4 Course Objectives Understand Federal Requirements Understand the foundation of an approved NEPA Document is the P&NUnderstand P&N relationship with Alternative Analysis, Section 4(f), Wetland Findings, Logical Termini, etc.
5 Course Objectives Write and review P&N Statements that: Focus on transportation problemsAdvance a project efficientlyProvide a clear basis for evaluating alternativesAre legally defensibleAs the cartoon suggests, the process of developing P&N is not as simple as “point and click”. It may involve going back to the chalk board and ensuring everything has been included
7 Federal Law & Regulations National Environmental Policy Act of 1969RegulationsCEQ (40 CFR 1502)FHWA (23 CFR 771)I will discuss very briefly the laws and regulations to give you some of the background, and then we will get into the policy and guidance.
8 Policy & Guidance FHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8a) 10/3/87Purpose & Need in Environmental Documents9/18/1990FHWA/FTA Joint Guidance on Purpose & Need7/23/2003Development of Logical Termini11/5/1993FHWA Guidance-Linking Planning and NEPA2/22/2005CEQ 40 Most Asked Questionsceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/regs/40/40p3.htm
9 Federal Law & Regulations National Environmental Policy Act of 1969The purpose of this Act are: To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the NationEstablished a systematic, interdisciplinary approach for decision-makingStudy, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of actionNEPA requires us to communicate with other agencies and the public. It also requires us to look at alternatives to our proposed actions.It is not a good idea to attempt either of these without a good idea of the purpose and need for the project.You can lose credibility with the public and other agencies if are not able to answer questions about why the project is needed.You can’t determine if an alternative will work if you don’t understand the problem that you are trying to solve
10 CEQ Regulations 40 CFR 1500.1 (c) - Purpose Ultimately…it is not better documents but better decisions that count. NEPA’s purpose is not to generate paperwork - even excellent paperwork - but to foster excellent action.40 CFR Purpose and NeedThe statement shall briefly specify the underlying purpose and need to which the agency is responding in proposing the alternatives including the proposed actionThe Council on Environmental Quality was established with passage of NEPA.The CEQ is the agency responsible for administering NEPA.The CEQ regs say:it is not better documents but better decisions that count. NEPA's purpose is not to generate paperwork--even excellent paperwork--but to foster excellent action.An understanding of the purpose and need is essential for good decision-making.
11 CEQ Regulations 40 CFR 1502.14 - Alternatives Heart of the environmental documentAgencies shall:“…evaluate all reasonable alternatives, and for alternatives which were eliminated from detailed study, briefly discuss the reasons for their having been eliminated.”CEQ call the alternatives section the heart of the EIS.
12 FHWA Regulations 23 CFR 771.111(f) …the action evaluated in each EIS or finding of no significant impact (FONSI) shall:Connect logical terminiHave independent utilityNot restrict consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable transportation improvementsGuidance and Policy for preparation of P&N based upon 40 CFR 1500 and 23 CFR 771
13 FHWA Definition Purpose Need States concisely and clearly why the undertaking is being proposedArticulates intended positive outcomesNeedTransportation problem(s) to be addressedDefines causes of existing problemsFactual, quantifiable data
14 FHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8A) FHWA GuidanceFHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8A)(10/30/1987)Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) DocumentsSection II - Part B Purpose & Need for ActionDescribe location, length, termini, proposed improvements, etc.Identify and describe the transportation or other needs which the proposed action is intended to satisfy (e.g., provide system continuity, alleviate traffic congestion, and correct safety or roadway deficiencies)The FHWA guidance (Technical Advisory) also touches on link between the purpose and need statement and the alternatives.It will form the basis for the "no action" discussion in the "Alternatives" section, and assist with the identification of reasonable alternatives and the selection of the preferred alternative.
15 FHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8A) FHWA GuidanceFHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8A)Section V - Part DClearly demonstrate that a "need" exists and define the "need" in terms understandable to the publicForms the basis for the “No Build" discussion in the Alternatives section and assist with the identification of reasonable alternatives and selection of the preferredThe FHWA guidance (Technical Advisory) also touches on link between the purpose and need statement and the alternatives.It will form the basis for the "no action" discussion in the "Alternatives" section, and assist with the identification of reasonable alternatives and the selection of the preferred alternative.
16 FHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8A) FHWA GuidanceFHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8A)On projects where a law, Executive Order, or regulation mandates an evaluation of avoidance alternatives, explanation of the project need should be more specific so that avoidance alternatives that do not meet the stated project need can be readily dismissed
17 Purpose & Need in Environmental Documents FHWA GuidancePurpose & Need in Environmental Documents(9/18/1990)In many ways, P&N is the most important section of an environmental documentEstablishes why the agency is proposing to spend public funds, while at the same time causing significant environmental impacts
18 Purpose & Need in Environmental Documents FHWA GuidancePurpose & Need in Environmental DocumentsA clear and well-justified P&N explains to the public and decision-makers why expenditure of funds is necessary and worthwhilePriority being given to the action relative to other needed highway projects is warrantedAlthough significant environmental impacts may be expected, P&N should justify why impacts are acceptableBrief discussion of applicability of EIS regulations to other Nepa Docs
19 FHWA/FTA Joint Guidance on P&N FHWA GuidanceFHWA/FTA Joint Guidance on P&N(7/23/2003)Lead agency has the authority and responsibility to define 'purpose and need' for NEPA analysisFor Federal-Aid (FHWA Title 23 US Code funded) projects, lead federal agency is FHWAThe FHWA also has guidance specifically on Purpose and Need.Copy is in your packet.This guidance is relatively recent and came about due the difficulties that we were having when other agencies did not agree with our purpose and need. This guidance is based on an exchange of letters between the Secretary of Transportation and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality.The secretary asked the chairman to answer two questions:First, what is the role of the lead agency under NEPA indetermining "purpose and need?" Second, what is the appropriate role of cooperatingagencies in reviewing the "purpose and need" for a project?
20 FHWA GuidanceJoint-lead or cooperating agencies should afford substantial deference to the lead agency's articulation of a project’s P&NP&N is the cornerstone for the alternatives analysis, but should not discuss solutionsCare should be taken to ensure P&N is not so narrow as to unreasonably point to a single solution
21 FHWA Guidance Logical Termini Rational end points for a transportation improvementRational end points for review of environmental impacts
22 Guidance on the Development of Logical Project Termini FHWA GuidanceGuidance on the Development of Logical Project Termini(11/5/1993)In developing a project which can be advanced through stages of planning, environmental, design, and construction, the project sponsor needs to consider a “whole” or integrated projectShould satisfy an identified need and consider the context of the local area’s socioeconomics and topography, future travel demand, and other planned infrastructure improvementsExplain logical termini and purpose and need relates to it
23 FHWA GuidanceProposed improvements may miss the mark by only peripherally satisfying the need or by causing unexpected side effects which require additional corrective action“Segmentation" may occur where a transportation need extends throughout an entire corridor but environmental issues and needs are discussed for only a segment of the corridor
24 FHWA GuidanceThree general principles at 23 CFR (f) used to frame a highway project:Logical termini connection should be of sufficient length to address environmental matters on a broad scopeIndependent utility or significanceReasonable expenditure even if no additional transportation improvements in the area are madeConsideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable transportation improvements is not restricted
25 LINKING PLANNING & NEPA FHWA GuidanceLINKING PLANNING & NEPA(2/22/2005)A sound transportation planning process is the primary source of an undertaking’s P&NP&N is where planning and NEPA intersectWhere do projects come from?Where do you get the data?
26 LINKING PLANNING & NEPA FHWA GuidanceLINKING PLANNING & NEPAThe following information from planning studies can be used in the P&N:Goals and objectives from the transportation planning processResults of analyses from management systems (e.g., congestion, pavement, bridge, and/or safety)
27 LINKING PLANNING & NEPA FHWA GuidanceLINKING PLANNING & NEPAWith proper documentation and public involvement, a P&N derived from the planning process can legitimately narrow the alternatives analyzed for NEPA
28 LINKING PLANNING & NEPA FHWA GuidanceLINKING PLANNING & NEPAAlternatives eliminated during the planning process because they do not meet P&N, can be omitted from the detailed analysis of alternatives in the NEPA documentExplain the rationale for elimination of alternatives in the NEPA document
29 FHWA Guidance A statement of the transportation problem Not solution-basedBased on articulated planning factors and developed through a certified planning process
30 FHWA GuidanceSpecific enough so range of alternatives developed offer solutions to the transportation problemNot so specific as to "reverse engineer” a solutionMay reflect other priorities and limitations in the area (i.e. environmental resources, growth management, land use, and economic development)
34 ODOT’s PDP Revised PDP being used on all new projects No more Major, Minor, MinimalReplaced with five paths that are based on project type and complexityFive phases of project development:PlanningPreliminary EngineeringEnvironmental EngineeringFinal EngineeringConstruction
35 ODOT’s PDP Path 1 projects typically Exempt or CE Level 1 No documentation required for Exempt projectsAnything above Exempt requires a P&NFor projects that are not CE Exempt and those in Paths 2-5, P&N should be prepared in Task 1.3.G of the Planning PhaseComplete P&N before identifying alternatives
36 ODOT’s PDP District’s Role Research and prepare May hire consultant to prepareLocals and consultants must send P&N to district for review and approvalFor local projects, districts can no longer prepare CE 2 documents or higherSeek local stakeholder concurrenceEnsure consistent quality control
37 DO NOT WAIT - involve OES early ODOT’s PDPODOT-OES will advise and assist with:Finalizing P&N for all projects during NEPAAny questions you may haveP&N for CE Level 3 projects and above must be sent into OES for concurrenceOES submits draft P&N for CE Level 4s and higher to FHWA for concurrenceDO NOT WAIT - involve OES early
38 ODOT’s PDP OES submits draft to FHWA for concurrence that the P&N: Defines the existing transportation problem(s) and need(s) to the level independent utility can be establishedEstablishes logical termini and any intermediate control points to address environmental mattersIs adequate to evaluate, eliminate or advance planning level conceptual alternativesDoes not restrict consideration of alternatives for other foreseeable transportation improvements
39 ODOT’s PDPP&N refined throughout the Planning, Preliminary Engineering, and Environmental Engineering Phases (the Planning and Environmental stages of a project)Draft P&N until approved in the NEPA documentFHWA Ohio Division has delegated authority to ODOT to review and approve P&Ns for CE Level 1-3 projectsBased on acceptance of the PDPBased on implementation of the Programmatic CE Agreement
40 Save this template as a presentation (.ppt file) on your computer. Using this PowerPoint break timerThis PowerPoint slide uses images, custom animation, and timing to provide a countdown timer that you can use in any presentation. When you open the template, you’ll notice that the timer is set at 00:00. However, when you start the slide show, the timer will start at the correct time and count down by 1-minute intervals until it gets to 1 minute. At that point, it will count down in two 30-seconds intervals to 00:00.To insert this slide into your presentationSave this template as a presentation (.ppt file) on your computer.Open the presentation that will contain the timer.On the Slides tab, place your insertion point after the slide that will precede the timer. (Make sure you don't select a slide. Your insertion point should be between the slides.)On the Insert menu, click Slides from Files.In the Slide Finder dialog box, click the Find Presentation tab.Click Browse, locate and select the timer presentation, and then click Open.In the Slides from Files dialog box, select the timer slide.Select the Keep source formatting check box. If you do not select this check box, the copied slide will inherit the design of the slide that precedes it in the presentation.Click Insert.Click Close.
42 Importance of P&N P&N is used to: Communicate and coordinate effectively with stakeholders and the publicEvaluate alternativesJustify impactsEstablish logical termini/independent utilityManage controversy
43 Importance of P&N A well-written P&N will: Describe how the project was developedPresent a shared understanding of the transportation problems and objectivesAssist in defining project scopeGuide the development and evaluation of alternativesAvoid developing an ill-conceived projectEnsure decisions are legally defensible
44 Basic Structure Project History Purpose Statement Need Elements Goals and Objectives - optionalSummaryLogical Termini/Independent Utility
47 Project History Brief discussion of the context for the project Provide background on existing facilityDescribe actions taken to dateFunding status, schedule, etc.Prior InvestigationsTraffic StudiesSafety StudiesPlanning Studies
48 Project History Land Use/Visioning or Planning Documents MPO TIP/STIP Local Comprehensive PlansLocal Community Mission Statements
49 Project History Legislative Intent Federal, State or Local government mandateConsider congressional and/or state directivesCongressional EarmarksConference Report (if one exists) helpful in clarifying intent associated with legislation
50 Project History Legislative Intent Consider if the following is identified as part of specific legislation:Particular facility designParticular terminiParticular mode of travel
51 Purpose StatementClearly and concisely states primary objectives to be attainedA range of potential purposes can existi.e. Mobility, Safety, AccessArticulates the intended positive outcomesAn alternative that does not achieve primary purposes would be eliminated1-2 sentences in length
52 Transportation NeedsQuantified data obtained through analyses will determine if a well-defined and well-supported need existsDo not include any reference to solutionsNeed ElementsDefines existing and future conditionsDesired conditionsDetermined by analyses1-2 well defined needs vs. several poorly supported needs1-2 paragraphs per need element
55 Transportation Needs Mobility Movement of people and goods Identified and addressed during planning with respect to all modesTransit, rail, aviation, pedestrian and bicycleAbility to meet traffic demandsCan be considered a primary need or goal
56 Transportation Needs Mobility Identify source(s) to support Possible sources might include:MPO Metropolitan Transportation PlanCommunity Comprehensive PlanState Transportation PlansCounty and/or municipal visioning documentsLand Development Plans
57 Transportation Needs Congestion First step is to define congestion Determine desired performance levelRange of measures can be used:Levels of service (LOS)Volume-to-capacity (V/C) ratiosVehicle hours of delay
58 Transportation Needs Congestion MPO planning documents (Plans and TIPs) are source, within urban countiesSame set of measures may not apply to every project
59 Transportation Needs Congestion The Travel Demand Model (TDM) is used in the Transportation Planning process and its data can be used to define congestionProvides sufficient data to establish a congestion-related needIncludes capacity for a particular transportation facilityEstimates the demand for that facility
60 Transportation Needs Congestion Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) software is another analysis tool
61 Facility Deficiencies Transportation NeedsFacility DeficienciesPoor pavement conditionsPoor bridge conditionsSubstandard geometricsSubstantiate need with data“Facility deficiencies” are physical characteristics of a facility that are below the desired performance. Examples include:
62 Facility Deficiencies Transportation NeedsFacility DeficienciesData can come from various sources:Pavement Management SystemBridge Management SystemMaintenance Management SystemRoadway Design Manuals and GuidelinesStructure Standards – federal, state, local
63 Transportation Needs Safety Transportation improvements often produce safety benefitsCrash data will help support existing and future conditionsOften considered purpose of a project, but can be a need as wellCompleting the project may yield reductions in crash numbers, rates, types and/or severity.
64 Transportation Needs Safety Only include if data indicates high crash rate and the project will likely address the need
65 Transportation Needs Safety Based on accepted engineering practices Not relevant without documented crash dataDoes not increase justification of an undertakingConsider unintended negative consequences
66 Transportation Needs System Linkage Defined as: Linking two or more existing transportation facilitiesA new link between two interstatesLinking different types of modal facilitiesEstablishing an intermodal facilityLinking two or more geographic areasA rail link between Norfolk and Columbus
67 Transportation Needs System Linkage Linking two or more regional traffic generators and/or geographic areasMall, regional sports complex, etc.Linking an existing transportation network to a geographic area that currently is not connected
68 Transportation Needs System Linkage Can be a primary need or goal Rare to have system linkage as a primary need
69 Modal Inter-relationship Transportation NeedsModal Inter-relationshipAppropriate to include intermodal connectivityDefine modes to be includedExplain in quantifiable termsDefine how proposed facility will interface with and serve to complement airports, rail and port facilities, mass transit, etc.An FHWA / FTA project that would provide connectivity between highway users, bikes, pedestrians and transit for example
70 Transportation Needs Access More than likely a purpose of an undertakingRelated to another transportation problemCongestion on nearby facilitiesDesire to promote economic development
71 Transportation Needs Emergency Evacuation In Ohio, only applies to nuclear power plant evacuation routesA documented need must existState or local policy and/or evacuation studyProposed undertaking must be located on a designated evacuation route
72 Economic Development/Growth Non-Traditional NeedEconomic Development/GrowthNew employment, schools, land use plans, etc.Land use changes indicate need to improve or add to highway capacitySome communities have a vision for how they to evolve and prosperA desirable outcome of a transportation undertakingTransportation facilities rarely the sole factor
73 Economic Development/Growth Non-Traditional NeedEconomic Development/GrowthTransportation infrastructure and other public infrastructure collectively help determine community growthTransportation infrastructure can facilitate the changing of land uses and lead to growthJob creation is not a transportation needTransportation infrastructure, other public infrastructure (e.g. water, sewer, schools) and other considerations (e.g. tax rates, available workforce, available land and/or buildings, real estate values) collectively help determine how and where a community will grow.Provision of transportation infrastructure can facilitate the changing of land uses (e.g. paving an existing dirt road can make the adjacent properties more likely to support greater densities and/or intensities of use) which can lead to community growth/economic development.
74 Economic Development/Growth Non-Traditional NeedEconomic Development/GrowthPurpose statement should not be written:“ The purpose is to promote growth/economic development”P&N is grounded in transportation:“ The purpose is to provide transportation infrastructure to support community growth/development as identified in [a plan].”
75 Economic Development/Growth Non-Traditional NeedEconomic Development/GrowthIdentify source(s) to supportPossible sources include:MPO Metropolitan Transportation PlanComprehensive Transportation PlanCounty and/or municipal visioning documentsLand Development Plans
76 Economic Development/Growth Non-Traditional NeedEconomic Development/GrowthResolutions or other forms of support:Individual DevelopmentsNon-governmental EntitiesDowntown Development CommissionsChambers of CommerceCapital Improvement Programs
77 Economic Development/Growth Non-Traditional NeedEconomic Development/GrowthShould not be discussed if not substantiatedFocusing on existing transportation problems avoids defining a broad purpose that requires consideration of a vast range of non-transportation alternatives for promoting growth/economic development
78 Environmental Protection Non-Traditional NeedEnvironmental ProtectionOften incorporate elements that help protect the environmentRarely a transportation needFocus on the underlying reasons for proposing the action based on a transportation needMitigation projects should reference main projectSometimes the elements can be prescriptive (e.g. compensatory mitigation pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act). Other times, environmental protection elements can be voluntary.
79 Non-Traditional Need National Defense Transportation systems considered vital to our national defense/securityCritical surface transportation modal systems that transportation professionals should be aware of:Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET)Railroads for National Defense (RND)Ports for National Defense (PND)
80 Non-Traditional Need National Defense FHWA Perspective: Identify minimum highway infrastructure needed to fulfill the mission of USDODIntegrate public highway needs into civil policies, plans, and programsEnsure defense readiness of highway infrastructureEstablish policy on how DOD uses highway systemPt. there are very specific places for this…proper context
81 Non-Traditional Need National Defense For inclusion as a primary need, there must be an identified need from a military perspectiveIf project is located on STRAHNET (network), but underlying needs are defined by local community, this element could be a goal
83 Goals & Objectives Optional and discretionary - come from planning Community perspective rather than a transportation perspectiveConsistent with and follows local planAids in the development of context sensitive solutions
84 Goals & Objectives Secondary elements/other desirable outcomes Is not a core purpose of the undertakingGoals are not a basis for eliminating alternatives in the screening stageMay be a factor in the selection of a preferred alternative
87 Logical Termini Transportation problem begins and ends Federal Actions shall not be segmentedDoes not preclude phasing of construction under a single NEPA actionState/Municipal boundaries are not end points
88 Independent Utility Establishes independent significance May be implied by logical terminiMay need to be specifically addressedDistinct from project construction phasingDemonstrates that the project is not dependent on any other action
89 Length Recommendations Level of detail needed can varyQuantified discussion for CE’s should be brief1 or 2 paragraphs per need element1-2 pages of text overallAn EA/EIS typically involves complex environmental and engineering decisions that may require a more detailed quantified discussion3-5 pages of textWhen length recommendations are exceeded, contact OES to initiate consultation with FHWA
90 Points to RememberMust provide tangible, quantifiable data to support the needComprehensive, specific, and conciseInclude appropriate maps, illustrations, photos, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, etc., in appendicesRe-examine and update P&N as appropriate throughout project development
91 Points to Remember Eliminate “FLUFF” Avoid subjective words “Just the Facts”Opinions do not countAvoid subjective wordsMay, Maybe, Likely, CouldAvoid words with legal interpretationsSignificant, Segment, and Hazardous
92 Points to Remember Define existing transportation problem(s) Identify and quantify needs to the level that independent utility can be establishedEstablish logical terminiAdequately evaluates, eliminates or advances alternatives
95 Putting it All Together You will be assigned the task of writing a real life P&N based on handoutsYou will be given a set of facts and mapping for a transportation problemAfter completion you will exchange with your neighbor for peer reviewClass discussion of results
96 Putting it All Together Format:Project HistoryPurpose StatementNeed ElementsGoals & ObjectivesSummaryLogical Termini & Independent Utility
98 Save this template as a presentation (.ppt file) on your computer. Using this PowerPoint break timerThis PowerPoint slide uses images, custom animation, and timing to provide a countdown timer that you can use in any presentation. When you open the template, you’ll notice that the timer is set at 00:00. However, when you start the slide show, the timer will start at the correct time and count down by 1-minute intervals until it gets to 1 minute. At that point, it will count down in two 30-seconds intervals to 00:00.To insert this slide into your presentationSave this template as a presentation (.ppt file) on your computer.Open the presentation that will contain the timer.On the Slides tab, place your insertion point after the slide that will precede the timer. (Make sure you don't select a slide. Your insertion point should be between the slides.)On the Insert menu, click Slides from Files.In the Slide Finder dialog box, click the Find Presentation tab.Click Browse, locate and select the timer presentation, and then click Open.In the Slides from Files dialog box, select the timer slide.Select the Keep source formatting check box. If you do not select this check box, the copied slide will inherit the design of the slide that precedes it in the presentation.Click Insert.Click Close.
101 Course SummaryNEPA’s purpose is to document better decision-making, not better documentsQuantified discussion in CE’s should be brief1 or 2 paragraphs per need elementOverall, 1-2 pages of textQuantified discussion in EA/EIS more detailed3-5 pages of textWhen length recommendations exceeded, contact ODOT-OES
102 Course SummaryProvide a clear, concise and well justified P&N StatementThe P&N is a legally defensible documentThe P&N serves as the foundation for evaluating alternatives, but DOES NOT include a discussion of solutionsDoes not restrict consideration of other alternatives
103 Consultants should always contact ODOT District Environmental Staff ODOT ContactsMajor New ProjectsLarry Hoffman - Districts 3, 4, 8, 12Carmen Stemen - Districts 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11Non Major New ProjectsKevin Davis - Policy SupervisorAmber Hewitt - Districts 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11Doug App - Districts 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 12Consultants should always contactODOT District Environmental Staff