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Sample Programmatic Agreement

Programmatic Categorical Exclusion Approval Agreement
The Federal Highway Administration
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
The Recreational Trails Program

The Federal Highway Administration, Minnesota Division, hereinafter FHWA, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, hereinafter MnDNR, have developed this programmatic agreement to describe the policy and procedures for environmental processing of certain "Categorical Exclusion" (CE) actions as defined in 23 CFR 771.117. MnDNR will act in place of the FHWA, for eligible National Recreational Trails Funding Program projects, in determining that federal environmental requirements are met for categorical exclusion actions which meet the criteria identified in this agreement.

The FHWA hereby concurs in advance, on a programmatic basis, with MnDNR's determination that those types of actions satisfying conditions and criteria in attachment "A" will not result in significant environmental impacts, either individually or cumulatively, and are therefore categorical exclusions and satisfy the requirements of Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. These actions will not require individual documentation submitted to the FHWA. Examples of these actions are in 23 CFR Part 771.117(c) and (d).

PROCESS - Where MnDNR determines the action may be processed as described in this Agreement, the determination shall be appropriately documented. "Documentation" as referred to in this Agreement is the appropriate engineering and environmental documentation required for a federally funded trail project.

MnDNR shall notify the FHWA that CE concurrence for the project was programmatically approved in accordance with this Agreement at the time authorization to proceed using Federal funds is requested.

Documentation will be retained and accessible to authorized representatives of the FHWA and MnDNR for a minimum of 3 years following submittal of the final project voucher.

AGREEMENT REVISIONS - This Agreement may be modified by mutual consent at any time. Attachment "A" may be revised by mutual consent of the Division Administrator of the FHWA and the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or designate.

AGREEMENT TERMINATION - This Agreement may be terminated in writing by FHWA or MnDNR at any time.


The undersigned have reviewed this Agreement and determined that it complies with the laws, regulations, and policies applicable to the FHWA and MnDNR.

Accordingly, it is hereby approved and becomes effective on the last date noted below.

Date Gene Merriam
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Date Alan R. Steger
Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration


SECTION 6(f): The action does not use Section 6(f) property.

NOTE: Section 4(f) does not apply to the National Recreational Trails Funding Program per Kevin E. Heanue's, Director, Office of Environment and Planning, August 22, 1994 memorandum.

HISTORIC/ARCHAEOLOGICAL: The action does not occur within any areas of effect on properties eligible for, or listed on, the National Register of Historic Places as concluded by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Officer's opinion.

THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES: The action does not affect species or critical habitat protected by the Endangered Species Act.

RIGHT OF WAY: The action requires no new right of way, minor amounts of temporary easement, minor access change, no relocations, and has low risk of hazardous materials involvement.

FARMLAND: The action will not involve the acquisition of farmland, except minor amounts of temporary easement.

SECTION 404: The action does not involve placement of fill into Waters of the United States (33CFR 328).

FLOODPLAINS: The action does not encroach into a floodplain.

WETLANDS: The action does not impact or encroach into wetlands.

NOISE: The action will not significantly impact noise levels.

AIR: The action will not significantly impact air quality.

PUBLIC CONTROVERSY: The action does not cause substantial controversy on environmental grounds.

COASTAL ZONE: The action is not located within, or is not likely to affect land or water uses within an area covered by a State Coastal Zone Management Program.

NATIONAL WILD & SCENIC RIVERS: The action does not involve a nationally designated wild and scenic river.

Updated: 2/12/2014
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