This section of the Environmental Review Toolkit provides resources on agency-wide initiatives led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that may include research, programming, and communications related to the environment. These initiatives span all of FHWA but have specific funding and implications for the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review (HEPE).
The report, Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects, which discusses how to integrate environmental priorities at the planning level to accelerate project permitting and development, has been developed into a nine-step process that helps practitioners identify ecological priorities while making timely decisions about highway enhancements. The Eco-Logical program offers case studies, tools, peer exchanges, workshops, and a grant program, to provide practitioners with a variety of ways to successfully implement the process. Read more.
Every Day Counts
In 2009, FHWA launched Every Day Counts (EDC) in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to speed up the delivery of highway projects and to address the challenges presented by limited budgets. EDC is a State-based model for identifying and deploying proven but underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process and improve safety, planning, and environmental outcomes. Every two years FHWA facilitates regional summits to give presentations on and share best practices from these innovations. EDC also provides funding and technical support to help transportation agencies and field practitioners apply the innovations during a two-year development cycle.
HEPE is involved with implementing two EDC initiatives:
Additional information and links to supporting materials and resources are provided in this section.
Planning and Environment Linkages
Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) is a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decisionmaking that considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the planning process and uses that information to inform the environmental review process. The PEL program offers case studies, webinars, and workshops that identify and describe best practices in linking successful planning to improved environmental outcomes.
The Second Strategic Highway Research Program
The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) is a national partnership among FHWA, AASHTO, and the Transportation Research Board, to conduct research and deploy products that help the transportation community improve the Nation’s highway system. SHRP2 has undertaken more than 100 research projects designed to address critical state and local challenges, such as aging infrastructure, congestion, and safety.
A number of the SHRP2 products pertain to Planning and Environment solutions. Some of these solutions pertain specifically to environmental outcomes (e.g., Implementing Eco-Logical (C06)), and others focus on incorporating environmental considerations where possible (e.g. Expediting Project Delivery (C19)).
Transportation Liaison Community of Practice
The Transportation Liaison Community of Practice (COP) promotes best practices and provides insight into emerging questions and issues for transportation liaisons and liaison managers. The COP connects transportation liaisons and managers, State departments of transportation (DOTs), and resource and regulatory agency staff, to enrich the services and benefits transportation liaisons provide. Through the Environmental Review Toolkit, HEPE provides a centralized source of professional support, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities for transportation liaisons.