Streamlining Environmental Impact and Related Procedures

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This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) provides interested parties with the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the joint Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposed revisions would affect actions by FTA and project sponsors. The proposed revisions are intended to streamline the FTA environmental process for transit projects in response to the Presidential Memorandum on the subject “Speeding Infrastructure Development through More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review” of August 31, 2011.

The proposed categorical exclusions (CEs) would apply to FTA and improve the efficiency of the NEPA environmental reviews 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. FTA and the FHWA invite comments on the proposals contained in this notice.

Comments must be received by May 14, 2012.

You may submit comments identified by the docket number (FTA–2011–0056) by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
U.S. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Fax: 202-493-2251.

Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and docket number (FTA-011-0056) or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN 2132-AB03) for this rulemaking at the beginning of your comments. All comments received will be posted, without change and including any personal information provided, to, where they will be available to Internet users. Please see the discussion of the Privacy Act in the full Federal Register at

You should submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail. If you wish to receive confirmation that FTA received your comments, you must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. Due to security procedures in effect since October 2001 regarding mail deliveries, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties submitting comments may wish to consider using an express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or by hand. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to and follow the online instructions for viewing the docket or visit Docket Operations at the address above.

For information, contact Antoinette Quagliata at 202-366-4265 or Megan Blum at 202-366-0463, Office of Planning and Environment (TPE), or Christopher Van Wyk at 202-366-1733, or Scott Biehl at 202-366-4011, Office of Chief Counsel (TCC), Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

For further information, contact Region 10’s Dan Drais at 206-220-4465 or email


/s/ Linda Gehrke for

R.F. Krochalis
Regional Administrator