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SAFETEA-LU: Environmental Provisions for Transportation Planning

SAFETEA-LU: Environmental Provisions for Transportation Planning . Summer Meeting of ADC50 Williamsburg, VA July 26, 2006. Michael Culp FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review michael.culp@dot.gov. SAFETEA-LU Section 6001.

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SAFETEA-LU: Environmental Provisions for Transportation Planning

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  1. SAFETEA-LU: Environmental Provisions for Transportation Planning Summer Meeting of ADC50Williamsburg, VAJuly 26, 2006 Michael Culp FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review michael.culp@dot.gov

  2. SAFETEA-LU Section 6001 Expanded environmental considerations in Metropolitan and Statewide Transportation Planning • Consultation • Mitigation

  3. Consultation Provision • During development of long-range transportation MPOs and States must consult “as appropriate” with State and local agencies responsible for: • Land-use management • Natural resources • Environmental protection • Conservation • Historic preservation • For Statewide plans, States must also consult with Tribal agencies

  4. Consultation Provision (cont) • The consultation shall involve, “as appropriate” • Comparison of transportation plans with State conservation plans or maps, if available; or • Comparison of transportation plans to inventories of natural or historic resources, if available

  5. Plans and Inventories Natural Heritage Databases Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plans Land Use Plans What are the other plans or inventories that might be considered? Wildlife Action Plans Green Infrastructure Planning Transportation plan Special Area Management Plans Watershed Plans Historic Resource Inventories

  6. Mitigation Provision • Long-range transportation plans must include a discussion of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential locations to carry them out • Must be developed in consultation with Federal, State and Tribal wildlife, land management, and regulatory agencies

  7. How do the planning provisions relate to project development, NEPA and 106?

  8. Local and State elected officials – driven process High level (systems-perspective) Produces Long Range Plan/TIP Process Certified by FHWA/FTA Not a Federal Action or reviewable by courts Lead agency/FHWA driven Project-Alternatives specific NEPA document/MOA Approved by FHWA Federal Action, reviewable by courts A few differences… Project Development/NEPA/106 Transportation Planning

  9. Preservation plans Data/inventories General assessment Fuzzy, systems-level Project –specific inventories Project-specific analysis Focused consideration of significance & eligibility Consideration of Cultural Resources Project Development/NEPA/106 Transportation Planning

  10. General discussion of mitigation “activities” Avoidance and minimization during plan development Eco-system-level, banking (most value) Fuzzy, systems-level Project –specific impact mitigation, avoidance and minimization Project-level, at project site and in-kind (may be costly and low value) Mitigation Project Development/NEPA/106 Transportation Planning

  11. What’s in it for you?Better Plans, Projects and Stewardship • Early involvement in planning envisioned as part of NEPA to ensure better decisions • Planning products are being encouraged to be used in NEPA, given that they are done appropriately • Projects from a “environmentally-considerate” planning process will be better projects • If resource agencies are not involved, may have problems down the road

  12. Some next steps • NPRM for Planning is currently out for comment until September 7, 2006 • Deadline for Planning Agencies to comply with provisions is July 1, 2007 • Agencies will likely be developing approaches to meet requirements soon

  13. Thank You! michael.culp@dot.gov

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