Environmental Practices in the Context of Law, Regulation, Agreements, and Policy

Focus Area

Project Delivery/Streamlining








2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

Environmental activities in transportation are heavily founded in duly-established law and regulation. Law and regulation is augmented by defined requirements of environmental agreements/contracts and filtered through agency policies. Environmental activities, however, sometimes are carried out by DOTs – at the insistence of reguatory agencies – outside of the context of law, regulation, and agreements/contracts. The corollary to knowing what’s required by law and regulation is knowing what’s not. This study would examine the 10 most impactful federal environmental statutes and their implementing regulations to highlight defined requirements and to examine to what extent environmental practices satisfy those requirements; and to identify examples of when “required” environmental practices exceed requirements outside of a basis in law and regulation.

Urgency and Payoff

Understanding what’s explicitly required by law, regulation and agreements (contracts) leads to understanding what’s not required and where opportunities for flexibility may be available and to identify practices that are not required by law and regulation. Such understanding already is a critical need and will be more so for efficient, necessary environmental analysis to support project delivery.

Suggested By

Antony Opperman Virginia Department of Transportation 804-371-6749

[email protected]