Program Guidance on Linking the Transportation Planning and NEPA Processes
NEPA Process and Documentation
From: Cindy Burbank February 23, 2005 Subject: FHWA-FTA Program Guidance on Linking the Transportation Planning and NEPA Processes As you know, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have spent the past several months developing legal guidance and program guidance on how information, analysis, and products from metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes can be incorporated into and relied upon in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process under existing Federal statutes and regulations.
Yesterday we issued this new guidance. Attached for your information and reference are (a) the legal guidance outlining our authority under current law; and (b) the completed program guidance entitled "Linking the Transportation Planning and NEPA Processes." Utilizing a question and answer format, the program guidance is organized into three primary categories: (1) Procedural Guidance; (2) Substantive Guidance; and (3) Administrative Issues. This guidance is intended for use by State Departments of Transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies, and supercedes the FHWA's August 23, 1999 memorandum to Division Administrators and Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers entitled "INFORMATION: Results of Environmental Briefing at the Department of Justice." While this guidance is voluntary to State Departments of Transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies, its implementation will positively affect efforts to link the transportation planning and NEPA decision-making processes. Of equal importance, this guidance does not extend NEPA requirements to transportation plans and programs. On October 22, 2004, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials convened a session in Washington, DC at which each of you provided valuable insight, input, and feedback to us on the focus, content, and structure of this guidance. This guidance represents a significant milestone, and we greatly appreciate your insights and input. However, we recognize that much work and several challenges remain. We look forward to working with each of you over the coming months and years in implementing this guidance. If you have any questions on this guidance, please contact: Gloria Shepherd, Director of FHWA's Office of Planning at (202) 366-0106; Fred Skaer, Director of FHWA's Office of Project Development and Environmental Review, at (202) 366-2058; Charlie Goodman, Director of FTA's Office of Systems Planning, at (202) 366-1944; or Joe Ossi, Acting Director of FTA's Office of Human and Natural Environment, at (202) 366-1613
2/23/2005 9:38 AM