Environmental Review Toolkit
Planning and Environment Linkages

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Overview of SAFETEA-LU Sections 6001, 6002, 3005, and 3006

Slide 1
Overview of SAFETEA-LU Sections 6001, 6002, 3005, and 3006

TRB January 13, 2008
Shari Schaftlein
FHWA, Project Development & Environmental Review
Washington, DC
Shari.Schaftlein@dot.gov, 202-366-5570

Slide 2
Timing of SAFETEA-LU and Planning Rule

  • SAFETEA-LU Passed August 10, 2005
  • Planning NPRM Published June 9, 2006
  • Final Rule Effective: March 16, 2007
  • SAFETEA-LU Compliance Date: July 1, 2007

** Final rule incorporates changes since ISTEA (TEA-21, SAFETEA-LU) - not just "S-LU 6001"

Slide 3
Transportation Decision-Making Continuum

This slide shows a graphic of the transportation decision-making process. Multiple factors including Planning & Programming, Project Analysis/Refinement, Final Design and Implementation are put through Decision Screens to produce a single, well-defined outcome.

Slide 4
Transportation Planning, Programming and NEPA

  • Planning and Programming Decisions
    • Long Range Plan (20+ years)
      • Problems to be solved
      • Goals and policies
      • Strategies
      • Project concept and scope
  • Transportation Improvement Program (min 4 years)
    • Priority projects
    • Funding allocations
  • Project Analysis/Refinement
    • NEPA process often starts hear
  • Final Design
  • Implementation

Slide 5

This slide shows a graphic of the interplay of Transportation and Resource agencies in both system-level planning and project-level decision.

Slide 6
SAFETEA-LU: Planning Factors

  • Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area (global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency)
  • Increase the safety for motorized and nonmotorized users
  • Increase the security for motorized and nonmotorized users
  • Increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight
  • Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns
  • Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
  • Promote efficient system management and operation
  • Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.

Slide 7
Consultation - required

  • Applies to metropolitan, statewide planning
  • Directs agencies to "consult, as appropriate, with State and local agencies* responsible for land use management, natural resources, environmental protection, conservation, and historic preservation"
  • Requires consultations to, as appropriate:
    • Compare transportation plans with State conservation plans or maps
    • Compare transportation plans to inventories of natural or historic resources

*for statewide planning, add "tribal agencies"

Slide 8
Participation Plan - required

  • MPO shall develop a participation plan in consultation with interested parties [see 23 CFR 450.316(a)]
  • Minimum 45-day comment period
  • Adequate, timely public notice and reasonable access
  • Employ visualization techniques
  • Information available in electronic formats
  • Meetings at convenient and accessible
  • State public involvement process similar [see 23 CFR 450.210]

Slide 9
SAFETEA-LU Strengthens Linkages among Decision Processes

  • Transportation Systems Planning & Programming
    • Project locations
    • Conceptual design
  • Transportation Project Development
    • Environmental analysis and permitting
    • Right-of-way
    • Engineering design
  • Other Planning Processes
    • Land use
    • Watershed
    • Habitat
    • Cultural resources

Slide 10
Linking Planning and NEPA: Appendix A - voluntary

  • Based on original guidance and legal opinion (Feb, 2005)
  • Provides further clarification of 450.212 and 318
  • Contains guidance on procedural, substantive, and administrative issues
  • Voluntary
  • Planning varies across the country
  • Does not NEPA-ize Planning

Slide 11
Legal Guidance

  • Environment and Planning Linkage Processes Legal Guidance
  • Released February 22, 2005 (will still stand)
  • Provides legal background for LP&N Guidance, now 23 CFR 450.212, 318 & Appendix A


  • Planning activities not considered a Federal action subject to review under NEPA
    [see 23 CFR 450.222 and 450.336]

Slide 12
§450.212 & 318: Transportation planning studies and project development - voluntary

  • Results or decisions in corridor or sub-area studies may be used in NEPA
    • Purpose and need or goals & objective statement(s)
    • General travel corridor, general mode, definition
    • Preliminary screening of alternatives and elimination of unreasonable alternatives
    • Basic description of the environmental setting
    • Preliminary identification of environmental impacts and environmental mitigation

Slide 13
§450.212 & 318: Transportation planning studies and project development (cont) - voluntary

Studies may be incorporated if:
  • NEPA lead agencies agree
  • Systems-level, corridor, or sub-area planning studies are conducted with
    • Involvement of appropriate agencies
    • Public review
    • Reasonable opportunity to comment on planning process or studies
    • Documentation is identifiable and available for scoping process
    • Review of the FHWA and the FTA, as appropriate

Slide 14
How does 6001/Planning Reg./6002 work together?

  • Planning as the basis for NEPA
  • Better relationships, increased trust between agencies, throughout the decision-making process
  • Early, informed decisions reduce project delivery delays and minimize duplication of effort
  • Agencies work collaboratively to ensure early consideration given to multiple goals (equity, safety, mobility...) - a balance
  • Thoughtful and diligent management of the planning and NEPA processes can make a difference
  • http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/guidance/section6002/index.cfm

Slide 15
Relevant 6002/ERP/23 CFR 771 Provisions

  • Defines an "Environmental Review Process" for transportation Projects
    • Milestones, timeframes for reviews
    • All agencies with interest to be invited to be "participating agencies, providing for:
      • Early identification of issues of concern
      • Input for purpose and need, range of alternatives
      • Consultation for coordination plan and schedule
    • Participating agencies, public to be involved early
  • Final 6002 Guidance specifically mentions "opportunities" may be given in the planning process - references LP&N guidance
  • Revision of 23 CFR 771.111 will include a cross-reference to planning regulation re: linking planning and NEPA
  • Funding assistance to affected State and Federal Agencies

Slide 16
Planning and Environment Linkages: An Integrated, System Perspective

This slide shows a graphic depicting an integrated planning approach, where multiple types of resources, including the land use system, transportation system, water resources system and other natural and cultural resource systems are integrated and planned for collaboratively.

Slide 17
Feedback so far

  • From Transport. Planners:
    • Need more guidance
    • How to engage
    • Lack of examples
    • Mitigation at planning level - How?
    • Flexibility is good
    • Need training
  • From Resource agencies:
    • Great opportunity
    • Don't have the resources
    • Early input may effect ability to make decisions later
    • Need training
    • How to be useful, provide valuable input

For questions or feedback on this subject matter content, please contact Jody McCullough or Marisel Lopez-Cruz.

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