Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

Interagency Guidance: Transportation Funding
for Federal Agency Coordination
Associated with Environmental Streamlining Activities


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Subject: INFORMATION: New Interagency Guidance: Transportation Funding for Federal Agency Coordination Associated with Environmental Streamlining Activities

Date: February 26, 2002
Original Signed by:
From: Frederick Skaer, Director
Office of NEPA Facilitation

In Reply Refer To: HEPE
To: FHWA Division Administrators
Susan Borinsky, FTA, Director, Office
of Human and Natural Environment

The purpose of this message is to provide a copy of the new interagency guidance on the use of cost-reimbursement agreements. This guidance clarifies what some of you may have seen in the March 5, 2001 memo regarding Use of Project Funds for Travel by Other Federal Agencies, from the Assistant Chief Counsel (Program Legal Services Division) to Dave Ortez in the Western Field Legal Services Division. The March 5, 2001 memo seemed to discourage the use of such agreements due to its caveats regarding approvals. In order to allay such concerns, the Assistant Chief Counsel for Program Legal Services concurs with this new guidance, which is more detailed and provides further direction as to what factors to consider prior to approval.

This guidance is intended to provide a common understanding between Federal and state departments of transportation (DOTs), local transit operators, and Federal resource agencies regarding options for using funding under Title 23 and Section 1309(e) of TEA-21. These agencies may develop interagency agreements to support Federal resource agency coordination for streamlining the review of Federal-aid transportation projects. FHWA developed this guidance with input from FHWA Division Staff, Federal transportation and resource agencies, and AASHTO. In addition, previous drafts of the guidance were posted on FHWA's website "Re: NEPA" which provided an opportunity for practitioners to offer comments.

In addition to discussing the funding mechanism under Section 1309(e), we have included brief descriptions of mechanisms used by other Federal resource agencies, in support of expediting reviews. This guidance also identifies eligible activities, recommended elements and a template for developing interagency agreements. This packet of information is designed to help interested parties to develop mutually beneficial agreements to meet the environmental streamlining goals and includes best practices and lessons learned from states currently using cost reimbursement agreements as well as AASHTO's survey of state funded positions of TEA-21.

Please note that several of the interagency agreements highlighted as examples in the matrix in Appendix C, are available in hardcopy only. We suggest that you contact the appropriate state DOT for copies. Other inquiries may be directed to Lucy Garliauskas, Environmental Streamlining Program Manager or Gwen Whitt at 202-366-2065.


Cindy Burbank, HEP-1
Edward Kussy, HCC-1
April Marchese, HCC-1
Fred Gessler, HABF-20
Butch Wlaschin, FLH
Environmental Streamlining Federal Interagency Workgroup Members
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