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Accelerated Decisionmaking in Environmental Reviews Questions & Answers

Posted 9/25/2012

Section 1319 Accelerated Decisionmaking in Environmental Reviews

DEIS Errata Sheets

Question 1: When does the provision for the use of errata sheets (MAP-21 Section 1319(a)) attached to the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in-lieu of a final EIS take effect?

Answer 1: This provision takes effect on October 1, 2012. This approach to preparing the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is not new. It is currently allowed by CEQ regulation and guidance (see 40 CFR 1503.4(c)), as well as under the existing FHWA Technical Advisory T6640.81, Section VI - Options for Preparing Final EIS's (abbreviated format FEIS). Section 1319(a) does include additional criteria for when the option is appropriate, and specifies particular content of the errata sheets.

Combined FEIS and ROD

Question 2: When is a combined FEIS/Record of Decision (ROD) document allowed?

Answer 2: Section 1319(b) provides that the lead agency shall, to the maximum extent practicable, combine the FEIS and ROD unless (1) the FEIS makes substantial changes to the proposed action that are relevant to environmental or safety concerns; or (2) there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and that bear on the proposed action or the impacts of the proposed action.

Question 3: When will the provision for the use of a combined FEIS/ROD take effect?

Answer 3: The provision will take effect on October 1, 2012. If a project sponsor wishes to begin developing a combined FEIS/ROD, the project sponsor should consult with the lead agency. Where FHWA is the lead agency, the relevant FHWA Division or Federal Land's office should consult with the FHWA Headquarters Office of Project Development and Environmental Review and the Office of Chief Counsel for assistance. For FTA projects, the relevant FTA Regional Office, in coordination with their Regional Counsel, should contact the FTA Headquarters Office of Human and Natural Environment in the Office of Planning and Environment for assistance.

Question 4: Is it possible to use both errata sheets for the FEIS and a combined FEIS/Record of Decision under the new provisions in this section?

Answer 4: Yes. Guidance on this procedure will be provided in the future.

Page posted on September 25, 2012.
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