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Planning and NEPA Flow Chart (2/9/2011)

Text Description

February 9, 2011

All transportation projects are identified through the planning process. Depending on the project's location, whether they are in the metropolitan or non-metropolitan areas, the projects follow two different paths.

For projects in the non-metropolitan areas, the project sponsor can start the NEPA process after the project has been identified if they do not plan to use Federal-aid for the NEPA process. The project must be consistent with the Statewide long-range plan, and be in Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and be part of the STIP's fiscal constraint analysis. If the project is not included the STIP, it must be amended into the STIP and be part of the financial constraint analysis. If the project is in a non-attainment or maintenance area, compliance to project level conformity applies. Finally, the NEPA decision document: Category Exclusion, Finding of No Significant Impact or the Record of Decision, can be approved only when at least one subsequent phase of the project is in the current STIP or when subsequent phase is identified outside the time frame of the current STIP years.

If the NEPA process for non-metropolitan project is to be funded by Federal-aid, the project must be consistent with the Statewide long-range plan, and included in the fiscally constrained STIP before NEPA authorization. Similarly, if the project is in a non-attainment or maintenance area, compliance to project level conformity applies. Finally, the NEPA decision document can be approved only when at least one subsequent phase of the project is in the current STIP or when subsequent phase is identified outside the time frame of the current STIP years.

For projects in the metropolitan areas, planning studies and NEPA Tier I EIS can at any time, even prior to being identified in the fiscally constrained Metropolitan Transportation Plan. However, if the project study or Tier I EIS is funded with Federal-aid, the study or EIS must be included or amended into the MTP or the conforming MTP (if it's a non-attainment or maintenance area) and included in the associated Transportation Improvement Program. If the project's NEPA process is not a Tier I EIS but is expected to be funded by Federal-aid, the project must be identified in the MTP or conforming MTP, and in the associated TIP. Projects in a donut area must be part of the regional emissions analysis that supports the conforming MTP and TIP. Finally, the NEPA decision document can be approved only when at least one subsequent phase of the project is in the current STIP or when subsequent phase is identified outside the time frame of the current STIP years.

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Updated: 12/03/2012
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