Transportation Planning and the NEPA Process
TxDOT is committed to protecting, preserving and enhancing the environment where feasible. There are severe consequences for not following the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These include project delays, fines and criminal liability, in addition to a negative public image.
In accordance with NEPA, project environmental documents state the following:
- The purpose and need of a TxDOT transportation project
- Existing environmental and socioeconomic conditions
- Environmental consequences of the project
- Alternatives to the project's proposed alignment
23 CFR 450.212 and 23 CFR 450.318 encourage linkages between the transportation planning and project development and NEPA processes. To the extent that is possible and financially feasible, TxDOT works with local, state and federal agencies to ensure NEPA processes are complete before a STIP project is constructed or implemented.
During project development, the Design, Environmental Affairs, and Right-of-Way divisions work with the Advance Planning Engineers in the TxDOT District Offices to accomplish some NEPA coordination while projects are still in the UTP and before they are moved into the MPO, Rural TIPs and STIP.