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Indirect Effects/Cumulative Impacts

Recent Developments

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This section describes recent developments related to indirect effects/cumulative impacts. If you would like to suggest a recent development on this topic, please submit a short description to AASHTO (including any pertinent links) on the  Share Info with AASHTO form.

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FHWA Issues Instructions on Travel and Land Use Forecasting

The Federal Highway Administration has issued instructions for reviewing travel and land use forecasting elements in documents prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The instructions provide an overview of why forecasting is important and the relationship between forecasting and the various stages of the NEPA process. The instructions also include concerns, risks, and key points regarding forecasting and the project scoping, purpose and need, the range of alternatives, and effects analyses. In addition, the instructions discuss procedures for handling changes during the NEPA process and how to reevaluate a NEPA decision prior to the next FHWA major approval. The instructions include examples and considerations for FHWA reviewers. The instructions supplement the 2010 Interim Guidance on the Application of Travel and Land Use Forecasting in NEPA and were released along with a frequently asked questions document. For more information, link to the instructions. (2-21-18)

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Montana DOT Develops Process to Assess Indirect Effects of Transportation Projects

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), with cooperation from the Federal Highway Administration, has released the results of research into identifying a “consistent, legally defensible, and efficient process of assessing the indirect land use and environmental effects” of MTD projects. The research includes as an appendix an Indirect Effects Desk Reference, which defines key terms, outlines regulations, and describes a screening process for determining if additional analysis is required. For more information, link to Assessing the Extent and Determinates of Induced Growth. (7-1-13)

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Florida DOT Issues Guidance on Cumulative Effects Evaluation

The Florida Department of Transportation has published a handbook with guidance on conducting cumulative effects evaluation (CEE) under the National Environmental Policy Act for FDOT projects that need federal funding, a federal permit, or involve a federal facility. The handbook covers when to evaluate for cumulative effects, describes FDOT’s 10-step CEE process, and addresses evaluations initiated in an area-wide planning study. FDOT also released a CEE Quick Guide summarizing its CEE process. For more information, link to the FDOT Cumulative Effects Evaluation Handbook. (2-11-13)

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Featured Case Study

  • Case Study Photo

    Texas DOT's indirect and cumulative impacts guidance documents help streamline implementation of projects such as FM 2493 EA Project in Smith County.

    Read Case Study >Photo: Texas DOT

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AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
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