Resources Relating to the Revised FTA Categorical Exclusions Regulations (23 CFR 771)
On February 11, 2013, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region 10 issued Bulletin 13-07 announcing revisions to the joint FTA and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions include both clarified and new categorical exclusions (CEs) intended to improve the efficiency of the environmental review process. FTA seeks to make available the least intense form of review for those actions that typically do not have the potential for significant environmental effects, and therefore do not require the detailed analysis and documentation associated with an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.
Since Bulletin 13-07, FTA has published a rule with additional CEs. It has also prepared several tools to help project sponsors become knowledgeable about the revised regulations. This bulletin collects those resources for your convenience.
Final Rule, 2/7/13: New regulations, including preamble and responses to comments on the draft rule; does not include CE for emergency actions (repairs/restoration) - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-07/pdf/2013-02345.pdf.
Final Rule, 2/19/13: New CE for emergency actions, including preamble and responses to comments on the draft rule - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-19/pdf/2013-03494.pdf.
Revised 23 CFR 771: now in effect - http://www.ecfr.gov/ (search 23 CFR 771)
FTA Guidance for Implementing New Categorical Exclusions -
FTA Power Point Presentation on Implementing New CEs -
Recording of CE webinar (PowerPoint presentation + audio) -
Revised Region 10 CE/DCE Worksheet - http://www.fta.dot.gov/regions/region10/region10_7747.html.
In addition, please note that FTA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on two new proposed CEs for (a) projects within an existing operational right-of-way and (b) projects receiving limited Federal funding. We will inform you as that rulemaking proceeds.
Finally, please bear in mind that even actions which are categorically excluded from NEPA may still require documentation as described in 23 CFR 771.118(a) and (b), to confirm that the exclusion applies to them or to confirm compliance with other federal requirements.
For information on NEPA reviews, including the new CEs, contact Environmental Protection Specialist Dan Drais at 206-220-4465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.