Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery
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1 Practice: The FHWA/VDOT/SHPO Historic Structures Task Group (HSTG)
Categories: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Historical & Archeological Preservation
Interagency Coordination
State: Virginia
Organization: Virginia Department of Transportation; Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research
Contact: Tony Opperman
Title: Preservation Program Manager
Email: A.Opperman@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Phone: (804) 371-6749
Description: The Historic Structures Task Group (HSTG) is an interdisciplinary group composed of representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research. The group addresses the management of historic bridges in Virginia through combined expertise in bridge engineering, maintenance, and local history. Initially, the HSTG came together as part of an effort to inventory bridges throughout Virginia to evaluate the significance of the bridges surveyed and their eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. The group was also instrumental in developing a management plan for addressing the bridges determined to be significant. Through these efforts, there has been a substantial reduction in the time and cost traditionally needed to address these bridges on a project-by-project basis.

Presently, the HSTG continues to function as an interdisciplinary group reviewing the significance of structures that have not been captured by the various inventories or through a periodic statewide evaluation update. The group’s combined expertise allows them to promptly reach a consensus on the historic significance of a structure in a timely manner.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
2 Practice: The Comprehensive Environmental Data and Reporting (CEDAR) System
Categories: Commitment Tracking
Environmental (NEPA) Documentation
Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Project Development
State: Virginia
Organization: Virginia Department of Transportation
Contact: Geraldine Jones
Title: Environmental Management Program Manager/CEDAR Administrator
Email: Geraldine.Jones@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Phone: 804-786-6678
Description: In May of 2004, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) created their on-line Comprehensive Environmental Data and Reporting (CEDAR) system, providing a resource for environmental staff statewide to enter, edit and retrieve project-level environmental information. In developing the database, VDOT captured over 70 processes, and applications that were being used by VDOT offices to address environmental requirements, track environmental information and document environmental reviews. CEDAR organizes all environmentally related project documents in one place, making them easily accessible throughout VDOT. The system tracks all environmental work, eliminates records duplication, documents environmental decisions, and streamlines interagency actions. As project-level environmental data is entered in the system, CEDAR will automatically populate forms such as the Programmatic Categorical Exclusion and Categorical Exclusion forms. Ultimately, VDOT would like to incorporate more complex forms into the system. VDOT provides CEDAR access to the Federal Highway Administration through an external secure portal. VDOT would also like to provide CEDAR access to the Federal and State agencies responsible for project-related environmental issues, which would allow easier access to project information, review documents, comments, and approvals while within the system.

For each project entered in CEDAR, a project manager and project environmental contact is identified. Project tasks are then assigned to individuals, who ensure that information is entered into and updated in CEDAR. Project design changes trigger an alert that is sent to the listed project environmental contact so that they may evaluate the implications of the changes. An important feature of CEDAR is that it allows VDOT to enter and track project-level environmental commitments. Environmental commitments that are made during the project development process are entered into the system and tracked through design and construction.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
3 Practice: USACE/EPA/USFWS/FHWA/VDOT/VDEQ Wetland Banking Agreements
Categories: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
Mitigation
Watersheds & Wetlands
Wetlands
State: Virginia
Organization: Virginia Department of Transportation
Contact: Leo Snead
Title: Natural Resources Program Manager
Email: Leo.Snead@VirginiaDOT.org
Phone: 804-840-0686
Description: In an effort to address wetland impacts on a more ecologically sound and watershed basis, VDOT has been establishing several large wetland banks around Virginia in different watersheds. This effort puts VDOT in position to offer mitigation banking as compensation for unavoidable wetland impacts. In that regard, VDOT has entered into five banking agreements since late 2001. These agreements cover the Mattaponi Wetland Bank (approximately 70 acres), Mountain Run Wetland Bank (approximately 28 acres), the William Benjamin Nottoway River Wetland Bank (approximately 30 acres), Great Oaks Wetland Bank (approximately 27 acres), and Eagle Rock Wetland Bank (approximately 85 acres).

The cost of constructing a wetland is approximately $125,000 per acre. Constructing larger wetlands in advance of identified needs in targeted watershed and in locations that are not as developed and more cost-effective could save VDOT millions of dollars. It is also estimated that the use of a wetland bank on a project could save up to 25% in processing time for the permit.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
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