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Environmental Review Toolkit

Integrated Planning Work Group

IPWG Member Organizations

US Department of Transportation (DOT)
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
US DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
US Army Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Land Management
Council on Environmental Quality
Environmental Protection Agency
US Fish and Wildlife Service
US Forest Service

On September 18, 2002, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13274, Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews. EO 13274 was intended to advance current environmental stewardship and streamlining efforts by coordinating decisionmaking related to transportation projects across Federal agencies. An interagency Task Force oversees the implementation of the EO and monitors the environmental reviews of certain high-priority projects. The Integrated Planning Work Group (IPWG), established by the Task Force, accomplishes PEL objectives through the development of outreach, training, and tools in three key areas:

  • Transportation Planning Regulations (Subgroup A)
  • Eco-Logical (Subgroup B)
  • Tiering, Corridor, and Sub-area Studies (Subgroup C)

IPWG Products

IPWG supports numerous interagency research, training, and outreach efforts that provide stakeholders with techniques and examples of successful planning initiatives that incorporate environmental goals earlier in the planning process. The resources below provide information on IPWG developed materials to date.

The Integrated Planning Work Group is organized into three sub-groups that focus on outreach and/or training related to the transportation planning regulations, Eco-Logical, and tiering, corridor, and sub-area studies.

The Integrated Planning Work Group is organized into three sub-groups that focus on outreach and/or training related to the transportation planning regulations, Eco-Logical, and tiering, corridor, and sub-area studies.

  • Baseline Report of current obstacles and opportunities for integrated planning
  • Two-Year Work Plan
  • Information Resource Case Studies
    The IPWG developed six case studies of effective integrated planning activities currently being done in the country. These case studies were chosen due to the depth and breadth of the integrated planning process being used in the States. The primary characteristics of the six case studies are that they:
    • Incorporate resource consideration in the planning process
    • Provide a catalyst for early interagency consultation and conflict resolution
    • Have a transferable technical approach or process
    • Integrate resource agencies with data, staff time, and stakeholder interactions
    Please visit the FHWA/DOT Case Studies page to find the IPWG and other case studies related to integrated planning.

Current Activities

Current Activities in each of the IPWG subgroups are discussed below.

What is Integrated Planning?

"Integrated planning" typically refers to interaction and coordination between transportation agencies and natural resources agencies, historic preservation agencies, and other stakeholders with the goals to improve transportation outcomes, to develop opportunities for better protection of natural and cultural resources, and to maximize efficient use of scarce staff and financial resources by flagging potential problems early in transportation planning. Integrated planning can also enable agencies to examine the resource impacts of multiple projects, thereby providing opportunities to develop more comprehensive environmental mitigation measures.

Transportation Planning Regulations (Subgroup A)

Subgroup A supports and develops outreach and training on the transportation planning regulations both within and between transportation and resource agencies, including:

  • Intra-Agency - Subgroup A has held webinars with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It plans to continue working with these agencies and support training within other Federal resource agencies as well.
  • Inter-Agency - Subgroup A is promoting the FHWA Linking Conservation and Transportation Planning Workshops, which are designed to assist State DOTs, MPOs and State and Federal resource agencies to better coordinate and integrate transportation and conservation planning data and activities. See presentations and materials from previous workshops.
  • Inter-Agency - Environmental Consultation Peer Exchange, Summary Report: This report summarizes the results of the Environmental Consultation Peer Exchange held January 27, 2009 at the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters. The purpose of the Environmental Consultation Peer Exchange was to explore and showcase several approaches that agencies have taken to coordinate on environmental considerations and successfully meet the consultation requirements of Section 6001 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), as implemented by the final rule on statewide and metropolitan transportation planning. View presentations from the event. This report is also available in PDF.

Eco-Logical (Subgroup B)

Subgroup B supports outreach, training, and implementation for Eco-Logical concepts and the Eco-Logical grant program.

In FY08, 14 cooperative agreements, which are aimed at integrating transportation and resource planning in order to implement an ecosystem-approach to infrastructure projects, were awarded funding. Approximately $1.4 million has been made available for these grants. The IPWG is working to conduct both internal and external outreach, including the development of presentation materials and promotion at meetings, conferences, and trainings. To learn more about the grant recipients or view the Eco-Logical document, please visit the Eco-Logical webpage.

Tiering, Corridor, and Sub-area Studies (Subgroup C)

Subgroup C is surveying the state of the practice and recommended practice for conducting tiering, corridor, and sub-area studies in conjunction with the Purpose and Need Working Group and the Indirect and Cumulative Impacts Working Group.

This work will build on existing efforts and publications, including: