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Par. 2c

C. Section 470f, Title 16, United States Code 2/ provides that the head of any Federal agency having direct or indirect jurisdiction over a proposed Federal or federally assisted undertaking in any State and the head of any Federal department or independent agency having authority to license any undertaking shall, prior to the approval of the expenditure of any Federal funds on the undertaking or prior to the issuance of any license, as the case may be, take into account the effect of the undertaking on any district, site, building, structure, or object that is included in the National Register. The head of any such Federal agency shall afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment with regard to such undertaking.

d. Section 1857h-7, Title 42, United States Code (popularly known as Section 309 of the Clean Air Act of 1970 - P. L. 91-604), provides:

"(a) The Administrator (Environmental Protection Agency) shall review and comment in writing on the environmental impact of any matter relating to duties and responsibilities granted pursuant to this chapter or other provisions of the authority of the Administrator, contained in any . . . (2) newly authorized Federal projects for construction and any major Federal agency action (other than a project for construction) to which Section 4332 (2) (C) of this Title applies. . . Such written comment shall be made public at the conclusion of any such review.


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a substantial length of highway between logical termini (major crossroads, population centers, major traffic generators, or similar major highway control elements) as normally included in a single location study. (See paragraph 6).

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September 7, 1972

(1) A decision for a change in

either the highway location or design (See paragraph 6p) of sufficient magnitude to require a public hearing or which significantly alters the environmental impact discussed in the statement previously filed would be the basis to prepare and process a supplemental environmental statement.

c. Environmental Statement - a written statement containing an assessment of the anticipated significant beneficial and detrimental effects which the agency decision may have upon the quality of the human environment for the purposes of:

(1) assuring that careful attention is given to environmental matters,

(2) providing a vehicle for implementing all applicable environmental requirements, and

(3) to insure that the environmental impact is taken into account in the agency decision.

d. Negative Declaration - a written document in support of a determination that, should the proposed highway section improvement be constructed, the anticipated effects upon the human environment will not be significant.

e. Highway Agency (HA) - the ency with the primary responsibility for initiating and carrying forward the planning, design, and construction of the highway. For highway sections financed with Federal-aid highway funds, the HA will normally be the appropriate State highway department. For highway sections financed with other funds, such as Forest highways, Park roads, etc., the HA will be the appropriate Federal or State highway agency.

f. Human Environment the aggregate of all external conditions and influences (aesthetic, ecological, biological, cultural, social, economic, historical, etc.) that affect the life of a human.

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September 7, 1972

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a. An environmental statement or combined environmental/Section 4(f) statement or negative declaration, whichever is appropriate, shall be prepared and processed in accordance with this memorandum for each highway section proposed for construction with funds administered by the FHWA, including in appropriate cases any section financed from funds transferred to the FHWA from other agencies, which receives or received design approval (see paragraph 5e) on or after February 1, 1971.

b. An environmental statement or combined environmental/Section 4(f) statement, whichever is appropriate, shall be prepared and processed in accordance with this memorandum for each highway section which received design approval on or after January 1, 1970, and before February 1, 1971, and which constitutes a major action significantly affecting the environment (see Appendix F, paragraphs 2 and 3) if, in the judgment of the FHWA division engineer, implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act to the fullest extent possible requires preparation and processing of an environmental statement. In making his judgment the FHWA division engineer should consider, in addition to the written reassessment prepared by the HA (see paragraph 5c) for each such highway section, the status of the design; right-of-way acquisition including demolition of improvements within the right-of-way; number of families already rehoused and those yet to be rehoused; construction scheduling; benefits to accrue from the proposed highway improvement; significant impacts; and measures to minimize any adverse impacts of the highway. Highway sections which received design approval on or after January 1, 1970, and before February 1, 1971, that are classed as a major action are to be reassessed by the HA in consultation with the FHWA division engineer or his representative. The written reassessment should consider if the highway plans were developed in such a manner as to minimize adverse environmental consequences.


Par. 4

d. A highway section involving an historic site included in the National Register of Historic Places shall be coordinated with the State Liaison Officer for Historic Preservation and representatives of the Office of Archeology and Preservation of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, as set forth in Appendix A. The provisions of 16 U. S. C. 470f, should be satisfied before submitting the final environment/Section 4(f) statement to the FHWA (see paragraph 2c).

e. Design approval may be regarded as having been obtained prior to February 1, 1971, if any one of the following conditions is satisfied.

(1) Prior to the issuance of revised PPM 20-8 dated January 14, 1969, procedures of the FHWA did not require a HA to receive a formally documented FHWA design approval before undertaking right-of-way acquisition and/or preparation of the plans, specifications and estimate (PS& E). Therefore, design approval was that action or series of actions by which the FHWA indicated to the HA that the essential elements of the highway as set out in PPM 20-8 were satisfactory or acceptable for preparation of the PS&E. Such actions may have consisted of review and comments upon preliminary plans, schematic drawings, design studies, layouts or reports or unconditional approval to acquire all the right-of-way for a project. The HA shall identify those projects (both Federal-aid and non-Federal-aid) in the above category which it anticipates Federalaid funds will be requested for a subsequent stage and furnish the FHWA division engineer for his concurrence a letter similar to Appendix B of this memorandum citing the document(s) or action(s) which it believes are equivalent to design approval. The FHWA division engineer's concurrence in the HA's determination will serve as verification that the previous actions or approvals were in effect design approval.

(2) Written approval by the FHWA of the design submitted in accordance with PPM 20-8.

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Par. 5f

be responsible for the appropriate document (i. e. the HA for a proposed highway section that also requires a U. S. Coast Guard action for bridge clearance over navigable water). Highway section proposals submitted for an FHWA approval shall include a copy of the statement prepared and processed by another Federal agency or reference to such a statement previously furnished to FHWA. A highway section in this category will generally be of the nature where there is no actual transfer of funds to the FHWA and the FHWA acts only in the capacity of a review agency or consultant advisor to the other Federal agency.

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The highway section included in an environmental statement should be as long as practicable to permit consideration of environmental matters on a broad scope. Piecemealing proposed highway improvements in separate environmental statements should be avoided. If possible, the highway section should be of substantial length that would normally be included in a multi-year highway improvement program.

a. A proposal to develop or improve a highway section should be coordinated in the early stages with appropriate local, State, and Federal agencies (PPM 20-8 and

IM 50-1-70). Initiation of coordination at the beginning of the location study will assist in identifying natural and cultural areas of significance, agency and public concerns, and help in determining the need for and preparation of an environmental statement. Existing coordination mechanisms, such as above cited, (public hearings, Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-95 reviews) and other established procedures for coordination should be used to the greatest extent practicable.

(1) The information obtained through coordination and the highway studies (technical, engineering, social, economic, and environmental, as appropriate) should be used in making an assessment of the potential environmental impact (both beneficial and detrimental) of the proposed action. This environmental assessment should be accomplished utilizing a systematic, interdisciplinary approach to

September 7, 1972

assure that proper consideration is given to the identification and evaluation of potential environmental impacts. This environmental assessment, performed in consultation with FHWA for all projects, will provide the basis for determining whether an environmental statement will be prepared.

(2) The environmental statement and/or Section 4(f) statement may be a part of the study report for the highway location, if desired; however, if included in the study report, the statements are to be consolidated in one place in the report and in a form that can be reproduced separate from the report.

b. A draft environmental statement shall be prepared only for those sections for which the HA or division engineer determine that construction and operation of the highway section will have a significant impact upon the environment. Appendix F lists guidelines to assist in determining significant impacts associated with the construction and operation of a highway. In addition, the HA or FHWA may wish to consult other local, State and Federal agencies with specific expertise when determining the significance of an impact. The draft environmental impact statements, including Section 4(f) information, shall be prepared and circulated by the HA in cooperation with the FHWA during the location study. A representative of the FHWA division office shall indicate his review and adoption of the draft environmental statement by signing and dating before it is released for comment.


The draft environmental statement, including necessary Section 4(f) information when required, is to be circulated by the HA to the appropriate agencies (see Appendix G) for comment, and made available to the public not later than the first required notice of location public hearing (30 to 40 days before date of hearing) or notice of opportunity for a public hearing as set out in PPM 20-8 (see Appendix H). If the highway section qualifies for exemption from public hearing procedures, a draft environmental statement, if required, (including necessary Section 4(f) information) is to be prepared and circulated for comment, and made available to the public as early as practicable. Regardless of whether or not there is a public hearing, a notice should be placed in the newspaper advising the public that the draft environmental impact statement is going to be circulated for review and comment. The notice should include information on where the statement is available for review and how copies can be obtained.

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f. The HA may establish a date not less than 30 days from the date of transmittal, plus a normal time for mail to reach and be returned from the recipient, for return of the comments, except 45 days plus mailing time shall be allowed for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comment. The FHWA division engineer should include a similar time period (30 days plus mailing) for return of comments in his distribution correspondence. If an agency does not respond by the indicated date, the HA may assume the agency had no comments. The HA should endeavor to grant requests for a time extension of up to 15 days for return of comments unless a 45 day review period, plus mailing time, was originally established.

g. Draft environmental statements shall be available for review by the public at the HA headquarters; the State, regional, and

Par. 6c(1)

metropolitan clearinghouses; the FHWA division, regional, and headquarters offices; and at the appropriate public hearings. The HA and FHWA may charge non-governmental individuals and organizations for copies of environmental statements in accordance with established fee schedules.

(1) The public and private organizations may also order copies of draft and final environmental statements from the National Technical Information Service, U. S. Department of Commerce (See Appendix I).

h. Similar procedures apply to highway sections which have received location approval but did not have design approval before February 1, 1971. In such instances the environmental statement, combination environmental/ Section 4(f) statement or negative declaration shall be prepared and processed during the design studies. The final environmental statement or negative declaration for such highway sections shall be furnished to FHWA before or with the request for design approval. If the design public hearing was held prior to the issuance of this memorandum, an additional design public hearing will not be required for the sole purpose of presenting and receiving comments on the draft statement. All other requirements for circulation for comment and availability to the public will apply.

i. The HA shall prepare a final environmental statement or combined environmental/ 4(f) statement in consultation with the FHWA for each project for which it prepared and circulated a draft environmental statement following the format in Appendix E. The final statement shall include a copy of all comments received and the consideration and disposition of environmental comments raised at the public hearing and on the draft statement. The correspondence included in the final statement, should contain marginal notes indicating where in the statement the comments are treated or discussed (any other suitable method of showing where the comments are discussed is satisfactory).

j. FHWA review and adoption of the final environmental statement shall be the responsibility of the Regional Federal Highway Administrator. The Regional Federal Highway Administrator shall indicate his adoption by signature thereon, and forward 15 signed copies of the final statement to the Office of Environmental Policy, HEV-10. A copy of a signed statement may also be returned to the originating office.. The HA and FHWA may, upon request of an individual or organization, make a copy of the statement as signed by

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m. Negative declarations shall be prepared by the HA when the anticipated impact of construction and operation of a highway section is determined to be not significant (not of major importance). Appendix F outlines several types of highway section improvements which may warrant a negative declaration; however, each highway section should be evaluated to determine whether its impact is significant. Their purpose is to include in the written record evidence that the highway section was evaluated and a determination made that it would have no significant effect upon the quality of human environment. They should be based on the information developed during the highway study and coordination with local, State, and Federal agencies.

n. A negative declaration need not be circulated for comment, but its availability should be included in the notice of the public hearing or opportunity for public hearing. The

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FHWA division engineer shall concur in the negative declaration before he approves the location or design, whichever is appropriate.

0. The HA or FHWA may, based upon comments at the public hearing, rescind a negative declaration and prepare and process an environmental statement if in their judgment significant impacts have been identified which were not previously considered. It would not be necessary in such instances to hold additional public hearings for the purpose of presenting the draft environmental statement.

p. The HA shall include reference to the previous environmental statement, negative declaration, or reassessment when requesting design approval, authorization for right-of-way acquisition, approval of PS&E, and construction authorization.

(1) A new environmental statement, or a supplemental statement will be necessary for a highway section when the proposal being processed introduces a new or changed environmental effect of significance to the quality of environment. The FHWA may also request an environmental statement for a highway section which received design approval before February 1, 1971, when in its judgment changes in the highway subsequent to the reassessment (see paragraph 5c) introduce significantly different impacts on the environment.

(2) A supplemental statement is to be processed in the same manner as a new environmental statement. Where the need for a supplemental statement results from the use of Section 4(f) land only, a Section 4(f) statement may be prepared in lieu of a supplemental environmental statement and coordinated with the Departments of the Interior and Housing and Urban Development by the HA. The coordinated Section 4(f) statement, with comments and suggestions and the HA disposition of same, shall be furnished to the FHWA for appropriate processing.

q. State highway agencies operating in accordance with a Secondary Road Plan approved pursuant to 23 U. S. C. 117 have the responsibility for approval of most Federal-aid project actions, including the highway location and design. However, environmental statements and negative declarations require Federal approvals as indicated in this memorandum.

A. A. Bartelemeyn

R. R. Bartelsmeyer

Acting Federal Highway Administrator


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