Environmental Impact and Related Procedures
This final rule makes revisions to the joint Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions are aimed at streamlining the FTA environmental process for transit projects, in response to the August 31, 2011, Presidential Memorandum titled ``Speeding Infrastructure Development through More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review.'' The revisions also respond to Executive Order 13563's directive to periodically review existing regulations to determine if they can be made more effective and/or less burdensome. The new categorical exclusions (CEs) 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.