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What's New Last updated 10/10/14

  • Section 1307 – Liaison Process and Priorities Q&A posted on the MAP-21 Website - The intent of the new Q&A is to provide guidance on how to implement the provisions of Section 1307 regarding existing and new agreements for a liaison-funded position and how to address projects and priorities in the MOU. The new Q&A can be seen on the MAP-21 website here: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/qandas/qaeerad.cfm
  • GROW AMERICA Act Surface Transportation Reauthorization Proposal Released - On April 29th, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a long-term transportation bill that will be sent to Congress for consideration. The GROW AMERICA Act reflects President Obama’s vision for a four-year surface transportation reauthorization bill that would create millions of jobs and lay the foundation for long-term competitiveness, rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges while providing much-needed certainty for local and state governments and addressing the country’s future needs. This DOT fact sheet provides a broad overview of how the bill addresses the country’s critical transportation needs.
  • Joint Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule Released - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) jointly released a proposed rule on Waters of the U.S. This rule will apply to all of the Clean Water Act programs. An EPA press release from March 25, 2014 explains the proposed rule, which clarifies protection for streams and wetlands. The proposed rule will benefit business by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act.
  • Guidance – NEPA Financial Penalty Provisions in MAP-21 - Guidance on financial penalty provisions contained in MAP-21 has been released in the Federal Register. The provisions require Federal agencies of jurisdiction (Reviewing Agencies) to render a decision on a permit, license, or other approval related to a transportation project within 180 days from later of: (a) the date of a Record of Decision or Finding or No Significant Impacts or (b) the date on which an application for a permit, license, or approval for the project is complete. If the Reviewing Agency does not render a decision by the 180-day deadline, it is subject to a rescission of funds until a decision is rendered. This guidance provides a framework for FHWA/FTA to make "no-fault" certifications and serves to help inform agency-specific implementation by the Reviewing Agencies. The guidance is now available on the FHWA MAP-21 website at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/qandas/qasect1306.cfm
  • Two New Categorical Exclusions Streamline NEPA Compliance - MAP-21 required that the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit administration to amend their joint procedures to streamline compliance with the National Environmental Polocy Act (NEPA) by designating two types of actions as categorical exclusions (CEs): (1) Any project (as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101(a)) within an existing operational right-of-way; and (2) any project that receives limited Federal funding. On January 13, 2014, FHWA and FTA completed a rulemaking process by publishing in the Federal Register a joint final rule that created two new CEs for the agencies. The rule took effect on February 12, 2014.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Updated List of Contacts - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has updated its list of transportation contacts in its Region and Field offices. View the list here, and also in the CoP Resource Library.
  • Example NEPA/404 Merger Agreements Posted - Two sample NEPA/404 merger agreements from Colorado and North Carolina have been posted to the Resource Library. In addition, the Maryland State Highway Administration’s process for streamlined environmental and regulatory reviews is also posted to the Resource Library.

For more information, please contact Marlys Osterhues (marlys.osterhues@dot.gov, 202-366-2052) or Tricia Harr (tricia.harr@dot.gov, 202-366-9214).

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