U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

Public Roads
This magazine is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information.
Public Roads Home | Current Issue | Past Issues | Subscriptions | Article Reprints | Author's Instructions and Article Submissions | Sign Up for E-Version of Public Roads | Search Public Roads
Publication Number:      Date:  Spring 1995
Issue No: Vol. 58 No. 4
Date: Spring 1995


FHWA Environmental Policy Statement 1994


Since the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 1969, the FHWA has built a framework of policies and procedures to help meet its social, economic, and environmental responsibilities while accomplishing its transportation mission. This policy statement is a formal expression of the FHWA's commitment to the protection and enhancement of our environment.

The term "environment" as used in the EPS includes the natural environment, the built environment, the cultural and social fabric of our country and our neighborhoods, and the quality of life of the people who live here. This quality of life is enhanced not only by economic security and ample natural resources, but by enduring community values and thriving neighborhoods where all citizens have access to safe, comfortable, and efficient transportation.

With adoption of the EPS, the FHWA is committed to incorporating environmental stewardship into all policies, procedures, and decisions, not just those related to project development. Protecting and enhancing the environment, as well as the quality of life, requires a total, active commitment by all FHWA employees, especially program managers.

The FHWA, with its transportation, environmental, and community partners, will work vigorously to protect and, where practical, to enhance the natural environment and to preserve neighborhood and community values. To realize this goal, the following FHWA policy is established:

Full Involvement of Our Partners

Effective communication is critical to successful implementation of FHWA's transportation mission and environmental policy. This has become increasingly evident as we have worked with our partners to fuse the environmental and planning processes and to merge the FHWA, NEPA, and related project development procedures with other Federal, State, and local requirements. We must continually strive to communicate our commitment to protect and enhance the environment. We must increase our partnerships withprivate enterprise on infrastructure investments, including transit and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) initiatives. Bringing together the multi-faceted and diverse interests in an open and cooperative process creates a synergy that will produce positive and effective solutions.

It is FHWA policy to:

Complete Integration of Environmental Concerns

For an effective, environmentally sound transportation system, the Federal-aid Highway Program and its projects must incorporate environmental considerations and neighborhood and community values and goals into every phase of transportation decisionmaking. But FHWA must practice environmental sensitivity on an even broader scale. Environmental objectives must be considered in every aspect of FHWA's organization and decisionmaking.

Dedicated bicycle lanes.

Dedicated bicycle lanes.

Internal Operations

The FHWA must be a leader among Federal, State, and local transportation agencies in carrying out an environmental ethic that encompasses the consequences of all of our activities, internal as well as external.

It is FHWA policy to:

Systems Planning and Programming

Environmental goals and impacts must be considered early in the development of transportation plans and integrated into land-use planning and transportation decisionmaking at the State, regional, and local levels.

It is FHWA policy to:

Enhancing air quality by reducing vehicle emission is a major concern.

Enhancing air quality by reducing vehicle emission is a major concern.

Project Development

Environmental goals and impacts must be considered continually throughout all phases of project development (location, environment, design, right-of-way, etc.). Social, economic, and environmental issues must be considered equally with engineering, safety, and mobility issues in reaching project decisions.

It is FHWA policy to:

Active protection and Enhancement of Our Environment

It is a critical goal of the FHWA to administer the Federal-aid and Federal Lands Programs to fit in harmoniously with communities, neighborhoods, and project environs. Accomplishing this goal requires full compliance with environmental protection laws, regulations, Executive Orders, and policies.

To be an environmental leader in the transportation field, the FHWA must go beyond compliance and strive for environmental excellence. The widest possible range of both traditional and innovative measures to protect and enhance the environment must be pursued.

It is FHWA policy to:

Wetlands mitigation site.Wetlands mitigation site.

Vigorous Research, Technology Transfer, and Training

Innovation through research and development is a major theme of the ISTEA and a priority for the DOT. The FHWA is committed to expanding environmental research and improving the transfer of new environmental technology to our partners in the transportation community.

It is FHWA policy to:

Effective Development and Promotion of Environmental Expertise

If the FHWA is to fulfill this policy statement and the DOT's theme of advancing transportation technology and expertise, our agency must have well-trained and professional personnel skilled in a broad set of disciplines. Emphasis must be placed on the environmental, social, and cultural sciences, and experts from the environmental staff must be involved in agency decisionmaking.

It is FHWA policy to:




Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101