2008 Outstanding Achievement Awards for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation
RTD is proposing to provide commuter rail service between the Denver Union Station and Wheat Ridge, Colorado. FTA's environmental document reviewers commended the Gold Line Draft Environmental Impact Statement for its use of:
- Clear prose,
- Excellent executive summary that features a reader-friendly question and answer format, and
- Effective use of graphics throughout the document.
Also notable is that each chapter begins with an introduction explaining its purpose, content, and how the information is organized among alternatives. The document text is concise and well organized with numerous, clear headings. Each analytical section includes a summary of results, an explanation on why the resource topic is important to consider, clearly identifies proposed mitigation, and scales the level of detail to the anticipated magnitude of impacts.Red Line Corridor Transit Study Alternative Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Baltimore, Maryland
MTA is proposing to extend light rail transit 14 miles from the town of Woodlawn in Baltimore County to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus in Baltimore City. FTA's environmental document reviews commended MTA's Red Line Alternative Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement for:
- The document's use of clear writing,
- Sound organization and analysis, and
- Effective use of graphics (example).
MTA also successfully experimented with formatting to promote user friendliness with techniques such as:
- Publishing the document on tabloid (11X17 inch paper) so that detailed maps. Photographs, charts, and text fit on the same page (example);
- Using summary boxes at the start of each environmental analysis section (example); and
- Placing more detailed information in a second volume and organizing that information by neighborhood or geographic area (Example, Geographic Area 3: From US 40 at Cooks Lane to Longwood Street) than by resource topic making this document more relevant to the citizens of Baltimore.
The City of Bozeman prepared an environmental assessment for an intermodal facility in the downtown area that includes a public parking structure and a transit hub for a fixed-route bus system. FTA’s environmental document reviewers appreciated the document’s use of:
- Clear writing,
- Application of scoping to ensure that analyses were consistent with the expected magnitude of impacts, and
- Manageable size of the document. (The main body text is only 26 pages).