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Current Design-Build Practices for Transportation Projects

15. Environmental Permitting Process

FDOT (Jan 2003)

FDOT performs sufficient preliminary design (10%-15%) to verify that a project can be permitted and to limit the design-builder's risk. The design-builder is responsible for obtaining environmental permits, mitigation responsibilities, etc. The RFP package allows the design-builder a time-frame for securing permits, beginning when a completed application is submitted to the permitting agency.

LADOTD (May 2009) - LADOTD retains responsibility for environmental permits.

Michigan DOT (May 2009)

Michigan DOT attempts to get the necessary permits for each design-build project. However, the design-builder is required to obtain permits when necessary due to time, or if the permit is dependant on the design.

NC DOT (Jan 2003)

To date, North Carolina has obtained all permits for all projects. The design-build team is responsible for any modifications that they choose to do, as long as the environmental agencies and the DOT allow the changes. A pilot process is being implemented to allow the design-build team to obtain permits and this will be tried in the summer of 2003. Permits are generally 404 Water Quality Certifications and 401, with other various permits involved on individual projects.

VDOT (April 2009)

VDOT approaches permitting on a project-by-project basis. Sufficient preliminary design (10%-30%) is completed to verify a project can be permitted and to limit the design-builder's risk. The preliminary project may be early coordinated with regulatory agencies to provide their feedback to the design-builder. VDOT then assigns responsibility in the RFP for water quality permit acquisition to the party best able to manage the effort (i.e. either VDOT or the design-builder). For projects requiring complex and/or extensive coordination (for avoidance/minimization/mitigation) between engineers and permitting staff, the design-builder is assigned permitting and compensation responsibilities. VDOT generally retains permitting responsibility on projects that require non-reporting nationwide permits; the design-builder provides VDOT supporting documentation. Regardless of whether VDOT or the design-builder is responsible for permit acquisition, VDOT's negotiated efficiencies with the regulatory agencies apply and permits are in VDOT's name.

If wetland/stream compensation requirements can be quantified prior to release of the RFP, the design-builder must include that cost in their lump sum price. Conversely, if compensation requirements cannot be quantified before RFP release, the design-builder does not include that cost in the lump sum price and it is instead covered via contingency.

NCHRP Project 25-25, Task 12 titled: Design-Build Environmental Compliance Process and Level of Detail Required" was completed in February 2005. This report examined eight case studies that reported on the process for environmental permitting and environmental mitigation under the design-build project delivery method.

Reference - Environmental permitting special provisions: see the NCHRP Project No. 20-7 / Task 172, Recommended AASHTO Design-Build Procurement Guide (or the January 2008 AASHTO Guide for Design-Build Procurement), sample special provision Number 017-EP-01 Environmental Permitting Florida DOT 2001, 018-EP-02 Environmental Permitting Florida DOT, 019-EP-03 Environmental Permitting Maryland DOT 1998.

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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