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TxDOT works with the Federal Highway Administration and other federal agencies to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and uses the TxDOT environmental compliance process for state and local projects, where TxDOT is the state approval authority. Environmental practitioners can use these tools to meet the standards required by TxDOT policy to comply with FHWA NEPA compliance procedures and Chapter 42 of the Texas Administrative Code.

Questions? Contact the Environmental Affairs Project Delivery Section at (512) 416-2763.

You may download the software (Tools and Plug-Ins) needed to access forms or view frequently asked questions (Online Forms FAQs).

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for NEPA and Project Development Process Overview
02/14 Outlines processes used by the project sponsor and department delegate in project planning, development and delivery of NEPA-related documents
Environmental Handbook for Quality Assurance/Quality Control Procedures for Environmental Documents 03/15 Identifies the elements of the quality control quality assurance (QA/QC) process and describes the steps to ensure QA/QC is consistently implemented by the project sponsor and department delegate
Environmental Handbook for Quality Assurance/Quality Control Procedures for Environmental Documents
Environmental Process Flow Chart 04/12 Depicts the TxDOT process for the development, review and approval of environmental documentation and review documents as described in 43 TAC 2.41
Administrative Completeness Review Checklist 02/15 Used to determine whether an environmental review document is administratively complete and ready for technical review
Environmental Document Certification Form 02/15 Certifies that an environmental document is ready for public review (draft environmental documents) or approval (final environmental documents)
Environmental Document Review Checklist 02/15 Used to review the environmental document prior to the administrative completeness review
Texas Administrative Code Title 43, Part 1, Chapter 2, Environmental Review of Transportation Projects   Outlines the environmental review process for state-only funded projects and implements sections of the Transportation Code, Parks and Wildlife Code and Natural Resources Code
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 1500 through 1508   Codifies the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) rules implementing NEPA
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Part 771: Environmental Impact and Related Procedures   Prescribes the policies and procedures of FHWA and FTA for implementing NEPA requirements for processing highway and public transportation projects and supplements the CEQ NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1500 to 1508)
Comment Response Matrix
04/12 Used to record and communicate review comments and responses
Meeting Minutes (Digital Version) 08/15 TxDOT’s official format for recording minutes for meetings related to the environmental process for TxDOT projects. The digital version can be used to electronically prepare meeting minutes on the computer or tablet.
Meeting Minutes (Printed Version) 08/15 TxDOT’s official format for recording minutes for meetings related to the environmental process for TxDOT projects. This version can be printed and taken to meetings to be filled out by hand.

Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL)

Title Date Description Format
TxDOT Resource for Linking Regional Planning with Project Planning in Support of NEPA   Serves as a resource to various Texas agencies involved in transportation planning, project planning and NEPA compliance
FHWA Guidance on Using Corridor and Subarea Planning to Inform NEPA   Assists transportation planners and environmental practitioners in use of corridor and subarea planning to inform the NEPA review process and provides additional guidance on the best use of corridor and subarea planning to bridge the transportation planning and NEPA processes as described in Appendix A of 23 CFR 450
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Part 450, Appendix A: Linking the Transportation Planning and NEPA Processes   Supports the congressional intent that statewide and metropolitan transportation planning should be the foundation for highway and transit project decisions; provides details for relying on incorporating information, analysis and products from transportation planning into NEPA documents under existing laws; presents environmental review as a continuum of sequential study, refinement and expansion performed in transportation planning and during project development
FHWA Planning and Environmental Linkages Questionnaire   Used to prepare and record a summary of the planning process and assists in the transition from planning to a NEPA analysis
FHWA Environmental Review Toolkit: Planning and Environmental Linkages
  Provides additional FHWA guidance on planning and environmental linkages
PEL Handbook   Provides guidance, developed by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and FHWA, on integrating statewide, regional and local transportation planning efforts with the NEPA process
Supplement to Jan. 28, 2008 Transportation Planning Requirements and Their Relationship to NEPA Process Completion   Explains the relationship between certain transportation planning and air quality conformity regulations and the timing of a final NEPA decision and clarifies and simplifies information on what transportation planning requirements must be addressed before FHWA can make a final NEPA decision
FHWA Shortening Project Delivery Toolkit   Proposes using innovative approaches to improve project delivery times; present approaches for addressing frequently-cited problem areas; playing an active leadership role in helping states, MPOs, contractors, etc. understand and accept the new practices and new technologies

Project Scoping and Risk Assessment

Title Date Description Format
Scope Development Tool 08/15 An automated tool for identifying environmental activities based on a project’s characteristics, and for documenting the scope development process.
Project Scope for Categorical Exclusions (CEs) 02/14 Used by the project sponsor and the department delegate to prepare and record a project scope for completing environmental tasks associated with the CE action
Project Scope for Environmental Review Documents
02/14 Used by the project sponsor and the department delegate to prepare and record a project scope for completing environmental tasks associated with an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement
Project Scope Amendment 02/14 Used to update the project scope and communicate changes

Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Environmental Impact Statements
02/14 Outlines the TxDOT process for completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In accordance with NEPA, an EIS must be prepared for all major federal actions that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.
Federal EIS Checklists 02/14 Used to prepare EIS documents, including the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act a Legacy of Users (SAFETEA-LU) 6002 requirements, the topics covered in an EIS, and the topics covered in a Record of Decision
FHWA Section 6002 Efficient Environmental Reviews for Project Decision Making   A frequently asked questions document  that provides guidance on the environmental review process for EIS projects

Environmental Assessments (EAs)

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for NEPA EAs 02/14 Outlines the TxDOT process for preparing an EA for state or FHWA projects
Guidance on Preparing and Processing FONSIs 02/15 Guidance outlining the TxDOT process for preparing and submitting a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for a state-funded or a federally assigned project
Finding of No Significant Impact for a NEPA-Assigned Federal Aid Project 02/15 A fillable form to record a determination that a NEPA-assigned federal aid project will cause no significant impact to the environment
Finding of No Significant Impact for a State-Funded Project 02/15 A fillable form to record a determination that a state-funded project will cause no significant impact to the environment

Categorical Exclusions (CEs)

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Categorical Exclusion 07/15 Outlines the TxDOT process for making a CE determination for a state CE or a FHWA-assigned CE project
Guidance for Choosing a Categorical Exclusion 07/15 Outlines considerations for a state or FHWA CE project
Instructions for Using the CE Determination Form 06/15 Instructions to explain how Environmental Affairs and district staff use and sign the CE Determination Form
CE Determination Form 06/15 Used to record determinations that a project is classified as a categorical exclusion
Scoping Procedure for Categorically Excluded TxDOT Projects 06/14 Formalizes general TxDOT policy regarding environmental project scopes required by 43 TAC 2.44. The standard operating procedure (SOP) indicates locations for entering scoping information into the Texas Environmental Oversight System (ECOS). The SOP lists thresholds below which no tasks are required, and therefore, no tasks must be entered into a project scope. In addition, the SOP outlines step-by-step procedures for scoping categorical exclusions directly into Texas ECOS.

Reevaluations

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Reevaluations 08/15 Outlines the project sponsor and department delegate responsibilities and federal and state requirements for completing a reevaluation
Guidance for Preparing Reevaluation Documentation 08/15 Outlines the TxDOT process for preparing documentation for reevaluations as required by state and federal regulations
Reevaluation Consultation Checklist 09/15 Used to prepare documentation in compliance with federal and state regulations

Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding

Title Date Description Format
MOU Concerning State of Texas' Participation in the Project Delivery Program Pursuant to 23 USC 327 12/17/14 The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FHWA to assign to TxDOT the U.S. DOT responsibilities for federal environmental laws with respect to Texas highway projects.

Additional Resources

Title   Description Format
AASHTO Practitioner’s Guide: Defining the Purpose and Need and Determining the Range of Alternatives for Transportation Projects   Provides American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recommendations for defining the purpose and need and determining the range of alternatives in environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for transportation projects in accordance with NEPA
AASHTO Practitioner's Guide: Maintaining the Project File and Preparing an Administrative Record for a NEPA Study   Provides information, for projects in which the lead federal agency is the FHWA and the project sponsor is a state department of transportation, to maintain the project file during the NEPA process, and for compiling the administrative record if and when a lawsuit is filed, challenging the decisions made in the NEPA process
AASHTO: SAFETEA-LU Overview Webpage   Provides an overview and explains the environmental provisions of SAFETEA-LU as applicable to surface transportation programs
Collaboration in NEPA: A Handbook for NEPA Practitioners   Presents the results of research and consultations by CEQ concerning the consideration of collaboration in analyses prepared under NEPA. It introduces the issue of collaboration, outlines general principles, presents useful steps and provides information on methods of collaboration.
FHWA Technical Advisory T 6640 A: Guidance For Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) Documents   Provides guidance for preparing and processing environmental and Section 4(f) documents
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