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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Public Roads > Vol. 70 · No. 2 > National Highway Institute(NHI)

Sept/Oct 2006
Vol. 70 · No. 2

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-2006-006

National Highway Institute(NHI)

Training Update

Two New NHI Courses Focus On Preserving And Protecting The Environment

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is committed to creating a safe and efficient highway and intermodal transportation system that is accessible and convenient but at the same time protects and, where practical, even enhances the environment. Water quality and historically important properties are two areas of the environment that often are affected by transportation projects. Both are especially important to communities. Historic properties provide the public with a tangible link to the past and establish a unique sense of identity for communities. Clean water is essential to a healthy ecosystem and a necessity for the people living in nearby communities.

Transportation projects must comply with regulations related to each of these environmental areas. The National Highway Institute (NHI) is offering two new courses to help transportation professionals preserve and protect historic properties and water quality through a deeper understanding of the regulatory requirements associated with each area. Both courses, Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development (FHWA-NHI-142049) and Water Quality Management of Highway Runoff (FHWA-NHI-142047), offer practical approaches for managing environmental concerns during transportation projects.

NHI's courses on historic preservation and water quality management of highway runoff will help transportation professionals comply with associated regulations and create balance between project delivery and stewardship of historic properties such as the Mills Ruins Park, shown here, in Minneapolis, MN.
NHi's courses on historic preservation and water quality management of highway runoff will help transportation professionals comply with associated regulations and create balance between project delivery and stewardship of historic properties such as the Mills Ruins Park, shown here, in Minneapolis, MN.

The course Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development emphasizes the importance of balancing stewardship and project delivery in transportation projects. The course focuses on the fundamentals of the laws that address historic preservation and the relationships among these laws: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Section 106 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966.

In particular, the course focuses on the revised Section 106 regulation, which strongly fosters close coordination between Section 106 activities and NEPA requirements; encourages consultation with Native Americans, local communities, and the public in transportation projects; and streamlines and improves the flexibility of the consultation process. The course is designed for transportation professionals and stakeholders involved in or affected by the Federal-Aid Highway Program. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Identify key historic preservation laws and other authorities
  • Describe the NEPA transportation decisionmaking process
  • Describe the Section 106 process
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the Section 106 process
  • Describe the relationship among Section 106, NEPA project development, and Section 4(f)
  • Identify principles and opportunities for environmental streamlining and stewardship

For more information on the course Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation in Transportation Project Development, contact MaryAnn Naber at 202-366-2060 or maryann.naber@fhwa.dot.gov.

The Water Quality Management of Highway Runoff course provides an understanding of the legal responsibilities, terminology, and the general roles of players in the regulatory process, all of which are critical for the proper planning, budgeting, and implementation of water quality management. In addition, the course presents approaches and technologies for the proper selection, design, construction, maintenance, and evaluation of best management practices (BMPs) that help mitigate the impacts of highway runoff on surrounding waters.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 were passed to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The law regulates discharges to U.S. waters through permits issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program and places requirements on State transportation agencies for managing runoff water quality.

Transportation professionals including State departments of transportation staff, design engineers, construction personnel, inspectors, biologists, landscape architects, botanists, and environmental scientists will benefit from this course. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Identify and characterize the quantity and quality of highway runoff
  • Describe how highway runoff can affect ecosystems
  • List major Federal requirements that apply to the management of highway runoff
  • Explain how to select a mitigation strategy from a watershed perspective
  • Describe design concepts and considerations in selecting and siting appropriate BMPs for controlling highway runoff
  • Develop conceptual designs for various BMPs considering treatment targets, design requirements, BMP performance goals, and siting and maintenance considerations
  • Explain how to integrate the mitigation of highway runoff impacts into the project development process
  • Discuss the importance of BMP inspection, performance evaluation, monitoring, and maintenance

For more information on the course Water Quality Management of Highway Runoff, contact Patricia Cazenas at 202-366-4085 or patricia.cazenas@fhwa.dot.gov.

For course scheduling, contact Sherron Monts at 703-235-0534. For more information, visit NHI's Web site at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov. To learn more about other NHI courses, consult the course catalog available on the NHI Web site, or contact NHI at 703-235-0500 (phone) or 703-235-0593 (fax).

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