23 U.S.C. § 327 - Surface transportation project delivery program

Cite as:23 U.S.C. § 327
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) ESTABLISHMENT.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall carry out a surface transportation project delivery program (referred to in this section as the "program").

(2) ASSUMPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to the other provisions of this section, with the written agreement of the Secretary and a State, which may be in the form of a memorandum of understanding, the Secretary may assign, and the State may assume, the responsibilities of the Secretary with respect to one or more highway projects within the State under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(B) ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITY.-If a State assumes responsibility under subparagraph (A)-

(i) the Secretary may assign to the State, and the State may assume, all or part of the responsibilities of the Secretary for environmental review, consultation, or other action required under any Federal environmental law pertaining to the review or approval of a specific project;

(ii) at the request of the State, the Secretary may also assign to the State, and the State may assume, the responsibilities of the Secretary with respect to 1 or more railroad, public transportation, or multimodal projects within the State under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);

(iii) in a State that has assumed the responsibilities of the Secretary under clause (ii), a recipient of assistance under chapter 53 of title 49 may request that the Secretary maintain the responsibilities of the Secretary with respect to 1 or more public transportation projects within the State under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); but

(iv) the Secretary may not assign-

(I) any responsibility imposed on the Secretary by section 134 or 135 or section 5303 or 5304 of title 49; or

(II) responsibility for any conformity determination required under section 176 of the Clean Air Act ( 42 U.S.C. 7506 ).

(C) PROCEDURAL AND SUBSTANTIVE REQUIREMENTS.-A State shall assume responsibility under this section subject to the same procedural and substantive requirements as would apply if that responsibility were carried out by the Secretary.

(D) FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY.-Any responsibility of the Secretary not explicitly assumed by the State by written agreement under this section shall remain the responsibility of the Secretary.

(E) NO EFFECT ON AUTHORITY.-Nothing in this section preempts or interferes with any power, jurisdiction, responsibility, or authority of an agency, other than the Department of Transportation, under applicable law (including regulations) with respect to a project.

(F) PRESERVATION OF FLEXIBILITY.-The Secretary may not require a State, as a condition of participation in the program, to forego project delivery methods that are otherwise permissible for projects.

(G) LEGAL FEES.-A State assuming the responsibilities of the Secretary under this section for a specific project may use funds apportioned to the State under section 104(b)(2) for attorneys' fees directly attributable to eligible activities associated with the project.

(b) STATE PARTICIPATION.-

(1) PARTICIPATING STATES.-All States are eligible to participate in the program.

(2) APPLICATION.-Not later than 270 days after the date on which amendments to this section by the MAP-21 take effect, the Secretary shall amend, as appropriate, regulations that establish requirements relating to information required to be contained in any application of a State to participate in the program, including, at a minimum-

(A) the projects or classes of projects for which the State anticipates exercising the authority that may be granted under the program;

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