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1 Practice: MOU with Native American Tribes
Categories: Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Process/NEPA
Public Involvement
Tribal
Tribal Consultation & Issues
State: Iowa
Organization: Federal Highway Administration IA Division
Contact: Mike  LaPietra
Title: Environment and Realty Manager
Email: Mike.LaPietra@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 515-233-7302
Description: In 2002, the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) formalized its first programmatic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to Native American Tribal concerns. The MOU is between IDOT and the Yankton Sioux tribe of South Dakota, and addresses the applicability of travel costs and reimbursement to the Tribe, the level of information and documentation to be provided to the Tribe, Tribal indication of parts of the state or types of projects of interest, and the procedures to be utilized when coordination is applicable. As more than eight other Tribes have expressed an interest in being involved in transportation projects in Iowa, additional Tribal MOUs are anticipated.

Read the July 2002 Successes in Streamlining newsletter at: http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/newsletters/jul02nl.asp.
Last Updated: November 7, 2007
2 Practice: Iowa Merged NEPA/404 Process
Categories: Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Interagency Coordination
Stormwater, The Clean Water Act, & Section 404
Watersheds & Wetlands
Wetland Banking
State: Iowa
Organization: Federal Highway Administration IA Division
Contact: Mike  LaPietra
Title: Environment and Realty Manager
Email: Mike.LaPietra@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 515-233-7302
Description: Statewide Implementation Agreement (SIA) for the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act: concurrent NEPA/404 Practices for Highway Projects in Iowa.

This SIA continues the spirit of cooperation and agreement contained in the July 1996 agreement, and implements a concurrent NEPA/404 process for highway projects in Iowa.

This SIA commits its signatories to the following:
(1) Potential impacts to waters of the United States, including wetlands, in Iowa shall be considered at the earliest practical time in project development.
(2) Adverse impacts to such waters and wetlands shall be avoided to the extent practicable, and unavoidable adverse impacts shall be minimized and mitigated to the extent reasonable and practicable.
(3) Interagency cooperation and consultation shall be diligently pursued throughout the integrated NEPA/404 process to ensure that the concerns of the regulatory and resource agencies are given timely and appropriate consideration and that those agencies are involved at key decision points in project development.

This SIA is intended to:
(1) Improve cooperation and efficiency of governmental operations at all levels, thereby better serving the public,
(2) Expedite construction of necessary transportation projects, with benefits to mobility and the economy at large,
(3) Enable more transportation projects to proceed on budget and on schedule, and
(4) Protect and enhance wetlands and other waters of the United States in Iowa, which will benefit the State's aquatic ecosystems and the public interest.
Related Documentation: ia_siagr.asp
Last Updated: November 7, 2007
3 Practice: Can-Do Environmental Streamlining Process
Categories: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Interagency Coordination
Public Involvement
State: Iowa
Organization: Federal Highway Administration IA Division
Contact: Mike  LaPietra
Title: Environment and Realty Manager
Email: Mike.LaPietra@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 515-233-7302
Description: In 1998 and 1999, a joint Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) team developed and began implementing the Iowa DOT's streamlined project development process, called the "Can-Do" process. The purpose of the Can-Do process is:

- To re-engineer the project development process with the goal of reducing development time while maintaining a commitment to environmental integrity and overall process quality.
- To facilitate cooperation among the Iowa DOT, FHWA, and regulatory agencies.
- To merge compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Can-Do is predicated on the conviction that a better end product will result from integrating planning, environmental, and design elements; involving the public; using teamwork; building consensus; identifying potential problems early in the process; and avoiding, as opposed to mitigating, environmental impacts. The "Can-Do" Process reduces project development time from slightly over eleven years to nearly five and a half years.

The Can-Do process is designed around a commitment to "proactive and continuous" public involvement. In addition, it promotes a development philosophy that includes an environmental commitment to "avoidance as opposed to mitigation". In furtherance of that philosophy, the process mandates that:

- Environmental investigations cover a wider area.
- Corridors are defined earlier in the development process.
- Resource agencies and other external stakeholders are involved earlier and continuously throughout the process.
- Environmental investigations, delineation, and impact identification are completed early in the process.
- An interdisciplinary project management team lead each project.
- The starting point for individual development is moved earlier in time to optimize parallel development and minimize linear sequencing.

In developing and implementing the Can-Do process, the Iowa DOT and FHWA Iowa Division examined the three-year old NEPA/Section 404 process to see if any changes were warranted. Although no significant changes were made, the merger was updated to reflect minor changes.
Last Updated: November 7, 2007
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