[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 28 (Monday, February 11, 2019)]
[Pages 3274-3275]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-01810]



Federal Highway Administration

[Docket No. FHWA-2019-0004]

Renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Certain 
Federal Environmental Responsibilities to the State of California, 
Including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Authority for 
Certain Categorical Exclusions (CEs)

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed renewal of MOU, request for comments.


SUMMARY: The FHWA and the State of California acting by and through its 
Department of Transportation (Caltrans), propose renew the MOU 
authorizing the State's participation in the Categorical Exclusion 
Assignment Program. This program allows FHWA to assign to States its 
authority and responsibility for determining whether certain designated 
activities within the geographic boundaries of the State are 
categorically excluded from preparation of an Environmental Assessment 
or an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental 
Policy Act.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 13, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the methods described 
below. To ensure that you do not duplicate your submissions, please 
submit them by only one of the means below. Electronic or facsimile 
comments are preferred because Federal offices experience intermittent 
mail delays due to security screening.
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to website: http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments 
on the DOT electronic docket site (FHWA-2019-0004).
    Facsimile (Fax): 1-202-493-2251.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
    Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

[[Page 3275]]

    For access to the docket to view a complete copy of the proposed 
MOU, or to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time or to, SE Washington, DC 20590, 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except 
for Federal holidays.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number at 
the beginning of your comments. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided.

[email protected] or by telephone at 916-498-5048. The FHWA 
California Division Office's normal business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 
p.m. (Pacific Time), Monday-Friday, except for Federal holidays. For 
the State of California: Tammy Massengale; by email at 
[email protected] or by telephone at 916-653-5157. State 
business hours are the same as above although State holidays may not 
completely coincide with Federal holidays.


Electronic Access

    Internet users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's home 
page at: http://www.archives.gov/ and the Government Printing Office's 
database: http://www.fdsys.gov/. An electronic version of the proposed 
MOU may be downloaded by accessing the DOT DMS docket, as described 
above, at http://www.regulations.gov/.


    Section 326 of Title 23 U.S. Code, creates a program that allows 
the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Secretary) to 
assign, and a State to assume, responsibility for determining whether 
certain Federal highway projects are included within classes of action 
that are categorically excluded (CE) from requirements for 
Environmental Assessments or Environmental Impact Statements pursuant 
to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq. In addition, this program allows the assignment of other 
environmental review requirements applicable to Federal highway 
projects, except with respect to government-to-government consultations 
with federally recognized Indian tribes (23 U.S.C. 326(b)(1)). The FHWA 
retains responsibility for conducting formal government-to-government 
consultation with federally recognized Indian tribes, which is required 
under some of the above-listed laws and Executive Orders. The State may 
assist FHWA with formal consultations, with consent of a tribe, but 
FHWA remains responsible for the consultation. The Secretary delegated 
his authority to FHWA, which acts on behalf of the Secretary with 
respect to these matters.
    The FHWA renewed California's participation in this program for a 
third time on May 31, 2016. The original MOU became effective on June 
7, 2007, for an initial term of three (3) years. The first renewal 
followed on June 7, 2010, and the second renewal followed on June 7, 
2013. The third MOU renewal has an expiration date on May 31, 2019.
    The FHWA will consider the comments submitted on the proposed MOU 
when making its decision on whether to execute this renewal MOU. The 
FHWA will make the final, executed MOU publicly available.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, 
Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing 
Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on 
Federal programs and activities apply to this program.)

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 326; 42 U.S.C. 4331, 4332; 23 CFR 771.117; 
49 CFR 1.85; 40 CFR 1507.3, 1508.4.

Vincent Mammano,
California Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-01810 Filed 2-8-19; 8:45 am]