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NEPA Guidance

This page provides guidance to support grantee reviews and FTA compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA process is intended to help public officials make decisions that are based on an understanding of environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment. NEPA mandates must be met before FTA can approve applications for federal financial assistance.  FTA's environmental analysis and review process outlines how the agency complies with NEPA, which applies to all federal undertakings. Other useful tools for NEPA analysis include the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) general NEPA guidance and NEPAssist Tool.

The first step in the NEPA review process is determining the Class of Action (COA), which directs the depth and breadth of review, based on the "what," "where," "why," "when," and "how" of your project. The three NEPA COAs are defined in the FTA regulations at 23 CFR 771.115.

The following documents will provide guidance in determining the level of review and documentation development necessary for the FTA NEPA process:

Please visit FTA’s Environmental Resource Information for additional guidance in preparing NEPA documentation. Direct links to FTA guidance on select areas of analysis as well as resources specific to Region 5 are provided below.

Tribal consultation may be required for all types of NEPA projects if they affect tribal lands or interests. Projects involving historic resources must follow the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 Process. Additionally, projects that may impact publicly owned parks, recreational areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and/or public and private historical sites must comply with the requirements of Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act.  Contact Jay Ciavarella, Director of Planning & Program Development, at (312) 353-1653 with additional questions.

Tribal Consultation Resources

National Historic Preservation Act – Section 106

Water Resources

Other Considerations & Resources

Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
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