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TxDOT works with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 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).

General References
Project Initiation and Scope Development
Preparing Environmental Documents
Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC)
Document Review
Reevaluations
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Environmental Assessment (EA)
Categorical Exclusions (CE)
Best Practices for the Environmental Document Process
Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL)

Untitled Document

Date General References Description Format
04/12 Environmental Process Flow Chart Depicts the TxDOT process for the development, review and approval of environmental documentation and review documents as described in 43 TAC 2.41
  40 CFR 1500 -1508 Codifies, in the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) rules implementing NEPA
  23 CFR 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)
  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
  Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 201, Subchapter I-1 Outlines the Texas Transportation Code requirements for the TxDOT environmental review process
12/14 MOU Concerning State of Texas' Participation in the Project Delivery Program Pursuant to 23 USC 327 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
  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 CEQ results concerning the consideration of collaboration in analyses prepared under NEPA and provides guidance on collaboration, general principles, useful steps and methods of collaboration

 

Date Project Initiation and Scope Development
Description Format
09/15 Instructions for Using the Scope Development Tool
Explains how to use the Scope Development Tool (SDT) to identify required actions for the project scope
09/15 Scope Development Tool An automated, interactive tool for identifying environmental activities based on a project’s characteristics, recording negative and regulatory findings required by FHWA and documenting the scope development process
02/14 Project Scope for Categorical Exclusions (CEs)   
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
02/14 Project Scope for Environmental Review Documents Used by the project sponsor and the department delegate to prepare and record a project scope for completing environmental tasks associated with an EA or EIS
02/14 Project Scope Amendment   
Used by the project sponsor and the department delegate to update the project scope and communicate changes

 

Date Preparing Environmental Documents Description Format
11/15 Guidance: Preparing a Purpose and Need Statement Provides standards governing the content of the purpose and need statement in an EA or EIS.
  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) NEPA recommendations for defining the purpose and need and determining the range of alternatives in EISs and EAs
  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 and to compile the administrative record
  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

 

Date Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) Description Format
03/15 Environmental Handbook for Quality Assurance/Quality Control Procedures for Environmental Documents Identifies the elements of the QA/QC process and describes the steps to ensure the project sponsor and department delegate consistently implement QA/QC

02/15 Administrative Completeness Review Checklist Used to determine whether an environmental review document is administratively complete and ready for technical review
02/15 Environmental Document Certification Form Used to certify a draft environmental document is ready for public review or a final environmental document is ready for approval
02/15 Environmental Document Review Checklist   
Used by the core team and department delegate to conduct the review readiness
08/15 Meeting Minutes (Digital Version) Used to electronically prepare TxDOT meeting minutes regarding the environmental process for TxDOT projects
08/15 Meeting Minutes (Printed Version) Used to prepare hardcopy TxDOT minutes for meetings regarding the environmental process for TxDOT projects

 

Date Document Review Description Format
04/12 Comment Response Matrix Used to record and communicate review comments and responses
09/15 Peer Review Request for Environmental Documents Used to specify the parameters of and request a peer review
01/16 Guidance: Primary Effects of Changes in Federal Funding Status on Environmental Review of Highway Projects Explains how environmental reviews are primarily impacted when the status of federal funding changes

 

Date Reevaluations Description Format
08/15 Environmental Handbook for Reevaluations Outlines the project sponsor and department delegate responsibilities and federal and state requirements for completing a reevaluation

08/15 Guidance for Preparing Reevaluation Documentation Outlines the TxDOT process for preparing documentation for reevaluations as required by state and federal regulations
09/15 Reevaluation Consultation Checklist Used to prepare documentation in compliance with federal and state regulations

 

Date Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Description Format
02/14 Environmental Handbook for Environmental Impact Statements Outlines the TxDOT process for completing an EIS, which NEPA requires for all major federal actions that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment
  Final Guidance on MAP-21 Section 1319 Accelerated Decision-making in Environmental Reviews Provides FHWA guidance for applying MAP-21 provisions on accelerated decision-making, including preparing an FEIS by attaching errata sheets to the DEIS, and preparing a combined FEIS and ROD
02/14 Federal EIS Checklists 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
10/15 SAFETEA-LU Checklist for and EIS Project Assure that the essential aspects of the SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) environmental review process have been completed for an FHWA Transportation Project requiring an EIS
  FHWA Section 6002 Efficient Environmental Reviews for Project Decision Making Provides frequently asked questions about and guidance on the environmental review process for EIS projects

 

Date Environmental Assessments (EAs)
Description Format
06/16 Environmental Handbook: Preparing an Environmental Assessment Conveys TxDOT’s primary expectations on how an EA should be prepared and the appropriate level of content and analysis
06/16 Environmental Assessment Outline Use to prepare an EA for approval under TxDOT’s rules or under the NEPA Assignment Memorandum of Understanding with FHWA
06/16 Environmental Assessment Cover Page Use to prepare an EA cover page for projects assigned to TxDOT by FHWA
06/16 Finding of No Significant Impact for a FHWA Project Use to prepare and record a determination that a FHWA project will cause no significant impact to the environment
06/16 Finding of No Significant Impact for a State Project Use to prepare and record a determination that a state project will cause no significant impact to the environment
09/15 FHWA and State EA Comparison Chart Identifies and compares requirements applicable to federal and state EAs

 

Date Categorical Exclusions (CEs)
Description Format
07/15 Environmental Handbook for Categorical Exclusion Outlines the TxDOT process for making a CE determination for a state CE or a FHWA-assigned CE project
01/16 Guidance for Choosing a Categorical Exclusion Considerations for choosing a CE for a state or FHWA project
06/15 Instructions for Using the CE Determination Form Explains how the Environmental Affairs and district staff use and sign the CE Determination Form
06/15 CE Determination Form Used to record determinations that a project is classified as a categorical exclusion
06/14 Scoping Procedure for Categorically Excluded TxDOT Projects Formalizes general TxDOT policy regarding environmental project scopes required by 43 TAC 2.44 and provides guidance for implementing the policy and entering scoping information into the Texas Environmental Oversight System (ECOS)

 

Date Best Practices for the Environmental Document Process
Description Format
09/15 Best Practice: Working as a Core Team Recommends strategies for effectively working together in the core team environment
09/15 Best Practice: Project File Maintenance Recommends strategies for establishing and maintaining the project file
09/15 Best Practice: The Kick-off Meeting Recommends topics of discussion and attendees for the kick-off meeting
09/15 Best Practice for Project Scope Development Strategies Recommends strategies for developing a project scope

 

Untitled Document

Date NEPA and Planning
Description Format
  23 CFR 450, Appendix A: Linking the Transportation Planning and NEPA Processes Provides details for relying on incorporating information, analysis and products from transportation planning into NEPA documents under existing laws
  FHWA Environmental Review Toolkit: Planning and Environmental Linkages Provides additional FHWA guidance on planning and environmental linkages
09/15 Supplement to Jan. 28, 2008 Transportation Planning Requirements and Their Relationship to NEPA Process Completion Explains the relationship between transportation planning and air quality conformity regulations and the timing of a final NEPA decision
09/15 FHWA Shortening Project Delivery Toolkit Proposes approaches to improve project delivery times and address frequently-cited problem areas and provides guidance to help environmental practitioners understand and accept the new approaches and new technologies

 

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