|Environmental Review Toolkit|
|NEPA and Project
|Section 4(f)||Water, Wetlands,
|Accelerating Project Delivery|
Environmental and Transportation Professionals Come Together to Discuss Solutions and Improve Relationships
Most of the direct and tangible results associated with environmental streamlining are realized at the project level through practical, on-the-ground streamlining products and solutions. By sharing solutions and integrating efforts, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Division Offices and Resource Centers, state departments of transportation (DOTs), Federal and state resource and regulatory agencies, non-profit organizations, communities, and other stakeholders can advance streamlining through process improvements. Regional and field offices play a critical role in shaping and implementing the national streamlining agenda. FHWA Headquarters supports these regional and field efforts through technical assistance, information sharing, guidance, and best practices.
To discuss relevant issues and identify opportunities for improvement, the FHWA Eastern, Southern, and Western Resource Centers recently brought together representatives from Federal, state, and local transportation, planning, and resource agencies, local governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), transportation and environmental organizations, tribes, and consultants in three regional conferences. The conferences allowed states with similar natural and human environmental issues to discuss regional solutions, such as watershed based mitigation, habitat connectivity, and airshed quality. Participants shared best practices, learned about successful deployments of environmental stewardship principles, and identified means for achieving the FHWA Vital Few goals of environmental streamlining and stewardship. Over the course of the meetings, working relationships were improved and opportunities for process integration were identified.
Joint Mid-Atlantic/New England Planning and Environment Caucus
FHWA's Eastern Resource Center hosted the Joint Mid-Atlantic/New England Planning and Environment Caucus from April 30 to May 1, 2002, in Providence, Rhode Island. The Caucus convened nearly 100 transportation, planning, and environmental representatives from state and Federal transportation and resource agencies, MPOs, and transportation organizations. The goals of the Caucus were to explore how transportation planning and the NEPA processes can be better integrated, including what tools and information are needed. Participants also discussed how resource agencies can and currently do contribute to planning and NEPA integration, and how resource agency involvement in the planning process can expedite project development and improve decision making. Identified best practices include:
2002 Southern Resource Center Environmental Conference
FHWA's Southern Resource Center and the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department (NMSHTD) hosted the 2002 Southern Resource Center Environmental Conference from June 17 to 19, 2002, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over 200 representatives from Federal and state transportation and resource agencies, county and local governments, tribes, and consultant organizations discussed issues such as environmental oversight during construction, public involvement challenges, performance measures, secondary and cumulative impacts, context sensitive design, and Native American consultation. Identified best practices include:
2002 Western Resource Center Environmental Conference
FHWA's Western Resource Center and the FHWA California Division hosted the "Environmental Streamlining: A Work in Progress" Conference from July 16 to 18, 2002, in San Diego, California. Over 120 representatives from Federal and state transportation and resource agencies, local governments, environmental organizations, and consultant organizations discussed innovative techniques to expedite the environmental process, integrate environmental considerations into the transportation planning process, involve the public, and partner on streamlining initiatives. Identified best practices include:
"Successes in Stewardship" is a Federal Highway Administration newsletter highlighting current environmental streamlining practices from around the country.
To subscribe, contact Cassandra Allwell at (617) 494-3997 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on environmental streamlining, please visit: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/strmlng/index.asp.