23 U.S.C. § 138 - Preservation of parklands

Cite as:23 U.S.C. § 138
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) DECLARATION OF POLICY.-It is declared to be the national policy that special effort should be made to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside and public park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites. The Secretary of Transportation shall cooperate and consult with the Secretaries of the Interior, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture, and with the States in developing transportation plans and programs that include measures to maintain or enhance the natural beauty of the lands traversed. After the effective date of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, the Secretary shall not approve any program or project (other than any project for a Federal lands transportation facility) which requires the use of any publicly owned land from a public park, recreation area, or wildlife and waterfowl refuge of national, State, or local significance as determined by the Federal, State, or local officials having jurisdiction thereof, or any land from an historic site of national, State, or local significance as so determined by such officials unless (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use of such land, and (2) such program includes all possible planning to minimize harm to such park, recreational area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or historic site resulting from such use. In carrying out the national policy declared in this section the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior and appropriate State and local officials, is authorized to conduct studies as to the most feasible Federal-aid routes for the movement of motor vehicular traffic through or around national parks so as to best serve the needs of the traveling public while preserving the natural beauty of these areas.

(b) DE MINIMIS IMPACTS.-

(1) REQUIREMENTS.-

(A) REQUIREMENTS FOR HISTORIC SITES.-The requirements of this section shall be considered to be satisfied with respect to an area described in paragraph (2) if the Secretary determines, in accordance with this subsection, that a transportation program or project will have a de minimis impact on the area.

(B) REQUIREMENTS FOR PARKS, RECREATION AREAS, AND WILDLIFE OR WATERFOWL REFUGES.-The requirements of subsection (a)(1) shall be considered to be satisfied with respect to an area described in paragraph (3) if the Secretary determines, in accordance with this subsection, that a transportation program or project will have a de minimis impact on the area. The requirements of subsection (a)(2) with respect to an area described in paragraph (3) shall not include an alternatives analysis.

(C) CRITERIA.-In making any determination under this subsection, the Secretary shall consider to be part of a transportation program or project any avoidance, minimization, mitigation, or enhancement measures that are required to be implemented as a condition of approval of the transportation program or project.

(2) HISTORIC SITES.-With respect to historic sites, the Secretary may make a finding of de minimis impact only if-

(A) the Secretary has determined, in accordance with the consultation process required under section 306108 of title 54, that-

(i) the transportation program or project will have no adverse effect on the historic site; or

(ii) there will be no historic properties affected by the transportation program or project;

(B) the finding of the Secretary has received written concurrence from the applicable State historic preservation officer or tribal historic preservation officer (and from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation if the Council is participating in the consultation process); and

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