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Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation

The biennial FTA Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation seeks to promote efficient development of useful environmental documents. The award recognizes environmental documents that exemplify best practices for a well-managed environmental documentation process, comply with prevailing requirements and expectations, and achieve the objective of paperwork reduction.

The next award cycle is scheduled for 2021 with nominations due Friday, September 10, 2021..

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

FTA-funded project sponsors and their consultants are eligible to submit environmental impact statements and environmental assessments that exemplifies documentation best practices. The environmental documents submitted for the award are evaluated based on:

  • Content – Are the content requirements of the NEPA implementing regulations and relevant guidance satisfied?
  • Utility – Is the document designed to be truly useful to the public and decision-makers?
  • Practicality – Have procedures to reduce paperwork and delay been effectively employed?  (See 40 CFR §1500.4 and §1500.5 (PDF)

See Keys to Efficient Development of Useful Environmental Documents.

How to Apply

A project sponsor interested in applying during a call for applications should work with the FTA Regional Office in which the project is located. An eligible submission includes an electronic copy of the environmental document and a brief cover letter (no more than three pages) explaining how the document meets the selection criteria. FTA, in cooperation with recognized experts in the field, evaluates submissions and determines award winners. The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, September 10, 2021.

Questions? Contact us at

2019 Winner

  • The West Lake Corridor Combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision was prepared by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) with FTA and in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project is located in Lake County, Indiana and Cook County, Illinois. NICTD was recognized for the 2018 West Lake Corridor document because they presented it in an easy to follow format with reader-friendly summaries. They included an explanation of the new “combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision” document type, which was unfamiliar to many people at the time, as well as useful graphics, figures and tables to aid reader understanding of the project and its elements. NICTD also applied a robust and innovative public involvement process to the West Lake Corridor project through the use of open houses, small group meetings, information tables at public events, a project newsletter, an innovative project website and social media.

Past Winners

Project Name Project Location Project Sponsor Year
Environmental Assessment for the TramLinkBR New Orleans, LA City of Baton Rouge 2017
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Federal Way Link Extension King County, WA Sound Transit 2017
Environmental Assessment for the Southeast Corridor Extension Denver, CO Regional Transportation District 2015
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Purple Line Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, MD Maryland Transit Administration 2015
Environmental Assessment for the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Project Kansas City, MS City of Kansas City 2013
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mukilteo Multimodal Project Mukilteo, WA Washington State Department of Transportation, Ferries Division 2013
Environmental Impact Statement for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project Portland, OR Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon and Metro 2011
Environmental Assessment for the Union Station to Oak Cliff Dallas Streetcar Project Dallas, TX North Texas Council of Governments, City of Dallas, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit 2011
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Northwest Corridor LRT Line Dallas, TX Dallas Area Rapid Transit 2009
Environmental Assessment for the Downtown Boise Multimodal Center Boise, ID Valley Regional Transit 2009
Gold Line Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Statement Denver, CO Regional Transportation District 2008
Red Line Corridor Transit Study Alternative Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement Baltimore, MD Maryland Transit Administration 2008
Last updated: Wednesday, September 8, 2021