[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 126 (Thursday, July 1, 1999)]
[Page 35708]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-16827]



Federal Highway Administration

Environmental Streamlining; Notice of Availability of Information

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of available information.


SUMMARY: The FHWA is announcing the availability of information about 
environmental streamlining efforts under section 1309 of the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

Facilitation, HENP, (202)366-2068, or Ms. Virginia I. Cherwek, Office 
of the Chief Counsel, HCC-31, (202)366-1372, Federal Highway 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; e-mail: 
[email protected].


Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded using a modem 
and suitable communications software from the Government Printing 
Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. Internet 
users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's home page at: 
http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's 
database at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.


    The environmental provisions of TEA-21, Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 
107, 232, reflect Congress' reaction to concerns expressed about 
delays, unnecessary duplication of effort, and added costs often 
associated with the current process for reviewing and approving 
transportation projects. At the same time, the Congress did not change 
any environmental laws. Therefore, the FHWA concludes that the Congress 
intended no reduction in environmental protection. The chief objective 
of section 1309 of TEA-21, Environmental Streamlining, is to focus 
efforts on better, earlier, and more timely coordination among Federal, 
State, and local agencies.
    The FHWA is currently in the process of identifying and defining 
ways to improve and streamline the environmental review processes for 
the development of highway projects consistent with continued 
environmental protection. These efforts may include:
    (a) Entering into a national Memorandum of Understanding with other 
Federal agencies who are responsible for reviewing environmental 
documents prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 
Pub. L. 91-190, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, for a highway construction or 
transit project, or who issue a permit, license, and opinion relating 
to the project;
    (b) Recognizing successful efforts, promoting creative solutions at 
State and local levels, building upon successful practices;
    (c) Encouraging field organizations to pursue partnering 
opportunities and programmatic agreements for site specific or project 
specific (pilot) efforts;
    (d) Developing national dispute resolution procedures; and
    (e) Identifying ways to develop performance measures and to 
benchmark techniques assessing the effectiveness of the project 
development processes and practices.
    The FHWA is also considering revisions to its Environmental Impact 
and Related Procedures regulations. Any proposed revisions will be 
published separately in the Federal Register for public comment.
    Updates on the FHWA's activities, documents, and streamlining 
initiatives are available to the public. Additionally, information on 
future meetings and conference calls will be located on the FHWA Office 
of Planning and Environment's website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 315; sec. 1309, Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 
107, 232; and 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on: June 24, 1999.
Kenneth R. Wykle,
[FR Doc. 99-16827 Filed 6-30-99; 8:45 am]