Environmental Requirements for Transportation Enhancement Projects
Enhancement projects are federally funded requiring a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document before any land acquisition or construction can begin. The NEPA document is an “umbrella” document that demonstrates compliance with a number of different environmental laws, regulations, and Executive orders, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Water Act, and many others.
VDOT will complete the NEPA document and supporting coordination for all Enhancement projects with Project Administration Agreements executed after October 2008. For projects with agreements executed prior to October 2008, VDOT can complete the NEPA document and supporting coordination at the Sponsors request. VDOT will provide Sponsors with an estimate of time and cost for environmental work on an Enhancement project.
Sponsors are responsible for obtaining any state/federal water quality permits (for guidance see Water Quality Permit & Natural Resources Due Diligence checklist) and performing necessary due diligence for hazardous material issues (submitted to VDOT on Hazardous Materials Certification Due Diligence form).
Close coordination on environmental requirements between the Sponsor and the VDOT District Environmental Manager will be necessary so that project scopes, plans, schedules, and budgets accurately reflect the cost, requirements, and duration of the environmental work. Please contact your District Environmental Manager directly to determine your project specific environmental requirements.
If any environmental commitments have been identified during agency coordination, the Sponsor is responsible for ensuring they are implemented at the appropriate time. Implementation of environmental commitments is not optional, but required. Environmental commitments for Enhancement projects can include, but are not limited to, conducting an archaeological survey, providing the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) with copies of final plans before construction, or having a qualified archaeologist monitor during ground disturbing activities. Once the Sponsor has implemented the environmental commitments, documentation to that effect must be forwarded to the VDOT District Environmental Manager.
Failure to implement environmental commitments may jeopardize FHWA’s federal funding of an Enhancement project.