Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery
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State="Massachusetts"; Category=" all"; Collapse All
1 Practice: Programmatic Agreement Among the Federal Highway Administration, the MassDOT – Highway Division, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers Relative to Priority Project Review under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Categories: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Interagency Funded Positions
Process/NEPA
State: Massachusetts
Organization: Federal Highway Administration MA Division
Contact: Jason Dvelis, P.E.(RI)
Title: Area Engineer District 1 & 2
Email: Jason.Dvelis@dot.gov
Phone: 617-494-2702
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)-Highway Division (formerly the Massachusetts Highway Department), developed, and signed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (COE) in 2013 that established the process for streamlined environmental reviews/permitting of highway projects.. The PA authorizes FHWA and MassDOT – Highway Division to jointly fund COE for one supplemental staff member dedicated to carrying out environmental reviews and regulatory activities for transportation projects. This approach allows COE to provide MassDOT with expedited reviews/permitting decisions which enables MassDOT to avoid permitting delays and expedite project delivery.

The PA only applies to the review of projects that fall within the jurisdiction of the COE under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Under the PA, MassDOT agrees to fund COE up front for this supplemental staffing on a federal fiscal year basis. The PA also requires COE to submit monthly timesheets to MassDOT for actual costs incurred by COE relative to this agreement.
Last Updated: March 12, 2014
2 Practice: MassDOT Project Development and Design Guide
Categories: Context Sensitive Solutions
Project Development
State: Massachusetts
Organization: MassDOT
Contact: Stanley W. Wood, P.E.
Title: Highway Design Engineer
Email: Stanley.Wood@state.ma.us
Phone: 857-368-9450
Description: MassDOT has developed a Project Development & Design Guide to provide designers and decision-makers with a framework for incorporating context sensitive design and multi-modal elements into transportation improvement projects. The emphasis is to ensure that investments in transportation infrastructure encourage projects that are sensitive to the local context while meeting the important needs of the people they serve.
Related Documentation: http://wwwcf.fhwa.dot.gov/exit.cfm?link=http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/DoingBusinessWithUs/ManualsPublicationsForms/ProjectDevelopmentDesignGuide.aspx
Last Updated: March 11, 2014
3 Practice: Programmatic Agreement for Approval of Categorical Exclusions between the Federal Highway Administration and the MassDOT – Highway Division
Categories: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Process/NEPA
State: Massachusetts
Organization: Federal Highway Administration MA Division
Contact: Jason Dvelis, P.E.(RI)
Title: Area Engineer District 1 & 2
Email: Jason.Dvelis@dot.gov
Phone: 617-494-2702
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)-Highway Division (formerly the Massachusetts Highway Department) developed, and signed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) to outline the policy and procedures for the processing of Categorical Exclusions (CEs) for Federal-aid Actions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in compliance with FHWA regulations contained in 23 CRFR 771. The PA has been in effect since May 2005.

In accordance with the agreement, FHWA concurs in advance, on a “programmatic” basis, with MassDOT – Highway Division that project types that satisfy certain conditions identified in the agreement will not result in significant social, economic, and environmental impacts, and are, therefore, categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. These project types are actions that do not induce significant impacts to planned growth or land use for the area, do not require the relocation of significant numbers of people, do not have a significant impact on any natural, cultural, recreational, historic or other resource, do not involve significant air, noise, or water quality impact, or do not have significant impact on travel patterns.

The PA also states that any action that would normally be classified as a CE, but may involve unusual circumstances, requires appropriate environmental studies to determine if a CE classification is proper. Such unusual circumstances include significant environmental impacts, substantial controversy on environmental grounds, significant impact on properties protected by Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act or Section 106 of the National Preservation Act, or inconsistencies with any Federal or State law, requirement, or administrative determination relating to the environmental aspects of the action.

Under this PA, those projects classified as Automatic and Programmatic CEs do not require further FHWA review. This approach allows for time savings during the NEPA review. MassDOT uses a CE Determination Checklist to record supporting information for all CEs, including those not requiring further FHWA review. Actions that do not satisfy the conditions for a programmatic or an automatic CE, but may still qualify as such (Individual CEs), require FHWA review and approval.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
4 Practice: Programmatic Agreement Among the Federal Highway Administration, the MassDOT – Highway Division, the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Regarding Implementation of Minor Highway Projects
Categories: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Historical & Archeological Preservation
Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Process/NEPA
State: Massachusetts
Organization: Federal Highway Administration MA Division
Contact: Jason Dvelis, P.E.(RI)
Title: Area Engineer District 1 & 2
Email: Jason.Dvelis@dot.gov
Phone: 617-494-2702
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)-Highway Division (formerly the Massachusetts Highway Department), developed, and signed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) in 2004 that established the process by which both agencies meet their responsibilities under Sections 106, 110(d), and 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act, for minor highway projects in the Federal Aid Highway Program. The PA authorizes MassDOT – Highway Division to consult with the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and other consulting parties on behalf of the FHWA, though the FHWA remains responsible for all findings and determinations. The PA also requires the FHWA to comply with Federal requirements pertaining to direct government-to-government consultation with Tribes, but allows MassDOT – Highway Division to directly solicit comments from Tribes.

The PA only applies to minor highway projects, which are classified as categorical exclusions under 23CFR 771.115 and 23 CFR 771.117. Projects that require an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act must follow the procedures in 36CFR 800. MassDOT – Highway Division may also choose at any time to process a minor project by following the procedures in 36CFR 800 rather than following the procedures in this PA. The Massachusetts SHPO or FHWA may also request that MassDOT – Highway Division process a minor project by following the procedures in 36CFR 800, if a known controversy exists.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
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