In 1985, a number of federal agencies, including the Federal Highway Addministration (FHWA), that are involved in reviewing permit applications formed a working group to identify and promote process improvements for the environmental reviews required for federal-aid projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Since that time, the FHWA has conducted a wide range of activities to advance process improvements that coordinate and synchronize environmental reviews, performing them simultaneously rather than sequentially. This integration of permitting processes and NEPA reviews can save time, reduce costs, and improve environmental outcomes.
FHWA efforts to promote integrating NEPA and permitting have included the publication of the Red Book, development of online tools and resources, support for state departments of transportaton (DOTs) in establishing programmatic agreements with regulatory partners, and guidance and technical assistance in meeting federal requirements to accelerate project delivery timelines.
The objective of this project is to document the outcomes and impact of Integrating NEPA and Permitting, demonstrate accountability to funders and policymakers, and identify lessons learned and best practices that can be applied to future projects/programs, thus completing the innovation lifecycle.