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Memorandum of Agreement

Between the Federal Highway Administration (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) and the Federal Transit Administration, Region VIII

July - 2004

I. BACKGROUND

Since 1976, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have developed and administered regulations collaboratively. This Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) demonstrates the continuing partnership and cooperation between FTA and FHWA, and reinforces the strong working relationship between these two partners. There are more detailed agreements between FTA and FHWA in specific areas and will be made available upon request. The goal of this agreement is to outline the primary areas of Planning and standardize the processes.

An overview of this agreement involves the following:

II. PURPOSE OF THIS AGREEMENT

The purpose of this memorandum is to create an agreement that will standardize the collaborative efforts of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, Region VIII. The goal of the Collaboration Planning Initiative (CPI) is to streamline the planning and review processes of Federal Highway Administration (including the States: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming), which will herein be referred to as FHWA, and the Federal Transit Administration, Region VIII (herein referred to as FTA VIII) through more efficient and coordinated use of staff and resources. By doing so, the aim is to enhance the quality of assistance in response to customer expectations, and to improve both agencies' delivery of oversight in terms of timeliness and consistency. This MOA is intended to be a living document and as such will be changed and updated as needed.

III. GOALS

FTA-VIII and FHWA will implement the terms specified in this MOA to organize and structure the following transportation processes:

  1. Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and Amendment Approvals
  2. Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Reviews, Approvals, and Amendments (State's Annual Work Program)
  3. State Planning and Research (only when specific Transit items need to be coordinated)
  4. Transportation Plans (State and MPO)
  5. Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Funds Eligibility Coordination
  6. Project Coordination and NEPA
  7. Planning and Program Coordination Meetings
  8. State and Metropolitan Transportation Planning Findings
  9. Transportation Management Area (TMA) Planning Certification Reviews and non-TMA MPO Planning Reviews
  10. Communication and Conflict Resolution between FHWA and FTA
  11. Flex Funding Procedures
  12. Air Quality Conformity

Table 1: Planning Action

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), Metropolitan Transportation Implementation Plan (TIP), and Amendment Approvals

Background

Planning Action Lead Agency Lead LetterLead Action
STIP Approval & AmendmentJointJointFHWA
UPWPJointFHWAFHWA
SPRFHWAFHWAFHWA
Transportation PlanJointN/AFHWA (when necessary)
CMAQJointJointJoint
Project Coordination & NEPAJointJointJoint
MeetingsFHWAFHWA (when applicable)FHWA
State & Metropolitan Transportation FindingsJointJointFHWA
TMA Certification ReviewsJointFHWAFHWA
Communication & Conflict ResolutionJointFHWA or FTA (when applicable)FHWA or FTA
Flex FundingJointFHWA or FTAFHWA or FTA
Air Quality ConformityJointJointFHWA

Section 135 of Title 23 U.S.C. establishes Federal requirements for statewide transportation planning. This regulation states, in part, that a Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) be jointly approved by FHWA and FTA. The STIP is required to support the obligation of Federal funds made available under Title 23 U.S.C. and each grantee under the Federal Transit Act. The STIP also contains all projects (either directly or by reference) from current MPO TIPs.

Amendments Background

Section 135 of Title 23 U.S.C. states that any and all amendments made to the STIP must be jointly signed and approved by FHWA and FTA if those amendments impact FHWA or FTA's plans to "flex funds," or if the amendment contains both highway and transit projects. If the amendment contains only highway projects, FHWA may approve it, and if it contains only transit projects, FTA-VIII may approve it. Projects requiring a conformity determination will require a joint approval.

Roles and Responsibilities

FHWA responsibilities are as follows:

FTA-VIII responsibilities are as follows:

2. Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Reviews and Approvals

Background

Section 134 of 23 U.S.C. and Section 613 of 49 U.S.C. established Federal requirements for implementing provisions for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO). These regulations include the requirement for submission and are located in 23 C.F.R. 420, 450 and 49 C.F.R 613.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

3. State Planning and Research (SPR)

Background

23 C.F.R. Part 420 and 23 U.S.C. 101(a) state that administrative activities by State DOTs and MPOs with State Planning and Research (SPR) funds have certain requirements. These include research, development, and technology transfer (RD&T) activities. This will only be needed as appropriate.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

FTA-VIII responsibilities are as follows:

4. Transportation Plans

Background

49 U.S.C. Section 5303 (f)(1)(B) and 23 C.F.R. § 450.322 state that Transportation Plans are generated by the State DOT and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO). Fiscal constraint requirements are intended to ensure that the total estimated costs of projects do not exceed reasonably available estimated revenues.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

5. Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Funds Eligibility Coordination

Background

TEA-21 states that CMAQ funds are intended for projects and programs in non- attainment or maintenance areas that will promote reduction of transportation-related emissions. Section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act requires FHWA and FTA to ensure timely implementation and control of Transportation Control Measures (TCM) in State Implementation Plans (SIP). For those States with no non-attainment or maintenance areas, CMAQ funds can be used on any Surface Transportation Program-eligible project.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

6. Project Coordination and NEPA Background

40 C.F.R. §§ 1508.7 and 1508.8 define impacts and effects that must be addressed by Federal agencies to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process. This includes direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts (past, present, and future impacts and their results). On major projects that involve both highway and transit issues, it is the goal of both agencies to develop planning and environmental documents jointly, where appropriate, or to participate as a cooperating agency. This is intended to encourage multimodal (highway and transit) planning and NEPA studies, where appropriate.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

7. Planning and Program Coordination Meetings

Background

TEA-21 encourages a more open planning environment. This is implemented through regular correspondence and meetings, and a systematic procedure for coordinating, processing, and distributing information. FHWA and FTA-VIII maintain regular communication via telephone, conference calls, email, regular mail, video conferences, and site visits, as needed. Every effort is made by both agencies to ensure timely response is made, usually within two business days. Should either agency feel further correspondence and/or formalized communication (such as regularly scheduled meetings) can be modified.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

8. State and Metropolitan Transportation Findings Background

23 C.F.R. 450.320 and 49 U.S.C. 613 mandate that each of the metropolitan planning areas follow a comprehensive planning process that is in cooperation with the State DOT, local governments, and transit operators. The State DOT must also include a certification with the STIP that the transportation planning process is being carried out according to regulations. These requirements include, but are not limited to, development and/or adoption of a statewide transportation plan, financial plan (in the case of a metropolitan plan), Transportation Plan, public involvement process, and air quality conformity (in rural non-attainment areas), if necessary. The MPOs must also self-certify annually that they are carrying out the 3-C Planning Process.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

Coordination of 3C Planning Process Project Coordination and Implementation

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1963 established "3C" Planning (Comprehensive, Cooperative, and Continuous). This type of planning is a required condition for metropolitan areas to obtain Federal funds, stipulating the integration of land use with transportation and intermodal planning.

Roles and Responsibilities

FHWA responsibilities are as follows:

FTA-VIII responsibilities are as follows:

9. Transportation Management Areas (TMA) Certifications and non-TMA MPO Planning Reviews

Background

23 U.S.C. 134(i)(5) and 49 U.S.C. 1607 states that FHWA and FTA must jointly certify the Metropolitan Planning processes in Transportation Management Areas (TMA) at least every three years. TMAs are urbanized areas, as defined by the U.S. Census, where there is a population of 200,000 or more people. Joint FTA/FHWA certification guidelines help promote strong partnerships with MPOs and provide the flexibility to meet individual needs within a specified MPO region.

There are three basic requirements in the certification responsibility: site visits, review of planning products, and a report that summarizes the findings and provides feedback. The certification review includes interviews with MPO staff, elected officials, other cooperating agencies, a public meeting, and a close-out with the MPO Policy Board.

Follow-up on Corrective Actions for Certification Reviews

In the instance where corrective actions are required through certification reviews, FHWA will be the lead agency in meeting with the specific MPO, as well as other planning partners, as necessary. Detailed accounts will be sent to FTA-VIII. Depending on the certification in question, either FHWA or FTA-VIII will review and monitor in greater depth, the progress of the appropriate planning partner(s) to resolve corrective actions and other significant recommendations resulting from the certification review.

Once the corrective action in question is resolved, a letter indicating that the corrective action has been satisfactorily addressed, will then be written jointly by FHWA and FTA VIII.

For non-TMA MPOs, a joint FHWA/FTA Planning Review will be conducted at least once every 5 years, unless both agencies agree to a different cycle based on particular issues and needs.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

Civil Rights, Title VI, Environmental Justice, Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Certifications

Background

In response to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 23 C.F.R. Part 230 was created. It states that policies, procedures, and guidelines must be in place in order to achieve an Equal Opportunity Employment Program. DOT encourages a proactive approach to Title VI, which requires Environmental Justice (EJ), Civil Rights assurance, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) representation.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

10. Communication and Conflict Resolution between FTA and FHWA

Background

The purpose of this section is to provide guidance for the level of communication and procedures for collaborative efforts. FTA and FHWA have benefited from a long history of partnering and support. Annual meetings and regular phone and email correspondence have been the primary methods of communication, due to the distance between FHWA division offices and FTA-VIII. Because of this remoteness, FHWA will represent FTA-VIII at Statewide and MPO meetings. In certain cases, with the interest of streamlining the delivery of the Planning process, it may be advantageous for one agency to prepare and sign a letter on behalf of both agencies (see Table 1). A priority is to reinstitute an annual Planning meeting which involves FTA-VIII and the following FHWA Division offices that are party to this agreement. The following procedures are to further streamline communicative efforts between FTA-VIII and FHWA.

Roles and Responsibilities

FHWA responsibilities are as follows:

FTA-VIII responsibilities are as follows:

11. Flex Funding Procedures

Background

Federal transportation programs allow for certain Federal-aid program funds to be transferred between either highway or transit projects. This is commonly referred to as "flex funding." This allows MPOs and States to make more efficient use of available funds. Listed below are possible flex funding categories:

FHWA Funding Categories

FTA Funding Categories

Roles and Responsibilities

FHWA responsibilities are as follows:

FTA-VIII responsibilities are as follows:

12. Air Quality Conformity

Background

23 U.S.C. 134 and Section 8, 23 C.F.R 450, and 40 C.F.R Part 51 state that MPOs be designated for each urbanized area. These MPOs must ensure a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive Transportation Planning process that results in plans and programs reflecting all transportation modes. This leads to the development and operation of an integrated, intermodal transportation system.

Roles and Responsibilities

FHWA responsibilities are as follows:

FTA-VIII responsibilities are as follows:


Memorandum Of Agreement
Between
The Federal Highway Administration

(Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, And Wyoming)
and
The Federal Transit Administration, Region Viii
July - 2004

Janice Weingart Brown
Montana Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Date Signed
David C. Gibbs
Utah Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Date Signed
Colorado Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Date Signed
Philip E. Miller
Wyoming Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Date Signed
Allen R. Radcliff
North Dakota Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Date Signed
John G. Rohlf
South Dakota Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Date Signed
Lee O. Waddleton
Regional Administrator
Federal Transit Administration
Date Signed

Appendix B

List of Acronyms

3C Comprehensive, Cooperative, and Continuous Planning
BRBridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program
CFRCode of Federal Regulations
CMAQCongestion Management/Air Quality
CPGConsolidated Planning Grants
CPICollaboration Planning Initiative
DAQDepartment of Air Quality
DBEDisadvantaged Business Enterprise
DOTDepartment of Transportation
EJEnvironmental Justice
EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
FTAFederal Transit Administration
HPPHigh Priority Projects
IMInterstate Maintenance
MOAMemorandum of Agreement
MPOMetropolitan Planning Organization
NEPANational Environmental Protection Act
NHSNational Highway System
RD&TResearch, Development, and Technology Transfer
SOVSingle-Occupant Vehicle
SPRState Planning and Research
STIPState Transportation Improvement Plan
STPSurface Transportation Program
TCMTraffic Control Measures
TCSPTransportation, Community, and System Preservation Projects
TIPTransportation Improvement Plan
TMATraffic Management Areas
TPTransportation Plan
UPWPUnified Planning Work Program

APPENDIX A-1: COLORADO

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APPENDIX A-2: MONTANA

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APPENDIX A-3: NORTH DAKOTA

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APPENDIX A-4: SOUTH DAKOTA

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APPENDIX A-5: UTAH

Utah is a unique State both environmentally, as well as geologically. Sixty-five per cent of the land in Utah is Federally owned and maintained. Much of State's area is Federal land, and some host habitats for endangered species. Because of the arid climate and valley landscape, Utah has several air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas. Eighty per cent of the State's population lies within the 80-mile Wasatch Front Range (just North of Ogden to South of Provo), confined to a valley surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. Therefore, there are three sections that address these issues in greater detail:

1. Consolidated Planning Grants (CPG)

Background

The sliding scale for Utah (as of April 2004 )is currently FTA will then allocate funds according to the sliding scale ratio (93.23%/6.77%) in the CPG Grant. Note: There is a separate agreement for the Utah/FTA-VIII CPG.

Background

Section 5303 and Section 5313(b) funds from FTA, and PL and STP funds from FHWA will be consolidated and made available to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), through the Department of Transportation (DOT). These funds will be consolidated and made available as a single grant through FTA's Transportation Electronic Award and Management (TEAM) system, with reimbursement of expenditures through FTA's Electronic Clearing House Operations (ECHO) payment system. FTA will then allocate funds according to the Federal/Local funds ratio (varied from State to State) and this will then be allocated to the State MPOs, as approved by FTA.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

2. Air Quality Conformity Determinations

Background

Section 176(c)(1)(2) and (3) of the Clean Air Act and 23 CFR Part 450 establish requirements for Metropolitan Planning Organizations to conform LRPs, TIPs, and projects in areas designated as non-attainment or maintenance to the State Implementation Plan. Section 176 (d) of the Clean Air Act established priority requirements for programs supported by the Federal government to implement air quality plans within reasonable time frames. Section 109 (j) of 23 U.S.C. established consistency requirements to ensure regionally significant transportation projects that are consistent with approved air quality plans.

A conforming plan includes analysis for emissions of controlled air pollutants. This must fall under the emission level limits established in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality, as well as meet the regulations in EPA's requirements for the State of Utah non-attainment and maintenance areas. Analyses are completed by the area MPOs, then submitted to FHWA, FTA-VIII, Department of Air Quality (DAQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other interested parties. Final determinations are sent to FHWA and FTA-VIII concurrently for final approval 30 days after the draft. The MPO incorporates comments, and sends the final Air Quality Conformity Determination to FHWA, FTA-VIII, et al.

The TIP process involves three steps: it must include all projects to be started within the TIP timeframe; all regionally significant TIP projects are included in the regional emissions analysis, and; the design concept and scope for TIP projects cannot have significantly changed.

Because of Utah's unique status, there are other basic requirements to be followed, as outlined in 40 CFR 93.109 and are as follows:

TCM Implementation

Transportation Control Measures (TCM) are alternative solutions. The TIP and LRP must be certified in the conformity analysis that none of the projects interferes with the implementation of any TCM.

Model

The Department of Air Quality (DAQ) is required to produce a model that will forecast air emissions. The Utah DAQ model calculates emissions from both mobile and stationary sources. The MPOs run the EPA MOBILE model to forecast mobile source emissions.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

3. Environmental

Background

Utah has a unique environmental planning process. Among its rarities, Utah has a diverse geological makeup, hosting sole migration areas for many different species. The Wasatch valleys that host the majority of the population.

Natural Environment

Natural Environment factors refer to environmental issues pertaining mainly to natural environment features and issues. These generally include natural ecosystems, air quality, endangered species, wetlands, hazardous waste, and water quality.

Built and Social Environment

The Built and Social Environment refers to environmental issues pertaining mainly to manmade communities, cultural and historic sites, and related environmental documents and guidelines.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of FHWA are as follows:

The responsibilities of FTA-VIII are as follows:

APPENDIX A-6: WYOMING

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