FTA Environmental Impact and Related Procedures Updates
Categorical Exclusions and Streamlining – Effective February 7, 2013:
This final rule makes revisions to the joint FTA and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that aim to streamline the environmental process. The new categorical exclusions (CE) established by this rule, which affect actions by FTA and FTA grant applicants, are intended to improve the efficiency of the environmental review process by making available the least intensive form of review for those actions that typically do not have the potential for significant environmental effects, and, therefore, do not merit additional analysis and documentation associated with an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.
- Guidance for Implementation of FTA's Categorical Exclusions
- Federal Register Notice Final Rule Text
- PowerPoint Presentation Guidance on Implementation of New Categorical Exclusions
- Recording of Categorical Exclusions Webinar
- U.S. DOT press release
- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Fast Lane blog article
Categorical Exclusion for Emergency Actions - Effective February 19, 2013:
This final rule amends the FHWA and FTA joint procedures that implement NEPA by creating a new CE for emergency actions as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21). The final rule modifies the existing lists of FHWA and FTA CEs and expands the existing CE for emergencies to include emergency actions as described in MAP–21 and pursuant to this rulemaking.
NOTICES OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING (NPRM)
Proposal for New Categorical Exclusions
The NPRM includes proposed revisions to the FHWA and FTA joint NEPA implementing procedures prompted by enactment of the MAP-21. The NPRM proposes to add new CEs for projects within an existing operational right-of-way and projects receiving limited Federal funding, as detailed in the NPRM text below. Interested parties have until April 29, 2013, to submit comments.