LaHood, Rogoff call for streamlined NEPA process

Posted on March 16, 2012

Responding to President Obama's call for federal agencies to speed infrastructure development through more efficient environmental reviews, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff announced they are proposing common-sense changes that would significantly cut red tape for certain transit projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and dramatically speed some projects towards completion.

"The President has asked us to find new ways to make our government work smarter on behalf of the American people by cutting waste and inefficiency wherever we find it," said Secretary LaHood. "The changes we're proposing will allow us to still carefully assess the impact of transit development on the environment, while reducing the time and energy needed to green-light good projects that clearly do not have a significant impact on the environment."

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) anticipates that for certain transit projects, the streamlined NEPA review process would be five times faster, making the NEPA process the most efficient it has been in 20 years. The time-savings would be due, in part, to allowing certain types of transit projects that clearly do not have a significant impact on the local environment — such as projects to be built within an existing right-of-way where transit or other transportation already exists — to potentially undergo a less intensive NEPA evaluation, while still providing for a more thorough review of projects that do have the potential for significant environmental impacts. For qualified projects, less documentation would need to be submitted, and project sponsors and state and regional transportation authorities would be encouraged to take environmental impacts into consideration sooner, as part of the planning process.

"This new NEPA process would help provide transportation solutions to communities more quickly by potentially shaving more than a year off of the environmental review process for some projects," said Rogoff. "The bottom line is that project sponsors would be able to spend less time and effort guiding projects through a maze of paperwork and more time building projects that will provide a real alternative to ever-increasing fuel costs."

The proposed changes would boost transparency of the NEPA process by encouraging the posting of all environmental impact statements and environmental records of decision on a grant applicant's project website - and maintaining that information until a project is constructed and operating.

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on "Environmental Impact and Related Procedures" appeared in the recent Federal Register. A 60-day public comment period follows.

This is the second effort to cut red tape undertaken by the FTA this year. In January, the FTA announced a proposed rulemaking to streamline the way major transit projects compete for federal funds.



View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Fla.'s JTA sets launch date for new BRT service

The 9.4 mile Green Line on the North Corridor will feature direct, high-frequency service; 18 branded stations; complimentary Wi-Fi, a Park-n-Ride lot, and real-time bus arrival information.

Canadian bus service to block Internet streaming

Some customers have reported slow internet service, while others couldn't connect at al, due to Internet streaming issues.

Nova Bus names new east coast regional sales manager

Prior to joinging Nova, John Manzi served as eastern regional transit sales manager for a major transmission manufacturer.

Shuttle, circulator routes drawing thousands of riders in Miami

These services carried more than eight million passengers last year in 27 municipalities and are praised by riders and public officials alike as successful transit programs.

Calif.'s VVTA unveils Google trip planner update, web app

VVTA staff coordinated with the county and cities to maintain route and stop accuracy throughout the release cycle. Meeting the needs of the many departments at each agency added to the complexity of the project.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close