Thoughtful consideration of environmental needs during the planning process can shorten the environmental review process. This Handbook is intended to help transportation planners and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) practitioners improve linkages between the planning and NEPA processes, while also complying with recent legislative changes that require increased consideration of environmental issues in the planning process.

Issues covered include: establishing organizational linkages; establishing a vision for the state or region’s transportation system; defining corridor-level goals and/or the purpose and need; eliminating alternatives identifying the affected environment and potential; environmental impacts; and considering environmental mitigation activities.

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Handbook Resources

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

FHWA and FTA, “Legal Memorandum: Integration of Planning and NEPA Processes” (Feb. 22, 2005)

“Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects”

Emerson and C. Hoeffner, “Improved Linkages Between the Transportation Systems Planning and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),” NCHRP 36-36A, Task 48 (2006)

Amedkudzi and M. Meyer, “Consideration of Environmental Factors in Transportation Systems Planning,” NCHRP Report 541 (2005)

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies web site, “State Wildlife Action Plans: Full Text” (for copies of all published State Wildlife Action Plans)

FHWA web site, “Planning and Environment Linkages”