Environmental Review Toolkit
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SAFETEA-LU: Environmental Provisions for Transportation Planning

Slide 1
SAFETEA-LU: Environmental Provisions for Transportation Planning

Michael Culp
FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
michael.culp@dot.gov

Slide 2
SAFETEA-LU Section 6001
Expanded environmental considerations in Metropolitan and Statewide Transportation Planning
  • Consultation
  • Mitigation
Slide 3
Consultation Provision
  • During development of long-range transportation MPOs and States must consult "as appropriate" with State and local agencies responsible for:
    • Land-use management
    • Natural resources
    • Environmental protection
    • Conservation
    • Historic preservation
  • For Statewide plans, States must also consult with Tribal agencies
Slide 4
Consultation Provision (cont)
  • The consultation shall involve, "as appropriate"
    • Comparison of transportation plans with State conservation plans or maps, if available; or
    • Comparison of transportation plans to inventories of natural or historic resources, if available
Slide 5
Plans and Inventories

What are the other plans or inventories that might be considered?

Diagram of the following:

A bubble with Transportation Plan is in the center, with spokes around it connecting to Wildlife Action Plans, Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plans, Natural Heritage Databases, Land Use Plans, Green Infrastructure Planning, Watershed Plans, Historic Resource Inventories, and Special Area Management Plans.

Slide 6
Mitigation Provision
  • Long-range transportation plans must include a discussion of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential locations to carry them out
    • Must be developed in consultation with Federal, State and Tribal wildlife, land management, and regulatory agencies
Slide 7
How do the planning provisions relate to project development, NEPA and 106?
Slide 8
A few differences ...
  • Local and State elected officials — driven process
  • High level (systems-perspective)
  • Produces Long Range Plan/TIP
  • Process Certified by FHWA/FTA
  • Not a Federal Action or reviewable by courts
  • Lead agency/FHWA driven
  • Project-Alternatives specific
  • NEPA document/MOA
  • Approved by FHWA
  • Federal Action, reviewable by courts
Slide 9
Consideration of Cultural Resources
  • Preservation plans
  • Data/inventories
  • General assessment
  • Fuzzy, systems-level
  • Project-specific inventories
  • Project-specific analysis
  • Focused consideration of significance & eligibility
Slide 10
Mitigation
  • General discussion of mitigation "activities"
  • Avoidance and minimization during plan development
  • Eco-system-level, banking (most value)
  • Fuzzy, systems-level
  • Project-specific impact mitigation, avoidance and minimization
  • Project-level, at project site and in-kind (may be costly and low value)
Slide 11
What's in it for you?
Better Plans, Projects and Stewardship
  • Early involvement in planning envisioned as part of NEPA to ensure better decisions
  • Planning products are being encouraged to be used in NEPA, given that they are done appropriately
  • Projects from a "environmentally-considerate" planning process will be better projects
  • If resource agencies are not involved, may have problems down the road
Slide 12
Some next steps
  • NPRM for Planning is currently out for comment until September 7, 2006
  • Deadline for Planning Agencies to comply with provisions is July 1, 2007
  • Agencies will likely be developing approaches to meet requirements soon
Slide 13

Thank You! michael.culp@dot.gov

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

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