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Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation Categorical Exclusions.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation Categorical Exclusions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation Categorical Exclusions

2 Federal Law and Regulations  National Environmental Policy Act of 1969  40 CFR  Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)  23 CFR  Federal Highway Adminstration (FHWA) Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

3  Requires federal agencies within USDOT to assess and determine if a proposed action will result in significant environmental impacts  Established CEQ NEPA Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

4  Actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact upon the human and/or natural environment  Specific conditions and criteria are met  Level of analysis commensurate with the project’s potential for adverse impacts NEPA & CE Relationship Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

5 Any project that creates SIGNIFICANT impacts cannot be considered for CE classification NEPA & CE Relationship Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

6 “…a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and which have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a Federal agency in implementation of these regulations and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.” ~40 CFR ~ CEQ Regulations Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

7  Title 23 - Highways  Part Environmental Impact – Classes of Action – FHWA Categorical Exclusions FHWA Regulations Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

8  Actions that meet 40 CFR  Do not require significant relocations  No significant impacts to: Planned growth or land use Natural environment Cultural or recreational properties Air, noise, and water quality Travel patterns 23 CFR (a) Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

9  Projects with unusual circumstances require appropriate environmental studies to determine if CE classification can be met  Significant environmental impacts  Substantial environmental controversy  Significant 4(f)/6(f) impacts  Inconsistencies with Federal, State, or local environmental laws, regulations or administrative determinations 23 CFR (b) Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

10  Actions that meet CE criteria per 40 CFR and 23 CFR (a)  Exempt Projects 23 CFR (c) Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

11  Actions that meet CE criteria per 40 CFR and (a)  CE Levels CFR (d) Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

12 Ohio’s Programmatic CE Agreement Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

13  Between FHWA/ODOT/ORDC  Executed September 13, 2010  Assures compliance with all applicable federal environmental laws & regulations  Consistent documentation process  Legally defensible  Concise and easy procedure to follow CE PA Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

14  Exempt  Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Level 4 Five Documentation Levels Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

15  District Environmental Coordinator (DEC) and ORDC Environmental Coordinator  All CE Levels  District Planning and Engineering Administrator (P&EA) and ORDC Executive Director  CE Levels 2, 3, and 4 CE Signature Authority Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

16  OES Administrator or Policy Assistant Environmental Administrator (AEA)  CE Levels 3 and 4  FHWA  CE Level 4 CE Signature Authority Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

17 Exempt Project Types Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

18  Standard stand-alone transportation activities  Do not result in significant impacts to the human or natural environment  Meet the intent of 23 CFR (c)  Approved by DEC or ORDC EC Definition Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

19 1.Guardrail installation and replacement  Median Cable Barriers  No relocation of ditches or backslopes 2.Replacement or installation of:  Existing or new traffic signals  Flashing beacons/railroad warning devices  ITS system components 3. General pavement marking or "line painting" Exempt Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

20 4.Herbicidal spraying 5. Mowing or brush removal/trimming 6.Installation or maintenance of:  Signs  Pavement markings, pavement markers  Traffic calming activities  Fencing 7.Study type projects (i.e. feasibility studies) Exempt Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

21 8.Bridges:  Deck overlays and deck replacements  Superstructure replacement  Bridge painting  Maintenance activities Exempt Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

22 9.General highway maintenance:  Potholes, crack sealing, mill and resurfacing  Full pavement rehabilitation, grinding and milling  Shoulder reconstruction  Minor slide stabilization/erosion control  Grading, parking lot pavement and repair Exempt Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

23 10.Disposal of excess ROW parcels  No environmental resources present  Environmental ROW checklist completed 11. Improvements to existing ODOT maintenance facilities 12.Improvements to existing rest areas and weigh stations for minor maintenance  Mill/resurfacing of existing parking areas Exempt Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

24 13.Beautification/facility improvement projects:  Landscaping  Curb and gutter replacement  Installation of park benches, decorative lighting 14.Permits to use or occupy highway ROW  No longer used  If permit is for temporary access, no NEPA documentation required Exempt Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

25 Exempt 15.ODOT culvert maintenance or replacement  Up to 60” in diameter  Highway maintenance ditching activities 16.Construction of:  Bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways  Sidewalks, shared-use paths, and facilities  Small passenger shelters and alterations to facilities or vehicles Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

26 Exempt 17. Upgrade of existing tower lighting to new technologies that ensure a lesser impact than the current system 18.Approval of utility installations along or across a transportation facility  No drainage of wetlands 19. Acquisition of scenic easements Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

27 Exempt 20. Transportation corridor fringe parking facilities  Bus pull-ins and pull-outs  Park-and-ride lots and ridesharing activities 21. Maintenance and/or replacement of existing noise wall panels and/or posts  Includes alterations to existing publicly- owned buildings to provide noise reduction 22. Track and rail-bed maintenance activities  Rail improvements Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

28 Exempt 23. Bus and rail car rehabilitation 24.Determination of payback under 23 USC 156  Property previously acquired with federal-aid participation 25.Transfer of federal lands  Pursuant to 23 USC 317  Subsequent action is not an FHWA action Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

29 Exempt 26.Program administration, technical and operating assistance to transit authorities  Continues existing service or increases service to meet routine changes in demand 27.Purchase and installation of operating or maintenance equipment to be located within the transit facility 28.Purchase or conversion of vehicles to alternative fuel Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

30 New C-List CEs (c)(9) Transportation facilities damaged by an incident resulting in an emergency declared by the Governor of the State or a disaster or emergency declared by the President (c)(22) Projects that take place entirely within existing operational right-of-way Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

31 New C-List CEs (c)(23) Federally funded projects that receive less than $5,000,000 of Federal funds or with a total estimated cost of not more than $30,000,000 and Federal funds comprising less than 15 percent of the total estimated project cost Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

32 Not Exempt When… Projects involve the following:  Acquisition of new ROW  Scenic River Corridors  Waterway Permits  Threatened & Endangered Species  Wetlands  Historic Properties or Historic Districts  Section 4(f) and/or Section 6(f)  Substantial traffic disruption  Minor public controversy Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

33 CE Level 1 Project Types Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

34  Type of undertakings with little or no impacts  No relocations or significant impacts  ODOT Districts responsible for confirming that proposed actions meet CE Level 1 criteria  DEC or ORDC Signature  Actions that do not meet CE Level 1 shall be processed at the next appropriate higher level Definition Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

35 1. Culvert and bridge replacement/reconstruction  No more than minimal additional ROW necessary for grading purposes  Includes necessary channel work  All permits and coordination required 2. Modernization of a highway by resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction 3. Modernization of a highway by the addition of turn lanes and/or the addition of shoulders Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

36 4. Environmental mitigation activities 5. Tower and street lighting projects 6. Major reconstruction to existing rest areas and truck weigh stations Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

37 7. Track and rail-bed improvements or acquisition 8. Installation of new fencing, signs, small passenger shelters 9. Emergency repairs under 23 USC 125  Necessary work to restore essential travel within 180 days of the event  Includes mine collapses, flood damage, etc. Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

38 10.Joint/limited use of ROW with minimal or no adverse social, economic or environmental impacts 11. Approvals for changes in access control that involve Interstates and Interstate look-alikes Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

39 12. Land acquisition for hardship or protective purposes  Advance loans under the UMT Act Section 3(b)  Hardship/protective buying permitted only for a particular parcel or a limited number of parcels  Only a CE when acquisition will not limit the evaluation of alternatives, including shifts in alignment, which may be required under NEPA  Project development may not proceed on such land until the NEPA process has been completed Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

40 13. Installation of new noise walls  Includes new noise mitigation projects 14. Highway safety and truck escape ramps 15. Construction of bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, shared-use paths, or facilities and trailhead parking 16. ROW acquisition for bikeway/pedestrian facilities  No construction Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

41 17. Beautification or facility improvement projects  Landscaping  Curb and gutter installation and replacement  Installation of park benches  Decorative lighting  ADA ramps/curb ramps 18. Land donations to ODOT associated with ROW permits  Non-NHS/non-Limited Access Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

42 19. Construction of alternative energy facilities  CNG, electrification, solar, wind turbines 20. Lane reductions - traffic analysis completed 21. Land acquisition by a public agency/public park entity for passive recreational use Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

43 22. Geotechnical activities  Grouting, rock fall barriers/netting 23. Transportation corridor parking facilities, park- and-ride lots, and ridesharing activities 24. Rail projects that close at-grade crossings Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

44 25. Other project types  New category  Must be approved by OES and/or FHWA  Use for: Project types that are not listed Project types that are listed under a lower level of documentation but have risen to a higher CE level due to impacts Level 1 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

45 Projects involve two or more of the following:  Section 106 finding of “No Adverse Effect”  Programmatic or de minimis 4(f)  Up to 3 acres of Category 1 and 2 wetlands  Scenic River Corridor  Individual 404/401  Substantial traffic disruption  Minor public controversy - all issues addressed  Threatened/ & Endangered species Not Level 1 When… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

46 CE Level 2 and 3 Project Types Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

47  Involve a combination of impacts or have higher thresholds based on context and intensity compared to a CE Level 1  Exempt or CE Level 1 project types can be elevated to a higher level based on impacts Definition Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

48 1. Addition of auxiliary lanes or through lanes  Parking, weaving, turning, climbing  Major reconstruction work on Interstate or “Interstate-look-alikes” is considered on a case-by-case basis with OES 2. Bridge rehabilitation, reconstruction, or replacement 3. Realignments on new location  Not to exceed two miles in length Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

49 4. Minor new highway facility on new location  With the exception of the Interstate or “Interstate-look-alikes” 5. Modification of a non-interstate interchange or grade separating an at-grade intersection 6. Construction of a new interchange  With the exception of the Interstate or “Interstate-look-alikes” Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

50 7. Minor modification of an interstate interchange including, but not limited to, addition/deletion of turn lanes, minor lane shifts or access to decel/accel ramps 8. New truck weigh stations or rest areas 9. Construction of a grade separation to replace at- grade rail crossings or the removal of existing grade separation structures Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

51 10. Rehabilitation, reconstruction or conversion of existing rail and bus buildings and ancillary facilities  Minor amounts of additional land required  No substantial increase in number of users Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

52 11. Construction or conversion of rail storage and maintenance facilities on new location  Predominately in areas used for industrial or transportation purposes  Not inconsistent with existing zoning  No significant noise impacts Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

53 Level 2 and New bus storage and maintenance facilities  Predominantly in areas used for industrial or transportation purposes  Not inconsistent with existing zoning  On or near a street with adequate capacity to handle anticipated traffic Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

54 13. New bus transfer facilities  Passenger shelters, boarding areas, kiosks and related street improvements  In commercial areas or other high activity centers with adequate street capacity Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

55 14.ODOT storage and maintenance facilities  Predominately in areas used for industrial or transportation purposes  Not inconsistent with existing zoning  No significant environmental impacts 15. Construction of bicycle and pedestrian lanes, paths, or facilities 16.Other project types  Must be approved by OES and/or FHWA Level 2 and 3 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

56  Minor ROW acquisition involving a maximum of two relocations  Context and intensity of impacts may require elevation to the next appropriate higher level  Confirmation is made to determine that acquisition will not result in significant impacts to the community or environment Level 2’s Can Involve… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

57  Minor amounts of hazardous materials  Petroleum related USTs and/or releases  Up to 3 acres of impacts to Cat 1 and 2 wetlands and/or up to 0.5 acres of Cat 3  Enough information to issue a wetland finding must be included as documentation  Section 106 impacts  Documentation for consultation included in the project file per 36 CFR 800  No Phase III Archaeology recommended Level 2’s Can Involve… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

58  Programmatic or de minimis 4(f) impacts  Minor public or agency controversy  No opposition from organized groups or agencies Level 2’s Can Involve… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

59 Projects involve any of the following impacts:  New through lanes more than a mile in length  Interchange to replace an at-grade intersection  Coast Guard Permit  Individual Section 4(f)  Floodplains (substantial)  Threatened & endangered species or “critical” habitat resulting in a Biological Opinion  Disproportionate high or adverse EJ impacts Not Level 2 When… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

60  A maximum of eight relocations  Context and intensity of impacts may require elevation to the next appropriate higher level  Confirmation is made to determine that acquisition will not result in significant impacts to the community or environment  Section 106 impacts  Documentation of consultation included in the project file per 36 CFR 800 Level 3’s Can Involve… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

61  Wetland impacts of five acres or less  Enough information to issue a wetland finding must be included in the CE  Programmatic or de minimis 4(f) impacts  Individual 4(f) impacts  Draft CE provided to FHWA Level 3’s Can Involve… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

62  Substantial controversy on environmental grounds  Strong opposition from organized groups and/or agencies  Documentation must demonstrate that public and/or agency concerns addressed Level 3’s Can Involve… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

63 Projects involve any of the following impacts:  Floodplain (substantial/significant)  Disproportionately high and adverse impacts to Environmental Justice populations Not Level 3 When… Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

64 CE Level 4 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

65  Must meet the intent of 23 CFR (d)  Based on past experience with similar actions, do not involve significant environmental impacts Level 4 Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

66  Sufficient narrative should be included to make CE a “stand-alone document”  Detailed literature reviews, field investigations, and resulting coordination are discussed in remarks for each discipline  All impacts, regardless of CE Level, must be assessed for context and intensity Preparation Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

67  Section 4(f) or 404(b)(1) Alternative Analysis must be included for review and approval  Section 106 and agency coordination letters must be included for review and approval  Technical documents summarized in remarks  Part of the Project File  ESA, Ecological Reports, Cultural Reports  Reports are part of the file, not part of the CE Preparation Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

68 Re-Evaluations Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

69  Project scope and/or impacts changed since document was approved  If an EIS is more than three years old and/or it has been more than three years since the last major federal action  Final Design  Acquire significant amount of ROW  Approval of plans, specifications, and estimates package Re-Evaluations Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

70  If environmental studies are more than five years old, agency re-coordination and/or new studies may be needed  40 CFR (c)(1)(i)  Significant changes require impacts to be addressed  Depending on complexity of re-evaluation, a narrative or CE Form may be used  Same review, concurrence, and approval process Re-Evaluations Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

71  Per FHWA guidance, re-evaluations are intended to encompass same project limits as in original environmental document  Projects phased for construction may not require a complete re-evaluation for entire project limits  For phased projects, re-evaluation should address current status of the entire project, but focus on the current phase Re-Evaluations Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

72  Re-evaluations should consider:  What’s happened on entire project to date Including prior construction phases  What will follow Future construction phases  What or how any changes in the project or impacts will affect current phase Future phases if known Phased Projects Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

73  Include when original document was approved and why re-evaluation is required  If environmental studies within 5-year window, cite date of concurrence for each  State when permit obtained and expires  Note that all original environmental commitments will be adhered to and list any new commitments made Best Practices Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

74 CE Online System Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

75  External users register through MyODOT  Internal users contact OES to gain access We’ve Gone Electronic Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

76  All documentation uploaded electronically  All reports uploaded as DRAFT documents in Word format – exceptions may apply  Photographs, mapping, IOC’s, coordination letters, etc., can be PDF’s  Documents can be checked-out and checked-in Project File Tab Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

77  Lists District, LPA, Consultant Contacts  District Primary Reviewer  ODOT Project Manager  District Staff  Primary Form Preparers Form Adminstration Tab Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

78  Document Level  Determines if project is Exempt or otherwise  Series of questions that correlate to the PA  General  Project, Cost Schedule and Work Limits  Roadway Character & Bridge Design Criteria  Maintenance of Traffic During Construction  ROW & Utility Involvement Resource Tabs Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

79  Purpose & Need Format built-in  Alternatives follow new PDP  Floodplains is under Permits Tab  Each tab has tables for commitments  Select tabs have tables to record impacts to individual resources/properties  Wetlands, Streams, 4(f) Resource Tabs Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

80  Remarks discussion includes:  Literature review and field work conducted Include date and personnel  Anticipated level of impacts  Resources within proposed project area, but not directly impacted  Anticipated public and agency involvement  Agency correspondence/issues resolved Resource Tabs Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation

81 Erica L. Schneider, AEA-OES Policy Kevin E. Davis, Supervisor-OES Policy Contacts Managing the Environmental & Project Development Process Presented by the Ohio Department of Transportation


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