Section 6002 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established an environmental review process for highway and transit projects that involve preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS). This Handbook provides assistance to practitioners in complying with the Section 6002 requirements, while also using this process to achieve better, faster, and more efficient environmental reviews.

Issues covered in this Handbook include: initiating the environmental review process, inviting participating agencies, establishing the coordination plan, including project schedules, setting comment deadlines providing agency and public involvement for determining purposing and need, defining purpose and need, determining methodologies for alternatives analysis, resolving issues of concern, developing detailed preferred alternatives, and reporting permit decision delays.

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Handbook Resources

Text of Section 6002 of SAFETEA-LU (23 U.S.C. § 139)

FHWA and FTA, “Final Guidance: SAFETEA-LU Environmental Review Process” (Nov. 15, 2006)

FHWA and FTA, “Guidance on Linking Transportation Planning and NEPA Documents” (Feb. 14, 2007) (Appendix A to 23 CFR 450):

FHWA, “Major Projects Guidance” (Jan. 17, 2007)

FHWA Guidance on Negotiated Timeframes

Examples of Documents Developed for the SAFETEA-LU Environmental Review Process