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FHWA’s Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) Program:. The Colorado Experience 2008 Environmental Conference June 17, 2008. Agenda. PEL concept PEL Today Benefits PEL in Colorado Examples Next steps. PEL Concept. Address environment earlier in planning and use decisions in NEPA later

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FHWA’s Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) Program:

The Colorado Experience

2008 Environmental Conference

June 17, 2008


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Agenda

  • PEL concept

  • PEL Today

  • Benefits

  • PEL in Colorado

  • Examples

  • Next steps


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PEL Concept

  • Address environment earlier in planning and use decisions in NEPA later

    • Better planning decisions and carry them forth

    • Smoother NEPA process

    • Minimize duplication of effort

  • Ecosystem-scale perspective - Not individual projects

  • Coordination

    • Intra-agency

    • Interagency


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PEL Today

  • Progression from just NEPA focus


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Benefits

  • Common sense - remove silos

  • Early and continuous coordination

  • Better decisions result in:

    • Environmental stewardship

    • Financial stewardship

  • Ultimately save time, money and effort

  • Relationship-building


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PEL in Colorado

  • CDOT - A proactive PEL national leader

    • CDOT PEL Program Manager

    • STEP UP http://www.nfrmpo.org/pdfs/PhaseIReport_v4.pdf

    • Environmental Overview Studies - 2004

    • CDOT On-line training/guidance - 2007

    • 2035 transportation plans/environmental forum - 2007

    • PEL corridor studies - Ongoing

    • PEL questionnaire - 2008


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STEP UP

  • Strategic, Transportation, Environmental and Planning Process for Urbanizing Places

  • Predates FHWA Linking Planning and NEPA Guidance

  • Vision of addressing and documenting environmental concerns early

  • Used on NFRMPO 2035 Long-Range Plan



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CDOT PEL Training Toolhttp://www.dot.state.co.us/environmental/Training/NEPA_index.asp

Contents

BACKGROUND ON LINKING PLANNING AND NEPA

What is Planning?

What is NEPA?

Linking Planning and NEPA (LPN) Overview

What is LPN?Why Do It? (What are the Benefits?)Potential Costs or Benefit Neutral Areas

LINKING PLANNING AND NEPA APPLICATIONS

OverviewPlanning Subject AreasCorridor Vision GoalsCorridor Vision DescriptionCorridor Vision StrategiesPublic InvolvementAgency CoordinationMitigationCASE STUDIESCDOT Case StudiesCase Studies from Other States

OTHER RELATED INFORMATION Context Sensitive Solutions Implementation of Planning and Environmental Linkages: Indicators and Available AssistanceSourcesAcronyms


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2035 Long-Range Plans

  • CDOT 2035 Statewide Plan

    • Corridor-based

    • Environmental tab

    • Interactive CD – search on:

      • Transportation corridor

      • Planning region

      • http://www.dot.state.co.us/StateWidePlanning/PlansStudies/2035CVCD/index.html

  • Regional Plans

  • SAFETEA-LU compliant


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CDOT 2035 State PlanInteractive CD


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CDOT 2035 State PlanEnvironmental Tab


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CDOT 2035 State PlanInteractive Map


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CDOT 2035 State PlanInteractive Regional Plans


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2035 Regional Plan ExampleColorado Springshttp://www.ppacg.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=159&Itemid=51


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PEL Examples

  • Arapahoe Rd Denver - 2007

  • 56th Ave. Denver - 2008

  • U.S 50 West Pueblo - 2008

  • U.S. 24 West Colorado Springs - 2008

  • Parker Rd Denver - Current study


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Parker Road – ResourceAgency Meetings

  • Meetings completed with:

    • USFWS

    • CDOW

    • EPA

    • SHPO

    • USACE

    • CDPHE

    • DRCOG

    • State Parks (6/13)

  • Positive statement for involvement in PEL study


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TERC Support for PEL

  • Transportation, Environment Resource Council

    • FHWA and Colorado Dept. of Transportation Co-Chairs

    • Resource, regulatory and land management agencies

  • Participation in PEL corridor studies

    • Discussion (using Parker Rd) - How does each agency see participating in PEL studies

  • Discussion on how PEL can grow in CO

    • Mutual goals

    • Partnering agreement


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Next Steps

  • PEL corridor studies - Use to test concepts

  • Moving corridor studies into NEPA

  • Partnering agreement

    • TERC support and growth of PEL in Colorado

    • Project specific coordination

  • CDOT PEL Decision Tool development

  • Charting CDOT planning and environmental processes


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Questions/Comments

Bill Haas

FHWA CO Division

Metropolitan Planner

720 963-3016

William.Haas@fhwa.dot.gov