Developing a Process for Early Consideration of Environmental Issues

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P.L. Ellis, C.A. Weatherby, J.H. Overman, B.J. Storey, N. Volkman

Publication Date:

April 2002


The past two federal surface transportation authorization bills, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act in 1991 and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998, have emphasized the need to consider environmental issues in the transportation planning process. While new federal regulations to guide the implementation of planning and environmental provisions in TEA-21 have not been issued, the intent of the legislation is known. This project resulted in a guidebook to provide Texas Department of Transportation and its partner entities (metropolitan planning organizations) with tools and techniques to consider environmental issues, including environmental justice, early on and throughout the planning and project selection process. The guidebook recommends a preliminary environmental process, at the earliest planning stages, to identify impacts and possibly avoid problems that would cause delays and complications in detailed project planning, design, and implementation. The process has been named the "preliminary review environmental process."

Report Number:



Environmental Planning, Preliminary Environmental Assessment

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