The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is committed to promoting effective and efficient transportation systems that are environmentally sensitive and cost effective throughout the planning, designing, construction, and maintenance stages.
ITD is dedicated to identifying and addressing socio-economic issues as well as endorsing activities to restore, enhance, and sustain natural ecological systems and their functions, while continuing to meet transportation safety and services needs. The term “environment” includes the natural environment, the built environment, the cultural and social fabric of the community, and the quality of life of the people.
To learn more about the Environmental Process or for specific questions, please go to the ITD Environmental Process Manual.
There are more than 40 federal and state environmental laws that affect transportation decisions. A unifying federal environmental law is the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), which provides a framework for addressing the various environmental statutes, regulation and policies. NEPA is a procedural statute (40 CFR sec 1500) for decision-making during federal projects to assure analysis of social, economic and ecological impacts. ITD is required to provide a NEPA document for projects that are federally funded through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
- Study a reasonable range of alternatives based on “Purpose and Need”
- Use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach while evaluating environmental factors during the planning process
- Widespread interagency coordination, review, and consultation
- Documentation of the environmental analysis process in plain language
- Provide the public opportunity to participate and comment throughout the process
- FREE “Introduction to NEPA” Training – Click here for Course Description
- FREE “Introduction to NEPA” Training – Click here to Register for Course
Three Types of NEPA Documents
Environmental Evaluation (EE) – is an ITD document approved by the Idaho Division of FHWA for Categorical Exclusion (Cat. X) decision-making or auditing purposes.
- Examination of project concept and location regarding potential for socioeconomic or ecological impacts
- Determination of impact significance
Environmental Assessment (EA)
- Unsure if significant impacts
- Evaluation of key resources
- Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Significant Impacts
- More detailed evaluation
- Record Of Decision (ROD)
ITD Environmental Updates
To receive ITD emails about new environmental guidance, please complete and “Submit” the form below.
Air Quality impacts are evaluated for all Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) federally funded transportation projects to determine if the project will cause or contribute to a violation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards. ITD’s mission is to improve air quality by ensuring all ITD projects and operations comply with federal, state and local air quality laws and regulations, and by promoting strategies which reduce emissions of motor vehicle pollutants.
I-84 at Eagle Interchange
Cultural resource investigations involve documentation, interpretation, and preservation of prehistoric/historic archaeological sites, historic structures and traditional cultural properties that are evaluated as eligible for the National Historic Register. ITD’s policy is to either avoid adverse impacts to cultural resources or to minimize and mitigate the impacts for all projects requiring ground disturbance.
ITD is required by federal regulations in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966, to assess the historic resources prior to potential impacts related to transportation construction and maintenance activities.
Section 106 Review Requires:
- Identification of historic properties that may be affected by the proposed transportation projects and resolves such conflicts
- Consulting with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the Tribal Preservation Offices (THPO), and other interested persons/parties during the early stages of planning and throughout the project
- Preparing cultural resource analysis describing each cultural resource, its specific location and potential impacts to it from the project
- Completing the “Determination of Significance and Effect” form (ITD-1502) with SHPO concurrence
Section 4(f) Evaluation Requires:
- Analysis of impacts to cultural resources on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (historic sites, bridges, archaeological resources) and impacts to public parks, recreation areas, and, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, resulting from transportation projects
- Identifying the resources being used by a project and examining alternatives to avoid that use
Rainbow Bridge, Smith Ferry, Idaho
Additional information and guidance concerning Cultural Resources Investigations can be found at the following links:
The Idaho Transportation Department must conduct hazardous materials investigations for any property ITD owns, manages, plans to sell, or plans to purchase. If hazardous materials are found to be present on ITD property, federal and state environmental laws requires ITD to cleanup and properly dispose of all hazardous materials regardless of whether the original source is from ITD activities, from a tenant, or inherited when property is acquired.
ITD seeks to identify hazardous materials early in the project development process through thorough investigations to reduce liability and to minimize delays. Advantages to this identification process include:
- Minimizing potential dangers to ITD and other personnel
- Protecting the environment from exposure to or spread of hazardous materials
- Minimize design and construction costs due to potential project delay or termination
- Reduce adverse publicity
HazMat Investigations are conducted in the following steps:
Administrative Review – (Required on all projects – ITD 652 Form)
- Published lists are reviewed to determine if there are any documented HazMat sites, underground storage tanks or contaminated ground water in/near the project area
- A windshield survey and interviews are performed
- Selected resource agencies are contacted
- If there is a potential impact, a Phase I or Phase 2 must be completed
Initial Site Assessment – (Phase I)
- Determines whether there is a potential HazMat risk
- Complete a Records Review of maps and historic documents to obtain information to help identify hazardous environmental conditions
- Perform a Site Reconnaissance to inspect property and any structures on the project for recognized hazardous environmental conditions
- Conduct Interviews with property owners or site managers to obtain information about possible hazardous environmental conditions that confirms information previously obtained or identifies new information
Preliminary Site Investigation – (Phase II)
- Confirm whether HazMat is present and extent of contamination
- Soil and water samples taken and analyzed
- Reports written to discuss physical environment and its relationship to potential contamination, sampling techniques, analysis results, health and safety considerations, identification of any contamination if found, conclusions, and remediation strategy and costs
Detailed Site Investigation – (Phase III)
- Conducted when existence of HazMat on the project site is confirmed
- Includes the Site Investigation, Remedial Action Plan and remediation
- Approximate clean up time can vary from 6 months to several years
- Authorization of a Phase III investigation will be coordinated through the Headquarters Environmental Section Manager
Additional information can be found under “1400 Hazardous Materials” in the ITD Environmental Process Manual
Tank Oil Spill – North of Smith Ferry, ID
Traffic Noise is increased by heavier traffic volumes, higher speeds and a greater percentage of trucks. ITD environmental studies involving major highway improvements must analyze existing noise levels and predict future noise levels to determine noise impacts. All traffic noise studies prepared for ITD projects must adhere to procedures and requirements as established by federal law, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations, and ITD noise analysis guidelines.
- Noise Barrier Abatement Checklist ITD-1055 Form
- Noise Abatement Decision Checklist ITD-1056 Form
- Optional Non-Barrier Noise Abatement Checklist ITD-1057 Form
Additional information concerning the Noise Policy can be found under “1300 Noise” in the ITD Environmental Process Manual
|Noise Barrier / Sound Walls along I-84|
|Noise Barrier / Sound Walls along State Highway 55|
- Sole Source Aquifer Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
- Sole Source Aquifer Checklist for EPA Review
- Region 10 Sole Source Aquifer Maps: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/water.nsf/Sole+Source+Aquifers/ssamaps
Yellow Billed Cuckoo
The program examines highway impacts on species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and works with the Idaho Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and others for the purpose of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the state’s natural resources while operating, maintaining, and improving the state’s transportation system.
Wildlife, fish, and sensitive plants require consideration during project planning and development. Areas of concern include:
- Interference to wildlife functions such as wintering, foraging, migration, breeding and/or rearing
- Effects related to collisions between vehicles and animals
- Loss of animal or plant populations
- Noise disturbance or loss of habitat
- Current Fish & Wildlife Services Idaho Listed, Proposed & Candidate Species
- ITD Procedures for Candidate Species
- Map of Selkirk Mountains Woodland Caribou Critical Habitat
See also the ITD Environmental Process Manual, Section 1000
The Cooperative Agreement with ITD, FHWA and USFWS for Biological Evaluations/Assessments is found in the ITD Environmental Process Manual. Go to the end of the Table of Contents links for Section 300 and find Exhibit 300-6, Programmatic Agreement.
Wildlife Crossing Database is an innovative tool that identifies the proximity of wildlife safety hazards. This tool was honored as the 2009 recipient of the Exemplary Ecosystem and Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives presented by the Federal Highway Administration.
For more road ecology information, please see the FHWA Wildlife Crossing Guide. This document prepared by the Western Transportation Institute is a handbook for design and evaluation of wildlife crossing systems in North America.
Gray Wolf – FHWA Programmatic Determination
Wetlands – Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas that are saturated by surface or groundwater and supports vegetation adapted for life in saturated conditions. They provide important functions including groundwater recharge, erosion control, shoreline stabilization, and fish and wildlife food and habitat.
Two Categories of Wetlands:
- Jurisdictional wetlands contain surface waters that have a connection to “Waters of the US”
- Non-Jurisdictional wetlands do not have a connection to “Waters of the US”
ITD’s policy is to avoid any activities that adversely affect wetlands during the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation projects. Appropriate action is taken to minimize and mitigate impacts that cannot be avoided.
Section 404 Permit – Required for discharging, dredging, or placing fill material within “Waters of the US” including wetlands to prevent quality degradation and overall loss of wetlands. Administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
Link to Regulations
Clean Water Act, Section 404
Links to Guidance:
- ITD Environmental Process Manual
- Wetland Findings for Programmatic Categorical Exclusions (June 2012)
- Permit Checklist for Joint Application (April 2013)
- FAQ 404 Permits
Links to US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) / Walla Walla District Information:
- USACE Wetlands Delineation Manual
- USACE Arid West Supplemental
- USACE Western Mountains Supplemental
- June 2010 Summary of Changes-Western Mountains Supplemental
- 404 Permit Information-Walla Walla District
- 404 Permit Information-USACE Headquarters
Link to FHWA Site:
FHWA Wetlands Publication Links
Stormwater means stormwater runoff, snow melt runoff, surface runoff and drainage. Stormwater runoff may pick up and transport sediment, oil, and other pollutants. If not managed properly these pollutants can affect the quality of surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, or other activities.
Clean Water Act (CWA)
In 1972, Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity” of the Nation’s waters. The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a 1977 amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972. The CWA set the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants to waters of the U.S.
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
The NPDES permit program was introduced in 1972 and regulates discharges to “waters of the U.S.” Any discharge from a “point source” into a “waters of the U.S.” must have an NPDES permit. Stormwater discharges are regulated by NPDES permits. NPDES permits contains limits on allowed discharges, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that discharges do not harm water quality or public health. See EPA website for additional information
Idaho Transportation Division of Highways (ITD) has coverage under three different types of NPDES permits, including:
- Construction General Permit (CGP) – Construction activities that disturb greater than one acre of land and have the potential to discharge stormwater to a waters of the U.S.
- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)- Stormwater drainage from roads or property that drain into stormwater conveyance systems owned by the state, a city, a town, a village, a public university, a public hospital, a military base, a correctional facility or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.
- Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)- Industrial activities that have the potential to discharge stormwater to a waters of the U.S., including sand and gravel mining. All EPA covered industrial activities are listed in Appendix D of the MSGP.
|Construction General Permit (CGP) Projects (SWPPP)|
|ITD-2784 Form – Stormwater Site Assessment (for Design)||
|ITD-2741 Form – Construction Stormwater Site Evaluation Worksheet||
|Stormwater Runoff Action Items Tool||
|ITD-2950 Form: SWPPP Template – ITD-based Format||
|Non-CGP Projects (ESCP)|
|ITD-2788 Form – Erosion and Sediment Control Plan Template||
|CN General Turbidity||
|CN Winter Shutdown||
|SP Water Pollution Control Manager||
|CN Construction General Permit (2012 Spec Book)||
|CN Erosion and Sediment Control (2012 Spec Book)||
|Complete bid insert|
|Stormwater Documents Updates/Changes|
|ITD-2789 Form – Stormwater Document Change Request||
|ITD-2802 Form – Stormwater Compliance Inspection Form (CGP Projects)||
|· 2802 Instructions and Inspection Procedures||
|ITD-2960 Form – LHTAC Transfer of SWPPP Inspection Responsibility||
|· 2960 Instructions and Inspection Procedures||
|ITD-2790 Form – Notice of Potential Violation of CGP or Notice of Prohibited Discharge||
|EPA CGP Inspection Form||
|SWPPP Management Process Overview||
|ITD-2950 Form – SWPPP Template, ITD-based Format||
|ITD-2951 Form – Contractor or Local Entity CGP Signature Authority||
|ITD-2952 Form – ITD Delegation of CGP Signature Authority||
|ITD-2953 Form – Corrective Action Reporting Tables||
|ITD-2954 Form – Subcontractor Certification of SWPPP||
|ITD-2955 Form – SWPPP Modification Log||
|ITD-2956 Form – Grading and Stabilization Activities Log||
|ITD-2957 Form – Signature Sheet (Modifications and/or Corrective Action Reports)||
|ITD-2958 Form – SWPPP Training Log||
|ITD-2959 Form – SWPPP Review Checklist||
|ITD-2961 Form – Contractor Request to File Notice of Termination||
|Non-CGP Projects (ESCP)|
|ITD-2786 Form – Construction Site Inspection Report||
|ITD-2789 Form – Stormwater Document Change Request||
ITD projects with NPDES CGP coverage require an Inspector with current ITD Environmental Inspection Training and a Contractor representative inspector with current ITD approved Water Pollution Control Manager Training.
ITD Construction Stormwater Management Training
Course Length: 16 hours initial, 8 hours refresher
This course is the Stormwater Management training for Construction Engineers and their management and inspection staff, as well as maintenence staff. See upcoming training below.
ITD Designer Stormwater Training
Course Length: 16 hours
This course is the Stormwater Management training for Project Development, Design Engineers and their support staff.
ITD Stormwater Training
For people external to ITD contact Sue Sullivan at 208-334-8203
Water Pollution Control Management Training (WPCM)
Course Length: 16 Hour
ITD requires all Contractors to designate a Water Pollution Control Manager (WPCM). The WPCM must attend an ITD certified 16 hour stormwater management training course. This course has been developed to align with the new 2012 CGP. Offerings are now available at the following link.
AGC WPCM Training: http://www.idahoagc.org/events
Consultants – Construction Engineering & Inspection – Stormwater Inspector
To certify, complete the ITD Construction Stormwater Management Training course – or – the Idaho Association of General Contractors (AGC) Water Pollution Control Management Training course (see above). Those who complete the AGC course must also submit an Inspector Qualification Registration Form-2905, found in the ITD’s Contract Administration (CA) Manual, Section 114, and a copy of their WPCM course completion certificate to:
Idaho Transportation Department
Training & Development Section
P. O. Box 7129
Boise, Idaho 83707-1129
Attention: Training & Development
The HQ Environmental staff is extensively involved in all environmental policy-making decisions, reviews all environmental documents, and provides the Districts with support, training, and expertise to address the wide variety of environmental concerns. Below are the specialists at ITD Headquarters who will help you with your questions regarding the transportation department’s Environmental Program.
|HQ Office – Boise on State St.|
|Sue Sullivan||Env. Section Manager||(208) 334-8203|
|Melinda Lowe||Sr. Env. Planner, Liaison to D1, D2, D5 & LHTAC||(208) 334-4474|
|Victoria Jewell Guerra||Sr. Env. Planner, Liaison to D3||(208) 334-8588|
|Michele Fikel||Sr. Env. Planner, Liaison to D4 & D6||(208) 334-8478|
|Marc Munch||State Hwy. Archaeologist||(208) 334-8449|
The District staff has knowledge in a broad range of areas including environmental analysis, threatened and endangered species, traffic noise, air quality, stormwater, wetlands mitigation, and permitting. They work directly with local, state, and federal agencies, along with the public in avoiding or minimizing project impacts. The planners prepare and coordinate environmental documents in compliance with NEPA. Below are the Environmental specialists located at the six districts of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
|District 1 – Coeur d’Alene Office|
|Mike Hartz||Sr. Environmental Planner||(208) 772-8018|
|Charlie While||Environmental Planner||(208) 772-1230|
|District 2 – Lewiston Office|
|Shawn Smith||Sr. Environmental Planner||(208) 799-4268|
|Neal Scott||Environmental Planner||(208) 799-4250|
|District 3 – Boise Office on Chinden Blvd.|
|Greg Vitley||Sr. Environmental Planner||(208) 334-8952|
|Nick Petersen||Environmental Planner||(208) 332-7164|
|Chris Branstetter||Environmental Planner||(208) 334-7192|
|Scott Rudel||Environmental Planner||(208) 334-8329|
|District 4 – Shoshone Office|
|Connie Jones||Sr. Environmental Planner||(208) 886-7824|
|Dan Armstrong||Environmental Planner||(208) 886-7832|
|District 5 – Pocatello Office|
|Alissa Salmore||Environmental Planner||(208) 239-3312|
|District 6 – Rigby Office|
|Tim Cramer||Sr. Environmental Planner||(208) 745-5602|