Virtual Public Meetings -- Effectiveness in the NEPA Public Input Process

Focus Area

NEPA Process


Environmental Process




Under $99k


1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

With the use of electronic media becoming prevalent in communication how effective are virtual NEPA public meetings. Some states have done research in public meeting options but at this point the research on the effectiveness of these meetings for DOTs is limited.  Questions to be answered through the research include:  What are the differences in public imput between face-to-face and virtual public meetings?  Is the information and input from virtual public meetings more or less informative to the NEPA process.  Are there specific locations or project types where virtual public meetings work well?  How should DOTs phase in the use of electronic public meetings as the use of electronic media grows in popularity?  Do virtual public meetings serve to appropriately streamline the NEPA process?

Related Research (Added by TERI Administrator, April 2011)
Online Jams: A Tool for Public Engagement11th National Conference on Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities, 2008, 8p

Urgency and Payoff

DOTs need to know at what pace to institute and when to use virtual public imput in the NEPA process.  States have instituted electronic public meetings in the last several years.  It is time to find out the effectiveness of those electronic public meeings in informing the NEPA decision making process and the ability to streamline NEPA.

Suggested By

Gayle Unruh, MoDOT

[email protected]