Environmental Review Toolkit

Section 4(f) Tutorial

view De Miminis Use project view Least Overall Harm project view Creative Mitigation project view Net Benefit project

Project Examples

De Minimis Finding Example


The State DOT has proposed an intersection improvement project to widen the cartways along Pike Road and Windy Hill Farm Road to accommodate turning lands and the installation of a traffic signal.

Diffen Farm is located on the southeast quadrant of the proposed intersection improvements. The approximately 70 acre farm has been operating as such for nearly 200 years. The farm is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The components contributing to the eligibility of the property include; the farmhouse, coal house, shed, corncrib, barn, silos and chicken/hog house. These buildings are not in the immediate area of the proposed work.


The proposed project will require the use of 0.15 acres (6,485 SF) of the existing farmstead for permanent right-of-way to accommodate the intersection improvements. The permanent right-or-way is 175 feet away from the existing farmstead structures. The land being affected is currently a roadside vegetated embankment and seasonal fenced pasture/meadow area. This impact decreases the seasonal pasture/meadow area by approximately 3140 square feet.

The proposed project also will require permanent slope easements totaling 0.29 acres (12,755SF) to provide tie-in (embankment) grading due to the widening of the existing cartways and the removal of the knob on the southern approach, along part of the Diffen Farm frontage, in order to provide safe sight stopping distance. The slope easement will also impact the seasonal pasture/meadow area due to the widening. This impact decreases the seasonal pasture/meadow area by approximately 6120 square feet.

The existing seasonal pasture/meadow area is approximately 3.2 acres. The total impact to the seasonal pasture/meadow area is limited to 0.21 acres, or 0.3 percent of the overall property acreage.


The Section 106 effects determination for the proposed project resulted in a "No Adverse Effect," and the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) concurred in writing with the effects determination. Also as part of the Section 106 consultation letter, the FHWA official indicated that she intended to make a de minimis impact determination based on the SHPO  no adverse effect  concurrence.

Does the project qualify as a de minimis impact?
Yes. The project has a de minimis use on the Section 4(f) property as evidenced by a No Adverse Effect concurrence from the SHPO as a result of avoidance of impacts to the qualifying characteristics and functions of the resources. Based on the scope of the undertaking; the fact that the undertaking does not adversely affect the function or qualities of the Section 4(f) property on a permanent or temporary basis; and with the agreement from the official with jurisdiction in writing, the proposed action constitutes a de minimis use and no analysis of avoidance alternatives is required.