Department Of Transportation - Warning!!
DOT warning You are accessing a U.S. Government information system. This information system, including all related equipment, networks, and network devices, is provided for U.S. Government-authorized use only. Unauthorized or improper use of this system is prohibited, and may result in civil and criminal penalties, or administrative disciplinary action.
The communications and data stored or transiting this system may be, for any lawful Government purpose, monitored, recorded, and subject to audit or investigation. By using this system, you understand and consent to such terms. View User Behavior Rules

Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


It's the members of the Re:NEPA community that make this community of practice work. With your help, it will only get better.
This Topic Area is dedicated to the continual improvement of this community of practice and to making Re:NEPA a more effective tool.
Your comments, opinions, concerns, questions and suggestions are important. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us or send your thoughts directly to me at, 303-204-1685 or, 202-578-7487.
Rod Vaughn
This Topic Area provides information on all issues related to air quality considerations in the NEPA process. This includes project level air quality conformity, analysis of mobile source air toxics (MSAT) and green house gases. To a lesser degree, information related to the air quality conformity process in transportation planning will be included.
For additional information be sure to visit FHWA's Air Quality Website:
This Topic Area generally deals with public involvment, community impact assessments, environmental justice, and a variety of other issues related to the social environment.
Additional and specific information is available at the following websites:
An essential element of NEPA decisionmaking for tranportaion projects is the consideration and analysis of the potential environmental impacts or effects (ecological, aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, social, or health) of our projects and actions. This includes not only the direct impacts, but also indirect effects (sometimes called secondary effects) and cumulative impacts. Keep in mind that these impacts are different and distinct from one another and are treated differently in environmental analyses. The CEQ Regulations defines direct and indirect effects and cumulative impacts at 1508.7 and 1508.8:

Cumulative impact - the impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.

Direct effects - are caused by the action and occur at the same time and place.

Indirect effects - are caused by the action and are later in time or farther removed in distance, but are still reasonably foreseeable. Indirect effects may include growth inducing effects and other effects related to induced changes in the pattern of land use, population density or growth rate, and related effects on air and water and other natural systems, including ecosystems.
"Environmental streamlining", "expediting project delivery", and "shortening project delivery time" are all ways of expressing the goal of improving the process to deliver better projects faster without sacrificing the environment. While not a new idea or objective, it continues to be a priority of FHWA, the DOT, and others.
Visit the FHWA Environmental Streamlining Website for more information and examples of what others are doing to streamline the NEPA process.
The subject of this Re:NEPA Topic Area generally concerns hazardous materials issues affecting state highway project development activities and construction. This includes analysis and documentation included in hazardous materials discipline reports (Phase I and Phase II reports, etc.), discovery of contaminated materials during construction, hazardous material investigation procedures during design, brownfields issues, and others.
There is much that can be shared and learned between hazmat practioners on effective ways to manage hazardous materials. Subject information contact: David Moore [] and Connie Hill []
The historic, archeological, and cultural environment is the theme of this Group. Understanding the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is essential to the NEPA project development process, just as understanding the importance of the historic and cultural environment is essential to NEPA decisionmaking - which goes well beyond mere compliance with the requirements. Historic and cultural issues and consultation quite often have a significant influence the decisions we make in NEPA.
This Topic Area is focused on the legal aspects of the National Environmental Policy Act and related requirements of the Project Development Process.
An example of the information that can be found in the References is a document that addresses administrative records.
If you are seeking additional guidance to help in understanding some of the more complex legal issues related to the NEPA process please let us know.
Wetlands, essential and critical habitat, threatened and endangered species, water quality, and any other resource related issues are the focus of this Topic Area.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) articulated the national environmental policy, established federal agency responsibility and created the basis or foundation of the federal decisionmaking process. The fundamentals of the NEPA decisionmaking process include: consideration of alternatives, examination of potential environmental impacts and mitigation, interagency coordination, public involvement and documentation.
This Topic Area is focused on the NEPA process and documentation. This includes the specific requirements for categorical exclusions (CEs), environmental assessments (EAs), findings of no significant impact (FONSIs), environmental impact statements (EISs), and records of decisions (RODs).
For information on FHWA's NEPA Project Development Process visit the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review Project Development Website.
Additional NEPA information is available at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPAnet.
There are many miscellaneous subjects and topics related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the project development process and the environmental program. These related issues, that don't fit conveniently into one of the other Topic Areas but are still important and of interest to the community, will be posted here.
If we know about it and it is "reasonably related" to NEPA or the environment, we will make it available here.
In recent years, highway traffic noise - the unpleasant, unwanted sounds generated on streets and highways - has been of increasing concern both to the public and to local, State, and Federal officials. At the same time, modern acoustical technology has been providing better ways to lessen the adverse impacts of highway traffic and other transportation generated noise.
The purpose of this Topic Area is to assist practitioners in understanding the basic FHWA Noise standards and requirements, noise analysis and modeling, and ideas for new sound wall products and other acoustical techniques. FHWA Highway Traffic Noise
This Topic Area is dedicated to the subject of project purpose and need and alternatives development and analysis.
The subject could be a part of the NEPA Process and Documentation Topic Area but because it is so important to a successful NEPA process we felt it deserved its own space.
On August 10, 2005, Congress passed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The long awaited transportation funding law includes a number of significant environmental provisions. SAFETEA-LU will affect the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for highway and transit projects, provides funding to support environmental stewardship measures and research, and substantially amended the existing Section 4(f) Law for the first time since 1966.
As we go about the business of implementing these important changes through guidance development and rule-making, we want you to be aware of what is going on as it happens.
For immediate information go to:
For specific information on the most recent developments or to ask questions about a particular provision, click one of the Tabs below.
Section 4(f) is often considered to be a complicated and complex law. It includes requirements that are difficult to explain, hard to fully comprehend, and often difficult to satisfy with a great deal of confidence, at least not without the assistance of legal counsel. This Topic Area is dedicated to making sense of Secton 4(f) resource applicability and compliance. We will strive to make available the most current policy, guidance, information and provides an opportunity to discuss and share experiences with others.
This is Topic Area is where we will share information about on-going and proposed research and existing transportation related technology that supports the NEPA decisionmaking process and analysis.
Re:NEPA is primarily about the NEPA proces and environmental analysis and compliance necessary to transportation decisionmaking. Because the process also includes various issues related to design, construction or other aspects of transportation project development it seems appropriate to include a Topic Area dedicated to general transportation issues.
Some of the subjects of interest include tolling, Public Private Partnerships, Context Senstive Solutions, to name a few.
This Topic Area deals with the issue of transportation planning and environmental linkage.
Planning and Environment Linkages represent an approach to transportation decision-making that considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the planning stage and carries them through project development, design, and construction. This can lead to a seamless decision-making process that minimizes duplication of effort, promotes environmental stewardship, and reduces delays in project implementation.
This approach encourages internal and external communication and coordination throughout the decision-making process — between transportation staff responsible for planning and project development, between transportation agencies and resource agencies, and between agencies and the public. It also enables agencies to take a broader, ecosystem-scale perspective instead of one that looks only at individual projects.
Additional information is available at FHWA's Environmental Review Toolkit:


WELCOME to Re:NEPA - the Federal Highway Administration's online "community of practice". This site supports and encourages the open exchange of knowledge, information, experience, and ideas about the National Environmental Policy Act, related environmental issues, and transportation decisionmaking. The goal of Re:NEPA is to provide additional opportunities to explore the transportation decisionmaking process through discussion, research, assistance, and education that is directed toward a better, streamlined and solution oriented process for balancing transportation need and the social, economic, cultural and natural environment.

Please direct all questions and comments about Re:NEPA to Rod Vaughn, 303-204-1685 or Noel Mehlo, 202-578-7487.
For additional information about the Project Development Process, go to FHWA's Environmental Review Toolkit.