The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have signed an environmental review agreement that assigns FHWA’s responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for federally funded highway projects to FDOT.
The environmental review process for these projects takes longer to complete than on state funded projects. FDOT says it expects projects under this agreement to only take about 75 percent as long to process NEPA documents compared to the previous system. The result is an expected savings of about $22 million per year.
The department will be legally responsible for making sure federally funded projects comply with NEPA before approving related documents.
“FDOT expects significant time and cost savings as a result of this landmark agreement,” FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold says. “That’s good news for Florida’s families since a critical road improvement project can now be delivered to the public quicker and less costly.”
“This Memorandum of Understanding is more than a document,” FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau says. “It’s a symbol of the innovative partnership we are building with the Florida DOT, and an important tool that empowers states without sacrificing our federal oversight responsibilities for the environment.”
Other states under the same agreement include California, Ohio and Texas.