Research for the AASHTO Committee on Environment and Sustainability. Task 103. Administration of Categorical Exclusions by State Departments of Transportation under NEPA

Since 1989, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and State DOTs have employed programmatic agreements that establish procedures for expeditious and efficient approval of Categorical Exclusions (CEs). President Obama signed Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) into law on July 6, 2012. Section 1318(d) of MAP-21 puts forward a permanent program that allows State DOTs to assume CE approval authority on the behalf of FHWA. The content, structure, and approach of existing programmatic agreements between FHWA Division Offices and State DOTs vary widely, as FHWA affords State DOTs the flexibility to adopt programmatic agreements best suited to each state’s individual circumstances. On October 6, 2014, FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a Final Rule1 in the Federal Register that amends the NEPA regulations for FHWA and FTA, 23 CFR Part 771,2 to authorize the establishment of programmatic agreements between FHWA and State DOTs to allow State DOTs to make a CE approval on FHWA’s behalf. In accordance with the regulation, State DOTs should establish new or revised existing programmatic agreements before November 6, 2019. In undertaking the required re-establishment of new programmatic agreements with FHWA, in accordance with 23 CFR Part 771.117(g), State DOTs need to understand how CEs are currently administered and how programmatic agreements are structured. The purpose of this research is to produce a report characterizing the state of Categorical Exclusion (CE) programmatic agreements (PA) between FHWA and State DOTs, including PAs that are already compliant with 23 CFR Part 771.117(g), as modified in accordance with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Ac


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  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $60000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 25-25, Task 103

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Hartell, Ann

  • Performing Organizations:


    One Penn Plaza
    250 W 34th Street
    New York, New York  United States  10119
  • Principal Investigators:

    Delaney, Douglas

  • Start Date: 20180305
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190401
  • Actual Completion Date: 20190401

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01651592
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 25-25, Task 103
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 27 2017 7:33PM