U.S. DOT Releases a New Rule Expanding Expedited Project Delivery

On October 31, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released its final rule amending Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The goal is to accelerate project delivery following changes made by the U.S. Congress in the two most recent surface transportation laws, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Acts.

U.S. DOT is modifying sections 771 and 774 in Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to specifically allow the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to follow the same flexible environmental procedures as FHWA and FTA.

According to a press release from U.S. DOT, “The new rule also reiterates states’ ability to produce a single environmental document and combine the Final Environmental Impact Statement with the Record of Decision document.”

The new rule will take effect on November 28, 2018, and may beviewed online here.