|Environmental Review Toolkit|
|NEPA and Project
|Section 4(f)||Water, Wetlands,
|Planning and Environment Linkages|
How to Implement PEL
Here is a set of tools designed to help agencies identify areas where they can strengthen planning and environment linkages (PEL).
These tools are also intended to help agencies identify available assistance and potential FHWA activities that could be undertaken to provide that assistance.
Tools are grouped into four categories. Click the (plus sign icon) to open and view a particular category's full content.
Champions and working groups
Arizona Wildlife Linkages — case study
Training and exchanges
Document new procedural or analysis guidance
Develop procedures and guidance for environment linkages during planning, including analysis methods, procedures for involving key stakeholders, and 'handing off' planning products to project development staff, documented in agency publications such as:
Indiana's Streamlined EIS Procedures — case study
Communication from executive management to staff level regarding agency's commitment to strengthening planning and environment linkages which might include:
Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects — interagency guidebook and grant program
Develop long-range transportation plans in consultation with resource and regulatory agencies
Compare transportation plans to natural and cultural resource inventories, maps or plans. Consult with Federal, State, Tribal and local agencies as appropriate. (23 CFR 450)
Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects — interagency guidebook and grant program.
Consider mitigation opportunities
Explore potential environmental mitigation opportunities and potential areas to carry out those activities in consultation with Federal, State, and Tribal land management, wildlife, and regulatory agencies. (23 CFR 450)
Corridor planning, sub area planning, and tiering
Carry planning decisions through in project development (linking planning and NEPA)
Planning processes, including long-range, corridor, and sub-area studies, that feature components that use NEPA principles and methods, including:
Consider Context Sensitive Solutions
Incorporate principles, approaches, guidelines, standards, or flexibility to be used in designing transportation facilities, such as context-sensitive design
Context Sensitive Solutions in the State Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship Practices Database
Communicate with stakeholders
Develop contact and relationships with:
Maine's Gateway 1 Strategic Plan — case study
Establish standing inter- and intra-agency coordination groups
Develop contact and relationships with: Inter- and intra-agency working groups, task forces, or committees that meet on an ongoing basis to focus on coordinating information exchange and collaborative decision-making
Develop Memoranda of Understanding/ Agreement
MOAs/MOUs may stipulate arrangements regarding:
Interagency Agreements (MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements) in the State Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship Practices Database
Fund staff positions at partner agencies
Provide inter-agency funding for transportation positions in resource and regulatory agencies. The positions can address environmental considerations in planning as well as environmental review, consultation, and permitting activities.
Document existing geographic data
Example categories of data:
Develop protocols and tools for sharing data and analysis among and within agencies
Improve access to and use of geographic resource data by transportation staff
GIS and Spatial Data in the State Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship Practices Database
Collect and maintain data regularly
Establish a regular schedule and maintenance program for various geographic and other important data used in transportation planning and project development.
Texas Ecological Assessment Protocol — case study