Environmental Review Toolkit
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1 Practice: North Dakota’s Approach to Administer the Emergency Relief Program
Categories: Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Sustainability
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) North Dakota Division and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) developed a manual that provides state specific guidance for determining eligibility and administering the FHWA Emergency Relief (ER) program. It serves as a supplement to the FHWA ER Manual. As part of the Manual, two programmatic agreements were implemented to reduce additional work and expedite project delivery (Emergency Relief Programmatic Agreement Between US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FHWA ND Division and NDDOT) and to address wetland mitigation (Programmatic Agreement for Wetland Mitigation on Emergency Relief Projects).
Related Documentation: http://wwwcf.fhwa.dot.gov/exit.cfm?link=http://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/localgov/docs/ddir/DraftERManual.pdf
Last Updated: February 23, 2015
2 Practice: North Dakota Wetland Mitigation Banking Guidance Document
Categories: Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Mitigation
Wetland Banking
Wetlands
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description: The North Dakota Interagency Review Team (NDIRT), an interagency team of State and Federal agencies, consisting of the US Army Corps of Engineers, North Dakota Regulatory Office (USACE); US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8 (EPA); US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, North Dakota Field Office (FWS); Federal Highway Administration, North Dakota Division (FHWA); Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Dakota State Office (NRCS); and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGF), developed a mitigation guidance document. While the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is not an official member of the NDIRT, they provided an important perspective throughout the process as a mitigation bank sponsor.

The North Dakota Wetland Mitigation Banking Guidance Document (Guidance Document) was developed to provide a consistent, clear set of procedures to assist Federal, tribal, State, and County agencies, agricultural producers, developers, and individuals to mitigate unavoidable wetland losses in North Dakota through the establishment of mitigation banks. The Guidance Document was specifically written to only address wetland resources in the State of North Dakota and was structured to comply with the goals and objectives of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act; the National Food Security Act of 1985, as amended; and the Executive Order 11990 concerning the protection of wetland resources. The Guidance Document was based on a consensus of the participating agencies and the best available scientific information concerning the ecology of prairie wetlands and wetland mitigation methods that have proven effective in North Dakota.
Last Updated: February 23, 2015
3 Practice: USFWS Easement Wetlands and/or Grasslands Memorandum Of Understanding
Categories: Environmental (NEPA) Documentation
Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Mitigation
Section 4(f)
Wetlands
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) North Dakota Division had been treating easement wetlands and/or grasslands as Section 4(f) to assure US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was afforded adequate coordination for projects impacting easement wetlands and/or grasslands. In 2005, FHWA, USFWS, and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) developed a Programmatic Section 4(f) Agreement for projects with minor impacts to wetland and/or grassland easements.

With the approval of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 6211005A between NDDOT and USFWS, executed on March 14, 2012, treatment of easement wetlands and/or grasslands as Section 4(f) in North Dakota is no longer needed. The MOU sets forth procedures and established a basis for the exchange of USFWS held wetland, grassland, and FmHA easements. The MOU assured the USFWS was afforded adequate coordination for projects impacting easement wetlands and/or grasslands. Therefore, FHWA North Dakota Division no longer treats easement wetlands and/or grasslands as Section 4(f), and the 2005 Programmatic Section 4(f) Agreement was terminated.
Last Updated: February 23, 2015
4 Practice: Bridging Cultures – Four Bears Bridge
Category: Context Sensitive Solutions
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description: The first Four Bears Bridge, named for Chief Four Bears of the Hidatsa tribe and Chief Four Bears of the Mandan tribe, was constructed in Elbowoods, North Dakota in 1934, on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Flooding associated with the construction of the Garrison Dam in the early 1950s inundated almost 25% of the reservation, some 155,000 acres, and forced the relocation of both the bridge and many residents. The 1,425-foot long three-span continuous main span was salvaged and reused as the main channel spans for the second Four Bears Bridge, which was moved upstream to New Town in 1955. Approach slabs were added, for a total length of 4,483 feet. The second Four Bears Bridge was culturally important and held a symbolic value to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes (Three Affiliated Tribes) because the main components of the second Four Bears Bridge in New Town came from their former home in Elbowoods, now underwater after construction of the Garrison Dam. Recognizing the cultural importance of the bridge, the North Dakota Department of Transportation required the implementation of Context Sensitive Design (CSD) elements for the proposed third Four Bears Bridge, a replacement structure to the functionally obsolete second Four Bears Bridge. Meetings were held at six communities on the Fort Berthold Reservation to discuss CSD concepts. These meetings informed tribal members about the project and solicited volunteers on a cultural advisory committee (CAC). This CAC was responsible for providing Native American input. A design charette was held with representatives from the North Dakota Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, CAC, North Dakota Historical Society, and local elected officials. The 2-day charette focused on the aesthetic elements of the bridge, including pier shapes, lighting, girder profiles, colors, and textures. The CAC also worked with local artists and the design team on the pedestrian walkway. Each of the tribes chose artistic renderings that represented their culture. These images appear on medallions that are 4-foot wide and appear at each pier location. The pedestrian walkway also features a decorative railing with images of animals of importance to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes. These same animals appear in silhouette on a 10-foot wide emblem located on the exterior side at each pier location. In addition, four colored-concrete patterns were included on the walkway, which represent each tribe and the Three Affiliated Tribes united. The Four Bears Bridge project tells a successful story on the implementation of Context Sensitive Design. From the project’s beginning to its end, the process for Context Sensitive Design was followed. All stakeholders were included in the decision-making. The result is a structure that pleases all involved stakeholders, not only for its functionality and necessity, but also for its aesthetics.
Last Updated: February 20, 2015
5 Practice: Capturing the Historic Spirit of the Original Marsh Arch – Rainbow Arch Bridge
Categories: Collaborative Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution
Public Involvement
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description: The Rainbow Arch Bridge in Valley City, North Dakota was built in 1925. Over the years, the bridge developed structural problems and was rated “functionally obsolete,” the bridge’s deck geometry was rated “intolerable,” and overall the bridge was considered a “high priority for replacement.” Due to its narrow width, the bridge was a traffic safety hazard and the site of the most vehicular fatalities in Valley City. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, due to its unique design, aesthetic appeal, and historical significance. However, rehabilitating the bridge was not an option. The residents of Valley City were divided on replacing the bridge with a less expensive modern design, or whether to spend more time and money rebuilding the bridge in accordance with the James Barney Marsh Rainbow Arch bridge patent, which hadn’t been built in 70 years. The Consultant worked with the public for two years to create a consensus. After numerous meetings and much discussion, the residents decided to keep the spirit of the bridge and build a replication of it. Original patent designs and photographs were analyzed and innovative bridge construction, intensive physical labor, and custom-designed materials were utilized to build the new Rainbow Arch Bridge. Despite obstacles that arose during the design and construction phases, the bridge was finished on schedule and under budget in November 2004. More importantly, the residents and visitors of Valley City can travel across the Rainbow Arch Bridge safely and absorb the bridge’s aesthetic appeal and history, which have become a cornerstone of Valley City.
Last Updated: February 20, 2015
6 Practice: North Dakota's Collaborative Approach to Tribal Consultation
Categories: Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Tribal Consultation & Issues
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description:

North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and Federal Highway Division (FHWA) North Dakota Division Office (ND Division) has developed an innovative approach to tribal consultation with 12 tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota. NDDOT and FHWA ND Division developed a programmatic agreement (PA) with the tribes that tailored the consultation process to NDDOT while addressing tribal concerns about cultural resources that may be affected by NDDOT projects. Though NDDOT had one-on-one working relationships with the tribes and reservations for many years, this new PA allows NDDOT and FHWA ND Division to consult with these tribes as a group, rather than individually. This allows the expertise of the individual tribes to benefit the function as a group, which reduces the demands on the individual tribes and allows them to work together with NDDOT and FHWA ND Division more efficiently.

Related Documentation: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/eqvol3iss1.cfm
Last Updated: February 20, 2015
7 Practice: North Dakota's Cultural Heritage Manual
Category: Tribal Consultation & Issues
State: North Dakota
Organization: Federal Highway Administration ND Division
Contact: Sheri G. Lares
Title: Environmental Program Manager and Planning Specialist
Email: Sheri.Lares@dot.gov
Phone: 701-221-9464
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) North Dakota Division, North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), and the North Dakota Tribal Consultation Committee have developed a Cultural Heritage Manual to aid Tribal consultation efforts. The manual, completed in 2008, was designed to help expedite tribal consultation efforts and address undertakings that could affect properties with religious and cultural significance. The manual offers a Tribal perspective on cultural heritage issues and provides an overview of relevant laws. The manual also describes key Tribal consultation "best practices" and protocols. Although the signatory agencies of the North Dakota Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for Tribal Consultation and consultants are the primary audience for the manual, stakeholders hope that other State Departments of Transportation, FHWA Divisions, and Tribes can draw upon the key principles embodied in the Cultural Heritage Manual to develop similar manuals.

The manual employs a unique visual aid – called the "Heritage Wheel" – that helps the user to locate critical information at a glance and to identify interrelated topics of importance as well. In 2009, the FHWA North Dakota Division supplied two copies of the Cultural Heritage Manual to each FHWA Division Office and asked each Division to provide a copy to their State Department of Transportation.
Related Documentation: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/vol5iss2.cfm
Last Updated: February 20, 2015
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