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 (NEPA) 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 (FHWA) project-specific review and approval, and provides a participating state specific review and approval authority. 

NEPA assignment is subject to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is renewable every five years. TxDOT officially entered the program on Dec. 16, 2014.  The current MOU expires on Dec. 16, 2019. TxDOT’s Environmental Affairs Division is working with the FHWA to renew NEPA assignment 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; and  
  •    Greater accountability through internal monitoring and FHWA program audits.

TxDOT provided to FHWA the materials in the table below as part of the NEPA assignment renewal process. Upon acceptance of the submitted materials, FHWA will provide notice in the Federal Register and solicit comment on TxDOT’s renewal application. FHWA will consider all comments received and decide on the renewal request. If the application is approved, FHWA and TxDOT will execute an MOU renewing NEPA assignment.

For more information email the Environmental Affairs Division.

Assignment Resources

Title Date Description Format
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.



Divisions