Environmental Review Toolkit
NEPA and Project Development

NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking

Public Involvement Overview

FHWA Policy:

Public involvement and a systematic interdisciplinary approach are essential parts of the development process for proposed actions.
23 CFR § 771.105(c)

FHWA's Public Involvement Requirements

Each State must have procedures approved by the FHWA to carry out a public involvement/public hearing program pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 128 and 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508.

State public involvement/public hearing procedures must provide for:

  • Coordination of public involvement activities and public hearings with the entire NEPA process.
  • Early and continuing opportunities during project development for the public to be involved in the identification of social, economic, and environmental impacts, as well as impacts associated with relocation of individuals, groups, or institutions.
  • One or more public hearings or the opportunity for hearing(s) to be held by the State highway agency at a convenient time and place for any Federal-aid project which requires significant amounts of right-of-way, substantially changes the layout or functions of connecting roadways or of the facility being improved, has a substantial adverse impact on abutting property, otherwise has a significant social, economic, environmental or other effect, or for which the FHWA determines that a public hearing is in the public interest.
  • Reasonable notice to the public of either a public hearing or the opportunity for a public hearing. Such notice will indicate the availability of explanatory information. The notice shall also provide information required to comply with public involvement requirements of other laws, Executive Orders, and regulations.

23 CFR § 771.111(h)

The SAFETEA-LU Environmental Review Process Final Guidance on coordination and schedule provides information on how lead agencies
should establish a plan for coordinating public and agency participation and comment during the environmental review process. It also provides
guidance on updating public involvement procedures to help state DOTs determine if they need to update their public involvement procedures,
pursuant to 23 CFR § 771.111(h).

Other Resources

Public Involvement and its Role in Project Development
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decisionmaking

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