Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

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1 Practice: US 6 Wildlife Coordination Committee
Categories: Collaborative Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution
Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
General
Habitat/Ecosystem Connectivity & Conservation
Interagency Coordination
Mitigation
Wildlife and Threatened & Endangered Species
State: Utah
Organization: Utah Department of Transportation
Contact: Rebecka Stromness
Title: Environmental Division
Email: rstromness@utah.gov
Phone:
Description: In 2005, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for 127 miles of planned roadway improvemen ...[click for more]
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
2 Practice: Strategies and Approaches for Effectively Moving Complex Environmental Documents through the EIS Process: A Peer Exchange Report
Categories: Collaborative Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution
Environmental (NEPA) Documentation
Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Interagency Coordination
Public Involvement
State: Utah
Organization: Utah Department of Transportation
Contact: Teri Anne Newell
Title: Project Manager
Email: tnewell@utah.gov
Phone: (801) 685-2917
Description: In September of 2008, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and FHWA Florida Division Office organized a peer exchange to share strategies and approaches for effectively moving complex and/or controversial projects through the EIS process. State DOTs and FHWA Division Offices participating in the Peer Exchange included Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Utah, and Florida.

Participants from each invited State gave presentations on one or two transportation projects in their State that had gone through the environmental review process relatively quickly, highlighting challenges encountered, methods used to successfully and efficiently navigate the EIS process, and lessons learned from their experiences. While each project had its own unique set of circumstances, a number of common tools and techniques were identified from all the presentations that had been utilized to streamline the EIS process. As the discussion evolved, participants noted that the tools and techniques could be grouped into three main categories for navigating the environmental review process efficiently and effectively: communication, collaboration, and commitment.

Communication: Good communication is a key to effective public involvement that can help generate support for a transportation project, or address public concerns and minimize opposition to a controversial project. Effective public involvement means that an agency listens and responds to all individuals and groups with issues and concerns about the project.

Collaboration: Working cooperatively with project stakeholders creates an atmosphere of partnership that may prove valuable in advancing the environmental review process. Including agencies early and often throughout the process enables issues to be identified and addressed early, thereby minimizing project delays. Communicating with agencies throughout the process reduces the likelihood that reviewing agencies will be surprised by any information or details in the actual environmental document, leading to a more efficient review.

Commitment: Demonstrated agency commitment to the State's priority projects and project schedules provides the impetus for moving those projects forward in a timely manner. Establishing consistency in how the environmental review process is managed and in the quality of information provided helps to build trust and bolster a DOT’s credibility with agencies and the public.

While moving complex documents through the environmental review process is a challenge, state DOTs are employing innovative and creative solutions to streamline the effort. In doing so, they have learned that conducting an environmental review in a collaborative and transparent manner not only leads to faster completion of the process but, perhaps more importantly, results in the delivery of better-quality projects—ones that fulfill communities' transportation needs while maintaining protection of environmental resources.

The report can be accessed at: http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/eisdocs.asp.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
3 Practice: Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems in Utah's Pioneer Crossing Bridge
Category: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
State: Utah
Organization: Federal Highway Administration, Utah Division
Contact: Russel Robertson
Title: Project Delivery Team Leader
Email: Russel.Robertson@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: (801)-955-3512
Description: The Pioneer Crossing Bridge along I-15 in Utah utilizes prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PBES), which offers major time savings, cost savings, safety advantages, and convenience for traveler ...[click for more]
Related Documentation: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/technology/bridges/casestudies.cfm
Last Updated: December 17, 2012
4 Practice: RoadVeg
Category: GIS and Spatial Data
State: Utah
Organization: Utah Department of Transportation
Contact: Ira Bickford
Title:
Email: ibickford@utah.gov
Phone: 801-965-4119
Description: UDOT has included invasive species in its decision-making process mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has documented potential environmental impacts and listed appropriate be ...[click for more]
Related Documentation: http://www.udot.utah.gov/index.php/m=c/tid=271
Last Updated: March 30, 2007
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