The draft Environmental Review Process guidance (previously referred to as the SAFETEA-LU Environmental Review Process Final Guidance) is proposed to be amended to reflect provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The document, once finalized, would provide guidance on environmental review process requirements and best management practices for transportation projects funded or approved by the FHWA, FTA, or both agencies. The public comment period ended on May 12, 2015.
New Categorical Exclusions – Effective November 5, 2014
On October 6, 2014, FTA published a joint final rule with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that adds a number of new categorical exclusions (CEs) for FHWA and FTA pursuant to Section 1318 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The CEs were developed based on responses to a stakeholder survey conducted in September 2012 and published in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in September 2013 for public review and comment. The final rule adds three CEs to FTA’s c-list (771.118(c)) and two examples to FTA’s d-list (771.118(d)).
Categorical Exclusions for Actions within Existing Operational ROW and Actions with Limited Federal Assistance - Effective February 12, 2014
On January 13, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a joint final rule in the Federal Register (PDF) creating two new categorical exclusions (CE) for the Agencies, pursuant to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). In addition to adding two new categorical exclusions for actions within the existing operational right-of-way and actions with limited Federal assistance, FTA also removed the example at 23 CFR Sec. 771.118(d)(5), and reserved it for future use.
- CEs for Actions within Existing Operational ROW Federal Register Notice Final Rule Text (PDF)
- Recording of CEs for Actions within Existing Operational ROW Webinar
Categorical Exclusion for Emergency Actions - Effective February 19, 2013
This final rule amends the FHWA and FTA joint procedures that implement NEPA by creating a new CE for emergency actions as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21). The final rule modifies the existing lists of FHWA and FTA CEs and expands the existing CE for emergencies to include emergency actions as described in MAP–21 and pursuant to this rulemaking.
- CEs for Emergency Actions Federal Register Notice Final Rule Text (PDF)
- Recording of CEs for Emergency Actions Webinar
Categorical Exclusions and Streamlining – Effective February 7, 2013
This final rule makes revisions to the joint FTA and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that aim to streamline the environmental process. The new categorical exclusions (CE) established by this rule, which affect actions by FTA and FTA grant applicants, are intended to improve the efficiency of the environmental review process 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.
- CEs and Streamlining Federal Register Notice Final Rule Text (PDF)
- Guidance on Implementation of New Categorical Exclusions Presentation (PDF)
- Recording of Categorical Exclusions and Streamlining Webinar
- U.S. DOT press release
- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Fast Lane blog article
Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
Proposal for New Categorical Exclusions
The NPRM includes proposed revisions to the FHWA and FTA joint NEPA implementing procedures prompted by enactment of the MAP-21. The NPRM proposes to add new CEs for projects within an existing operational right-of-way and projects receiving limited Federal funding, as detailed in the NPRM text below. Interested parties have until April 29, 2013, to submit comments.