NTI Improving NEPA: An FTA Update Webinar

Printer Friendly Number 2011-30

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The National Transit Institute (NTI) in conjunction with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will be presenting a FREE 2 hour webinar ($0 for consultants and contractors) scheduled for June 21, 2011 at 2:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern Time.

FTA is undertaking several initiatives to go “back to basics” to streamline the environmental review process and expedite project delivery. This webinar will consist of two presentations, "What’s New in FTA Environmental Review" and "Reader-Friendly Documents". The presentations will be made by FTA Environmental Protection Specialists and consultants experienced in reader-friendly documents. After each presentation, webinar participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. Topics include:

• Roles of FTA Environmental Protection Specialists
• Renewed focus on statutory requirements
• Relationship of the Scoping process to streamlining
• Use of annotated outlines for documents
• Recent changes in regulatory requirements and guidance
• FTA expectations on document content and preparation

The webinar lasts approximately 2 hours. Participants will log into the webinar to access the graphic content and dial into an audio-teleconference.

**Please note, we strongly recommend verifying that you have Adobe Flash version 10.1 or higher for this webinar to avoid problems that may require additional support from your IT resources. You can download Adobe Flash by going to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer. If you are unable to install Adobe Flash, please contact your IT department well in advance of the webinar.

This webinar is targeted for transit professionals, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), government employees, and consultants/contractors involved in planning or reviewing transportation projects.


Presentation details:
What’s New in FTA Environmental Review - Using the foundations provided by Council on Environmental Quality Regulations, FTA Law and Regulations, this presentation will focus on the purpose of environmental documents, length of documents, and how to incorporate previous documents so work is not duplicated unnecessarily. Requirements for public involvement will be reviewed and emphasize how “back to basics” management of the environmental review process affects what actions are required to address public involvement needs. The purpose and products of Scoping will be discussed, including the following key areas:

• Dismissal and retention of alternatives, including using incorporation by reference on MPO planning results and New Starts Alternative Analysis (AA) results
• Identifying significant issues, and the need to avoid “laundry lists” of issues treated equally regardless of the relevance of the issue to decision-making
• Level of detail of impact evaluation specified during Scoping, including pre-Preliminary Engineering (PE) activities
• Development and role of an annotated outline
• Inclusion of a schedule in the coordination plan and adherence to that schedule

Reader-Friendly Documents - This presentation will address why the quality of environmental documents needs to be improved, and explore how to make documents more reader-friendly. Ideas for enhancing the quality of document content, presentation, writing, and graphics will be presented. Techniques for engaging readers, including recognizing the needs of various audiences, telling a story, use of question and answer headings, and the importance of layout and the visual feel of the document will be reviewed. Throughout the presentation, the importance of clear writing and graphics will be emphasized with examples.

If you are interested in attending, please use the following link https://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=TRI18-28 and register online.

For further information, contact Region 10’s Dan Drais at 206-220-4465 or email daniel.drais@dot.gov.


/s/ Kenneth Feldman for

R.F. Krochalis
Regional Administrator