commerce.
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act — The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA) prevents the taking of birds listed as "migratory birds", including all common songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, hawks, owls, eagles, ravens, crows, native doves and pigeons, swifts, martins, and swallows. Federal-aid highway projects that are likely to result in take of birds protected under the MBTA require the issuance of take permits.
  • Endangered Species Act — The Endangered Species Act exists to prevent the extinction of plant and animal species and to recover the populations of species that are listed as endangered.
  • Clean Water Act, Section 404 — Section 404 was established to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters, which has been defined by the Clean Water Act to include wetlands and tributaries. Under Section 404, no discharge should occur as long as a practicable alternative exists or if it will result in significant harm.
  • Mitigation of Impacts to Wetlands and Natural Habitat — Final Rule — This rule establishes policy and procedures for mitigating the impact to wetlands and habitats caused by Federal-aid projects.

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