Design, Organize and Implement a Training Program for Mainstreaming Environmental Stewardship and Enhancement Activities into Planning and Project Development

Focus Area

Environmental Enhancements


Environmental Process




Under $99k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

TERI Administrator Note (2/18/08): Funded as NCHRP Project 25-25 (55)
“Design, Organize and Implement a Training Program for Mainstreaming Environmental Stewardship and Enhancement Activities into Planning and Project Development

Design the concept for a training program geared to state and local transportation agencies that encourages new and innovative approaches for integrating environmental stewardship and enhancement activities into planning and project development. The program could be structured so that funding is used to develop new approaches and a plan for implementation, and the organization(s) receiving funding agrees to implement it, in order to leverage the resources effectively.

Drawing on the experiences of similar types of training programs, as well as competitive grant programs, define the financial, administrative, operational, and evaluation elements of the program, and develop a business plan for program implementation. As part of this task, evaluate the feasibility of coordinating program implementation with organizations such as AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence so that resources can be leveraged effectively.

TERI Administrator Note (2007): Related Research
FHWA FY07 STEP Project: Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining Outreach and Technology Transfer
The efficient and effective coordination of multiple environmental reviews, analyses, and permitting actions is essential to meeting the Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship mandates for highway and transit projects under SAFETEA-LU. FHWA has made substantial investments in developing methods, tools and techniques to improve the quality and efficiency of environmental decision-making. Support for ongoing initiatives as well as the development of new mechanisms is necessary. This research effort will result in the following technology transfer and outreach deliverables: maintenance and update of the Environmental Review Toolkit available on the FHWA Web site; continuance of Re: NEPA, FHWA’s community of practice for environmental professionals; Support for planning of FHWA’s Environmental Conference; promotion of conflict resolution tools and techniques; and publication of Successes in Stewardship.

FHWA FY07 STEP Project: Linking Eco-logical to Planning and Project Development
In early 2006, FHWA and seven other Federal agencies released the document, Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure projects. The ecosystem approach, as outlined in Eco-Logical identifies and addresses the greatest conservation needs associated with mitigation for infrastructure projects. Eco-Logical articulates a vision of how infrastructure development and ecosystem conservation can be integrated to harmonize economic, environmental, and social needs and objectives. Applied research is needed to field test the Eco-logical Document. Via a national solicitation, stakeholders and co-funders will be identified to test Eco-logical principals with a focus on complying with SAFETEA-LU planning and project development provisions. This research activity would make funds available for grants to state and local governments, MPOs and others to implement an ecosystem-based approach pilot project.

Urgency and Payoff

The final products of this research project will be a training program on mainstreaming
environmental stewardship into systems planning and project development.

Suggested By

Interim Planning Activities for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program: Study 4 - Capacity, Transportation Research Board (2003)