National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assignment documentation
The Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program (23 U.S. Code 327) allows the Secretary of Transportation to assign and a state to assume the Secretary's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws for highway projects. This program is called NEPA assignment. NEPA assignment streamlines the federal environmental review process by eliminating Federal Highway Administration project-specific review and approval, and provides a participating state specific review and approval authority.
NEPA assignment is subject to a memorandum of understanding that is renewable every five years. TxDOT officially entered the program on Dec. 16, 2014. On Dec. 9, 2019, FHWA signed a first renewed MOU extending TxDOT’s participation in the NEPA assignment program for an additional five years.
The assigned responsibilities are subject to the same procedural and substantive requirements as previously applied to FHWA. Therefore, under NEPA assignment, TxDOT is responsible for complying with all applicable federal environmental laws and FHWA NEPA regulations, policies and guidance. Further, TxDOT is legally responsible and liable for decisions made under NEPA assignment. The assignment program does not preempt or interfere with any power, jurisdiction, responsibility or authority of an agency, excluding FHWA, under applicable law and regulations.
TxDOT has seen overall project development improvements through being part of the NEPA assignment program. Some of the highlights include:
- Faster environmental review and approval times.
- Improved program guidance, policies and procedures.
- Improved understanding of the process for agencies, local governments and the public.
- Improved training program.
- Improved program efficiencies.
- Greater accountability through internal monitoring and FHWA program audits.
For more information email the Environmental Affairs Division.
|First Renewed NEPA Assignment MOU||12/09/19||MOU between TxDOT and FHWA extending TxDOT's participation in the NEPA Assignment program for an additional five years.|
|Renewal Package transmittal letter||02/21/19||Letter transmitting memorandum of understanding (MOU) renewal package to FHWA.|
|Attachment A: Renewal Package||11/08/18||TxDOT's application to renew the MOU. Includes description of changes to key information in TxDOT’s 2014 application (per 23 CFR 773(c)(1)); up-to-date certifications of waiver of sovereign immunity and state equivalent to Freedom of Information Act (per 23 CFR 773(c)(2)); evidence of consultation with FHWA concerning statewide public notification (per 23 CFR 773(c)(3)) and TxDOT executive director's approval of the renewal package (per 23 CFR 773(c)(4)).|
|Attachment B: FHWA Concurrence with Description of Changes to Key Information in TxDOT’s Application||11/30/18||FHWA concurrence with TxDOT's Description of Changes to Key Information, including concurrence with up-to-date certifications and satisfaction of requirements for statewide notice.|
|Attachment C: Draft Renewal Memorandum of Understanding||03/06/19||Draft MOU submitted to FHWA. Attachment to renewal package. To be posted with renewal package as required by 23 CFR 773.115(f).|
|Attachment D: Audit Reports||02/21/19||Hyperlinks to FHWA audit reports. Attachment to renewal package. To be posted with renewal package as required by 23 CFR 773.115(f).|
|Application to Assume FHWA Responsibilities Pursuant to 23 USC 327||05/14||Required by the assignment program, TxDOT submitted this to assume some FHWA responsibilities for environmental review, consultation and other actions required under federal environmental law that pertain to the review or approval of a specific project.|
|MOU Concerning State of Texas' Participation in the Project Delivery Program Pursuant to 23 USC 327||12/17/14
||The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between FHWA and TxDOT officially approves TxDOT's application to participate in the assignment program and is the required written agreement (23 USC 327(a)(2)(A) and (c)) allowing USDOT to assign its responsibilities for federal environmental laws with respect to Texas highway projects to TxDOT.|
|23 USC 327: Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program||U.S. Code (USC) Title 23, Chapter 3, Section 327, codifies the assignment program requirements for assigning the USDOT Secretary’s responsibilities to a state.|
|NEPA Assignment Self-Assessment Report||01/22||TxDOT’s annual self-assessment under NEPA assignment as required by Section 8.2.7 of the Dec. 9, 2019 MOU between TxDOT and FHWA|
|NEPA Assignment Self-Assessment Report||02/21||TxDOT’s annual self-assessment under NEPA assignment as required by Section 8.2.7 of the Dec. 9, 2019 MOU between TxDOT and FHWA|