Environmental Protection Specialist2/24/2011
One of the Obama Administration's top priorities is to bring about a more sustainable, energy-efficient future for America. In light of this goal, this is an appropriate time for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to re-examine its environmental policies and processes. As part of that re-examination, I have directed that at least one Headquarter Environmental Protection Specialist be assigned to FTA regional offices in the near future.
I believe this move offers several benefits. First, it helps to assure that FTA lives up to its non-delegable responsibility to achieve the mandates of Federal environmental laws and regulations. Second, Environmental Protection Specialists will coordinate with you and your team, especially in the early phase of the environment process to promote delivery of projects more efficiently and more cost effectively. Finally, Environmental Protection Specialists can be a source of innovation in the regions; for example, in cooperation with you and regional staffs, they might construct a systems approach to better respond to increasing demands of the environmental process.
The principal functions of regional Environmental Protection Specialists will be: (1) to manage the environmental process, including supervising development of Notices of Intent and other instruments and conducting scoping meetings and hearings on documents, among other aspects of the process, and (2) to manage development of environmental documents, including environmental impact statements, the more complicated environmental assessments, and § 4(f) analyses, which are intended to protect parks, refuges and historic sites, among others. Again, the goal is to better assist you and your team in attaining a more efficient, cost effective environmental process that meets pertinent Federal laws and regulations. As a result of this initiative, I expect that the quality and usefulness of environmental documents will increase dramatically while the cost of document preparation will decrease, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.
Please call me directly on (202) 366-4040 if I can be of further assistance.