FTA, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration, announces publication of its latest rulemaking effort: an update to environmental regulations and Section 4(f) regulations to reflect MAP-21 and FAST Act changes. The rule was published today in the Federal Register and will go into effect on November 28, 2018.

Major changes include:

Cross-Agency Categorical Exclusion (CE). FTA may now apply an FHWA or FRA CE to an FTA project or action should FHWA or FRA have a CE that better matches the project activity (see 23 CFR 771.118(e)).
Operational Right-of-Way (ROW) CE. The “existing operational ROW” definition at 23 CFR 771.188(c)(12) has been broadened in this revision to the rule.
Combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision section (see 23 CFR 771.124).
Coordination Plan and Schedule requirement. FTA and the project sponsor must establish the coordination plan, including schedule, within 90 days of publishing the notice of intent (see 23 CFR 771.123(b)(2)).
Three new Section 4(f) Exemptions (see 23 CFR 774.13(a)).

Please share this important update to these two regulations with colleagues and customers who are involved in the environmental review process.

Federal Register: Environmental Impacts and Related Procedures: A Rule by FHWA, FRA and FTA FTA’s Environmental Programs