49 U.S.C. § 310 - Aligning Federal environmental reviews

Cite as49 U.S.C. § 310

(a) COORDINATED AND CONCURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS.-Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the heads of Federal agencies likely to have substantive review or approval responsibilities under Federal law, shall develop a coordinated and concurrent environmental review and permitting process for transportation projects when initiating an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (in this section referred to as "NEPA").

(b) CONTENTS.-The coordinated and concurrent environmental review and permitting process developed under subsection (a) shall-

(1) ensure that the Department of Transportation and agencies of jurisdiction possess sufficient information early in the review process to determine a statement of a transportation project's purpose and need and range of alternatives for analysis that the lead agency and agencies of jurisdiction will rely on for concurrent environmental reviews and permitting decisions required for the proposed project;

(2) achieve early concurrence or issue resolution during the NEPA scoping process on the Department of Transportation's statement of a project's purpose and need, and during development of the environmental impact statement on the range of alternatives for analysis, that the lead agency and agencies of jurisdiction will rely on for concurrent environmental reviews and permitting decisions required for the proposed project absent circumstances that require reconsideration in order to meet an agency of jurisdiction's obligations under a statute or Executive order; and

(3) achieve concurrence or issue resolution in an expedited manner if circumstances arise that require a reconsideration of the purpose and need or range of alternatives considered during any Federal agency's environmental or permitting review in order to meet an agency of jurisdiction's obligations under a statute or Executive order.

(c) ENVIRONMENTAL CHECKLIST.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation and Federal agencies of jurisdiction likely to have substantive review or approval responsibilities on transportation projects shall jointly develop a checklist to help project sponsors identify potential natural, cultural, and historic resources in the area of a proposed project.

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