December 9, 2019
  • 2:34 pm Committee Leadership Comes into Focus for 116th Congress
  • 2:22 pm Interstate System Report Calls for More Funding, Tolling, VMT Fees, and Cybersecurity
  • 2:15 pm In Memoriam: President George H. W. Bush, ISTEA, and Transportation
  • 1:56 pm Growth Projected for Transportation Projects, but Costs a Challenge
  • 1:35 pm FAA Reshuffles Executives, Plans Drone Identification Rulemaking in Spring 2019
  • 1:28 pm Predictive Technology Helps Reduce Crashes on I-15 Corridor in Las Vegas
  • 1:14 pm Video Report: MoDOT Produces Multi-Lingual Safety Message
  • 1:11 pm PennDOT Nears Completion of Rapid Bridge Replacement Project
  • 1:08 pm Infrastructure Grants Awarded to “Smaller” South Dakota Communities
  • 1:00 pm AASHTO Highlights Safety, Formula Funding at Freight System Hearing
  • 12:53 pm FCC’s 5.9 GHz Reallocation Plan Debated at House Hearing
  • 12:46 pm Lack of Reauthorization Could Imperil Future Transportation Infrastructure Spending
  • 12:42 pm USDOT Releases ‘Rule for Rules,’ Codifying Reforms
  • 12:39 pm FTA Awards $423M in Transit Infrastructure Grants

The USDOT has officially issued a 131-page final rule to amend Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration regulations regarding the implementation of National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA requirements along with other environmental protocols – steps the agency believes will “accelerate” transportation project delivery times.

[Above photo by NCDOT.]

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement on Oct. 31 that this new rule is one of USDOT’s “most expansive regulatory realignments of federal environmental transportation policy” and “will accelerate the delivery of new railroad, transit and highway projects by rationalizing and streamlining the environmental review process across all three modes.”

Also, as noted in a conference call hosted by FHWA on Oct. 26, this new rule – which takes effect Nov. 28 – will also reduce duplicative environmental reporting efforts between FHWA, FTA, and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Photo by NCDOT

USDOT added that the new rule implements changes passed by Congress in 2012 via MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, and the in 2015 via the FAST Act or Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

The rule also helps FHWA and FTA further implement the statutory changes in 23 USC 139 and formalizes all three agencies’ roles by maintaining consistency in America’s surface transportation policy across multiple federal agencies.

It also reiterates states’ ability to produce a single environmental document and combine a final Environmental Impact Statement or EIA with the Record of Decision document, as well allowing for “greater flexibility” on projects that take place entirely within the operational right-of-way.

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