Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.
This NPRM provides interested parties with the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations governing the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Program for Eliminating Duplication of Environmental Reviews (Program) established by Section 1309 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). Section 1309 directed the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to establish a pilot program authorizing up to five States to conduct environmental reviews and make approvals for projects under State environmental laws and regulations instead of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FAST Act requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), to promulgate regulations to implement the requirements of the Program, including application requirements and criteria necessary to determine whether State laws and regulations are at least as stringent as the applicable Federal law. The FHWA, FRA, and FTA, hereinafter referred to as ``the Agencies,'' are proposing these regulations on behalf of the Secretary and seek comments on the proposals contained in this NPRM. This rule would also implement a provision in Section 1308 of the FAST Act that amends the corrective action period that the Agencies must provide to a State participating in the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program (Section 327 Program).