National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Environmental Process

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).

NEPA Requirements

  1. Study a reasonable range of alternatives based on “Purpose and Need”
  2. Use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach while evaluating environmental factors during the planning process
  3. Widespread interagency coordination, review, and consultation
  4. Documentation of the environmental analysis process in plain language
  5. Provide the public opportunity to participate and comment throughout the process

NEPA Training

  1. FREE “Introduction to NEPA” Training – Click here for Course Description
  2. 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.

  1. Examination of project concept and location regarding potential for socioeconomic or ecological impacts
  2. Determination of impact significance

Environmental Assessment (EA)

  1. Unsure if significant impacts
  2. Evaluation of key resources
  3. Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

  1. Significant Impacts
  2. More detailed evaluation
  3. Record Of Decision (ROD)

ITD Environmental Process Flow Chart
Environmental Process Manual
ITD-654 Form
Citizen’s Guide to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)