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Original Sent Via E-Mail

Memorandum

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Subject: ACTION: Environmental Stewardship and Environmental Streamlining
Date:
October 11, 2002
From: Mary E. Peters
Administrator
Reply to:
Attn. of: HEPE
To: Associate Administrators
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

As you are aware, on September 18, 2002, President Bush signed Executive Order 13274, titled Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews, which emphasizes the importance of expedited transportation project delivery while being good stewards of the environment. Concurrently, Federal Transit Administrator Jenna Dorn and I issued notices in the Federal Register withdrawing proposed modifications to rules for transportation planning and National Environmental Policy Act and related procedures. In light of these important events, and given FHWA's considerable progress in establishing a strategy for implementing our vital few goal for environmental stewardship and environmental streamlining, your personal involvement is critical in advancing our environmental protection and program delivery agenda. It is a top priority for me and I know I can count on your efforts to make this program goal a success.

As we move forward, we need to be clear about our message and our direction both within the agency and to our State, Federal and public partners: we are not making a choice between advancing transportation improvements in a timely manner and being good stewards of the human and natural environment; we must do both. The executive order emphasizes both, and so do FHWA's strategies for achieving our vital few goal for environmental stewardship and environmental streamlining. The executive order complements and reinforces the strategic direction that FHWA established in our vital few goal effort.

At the core of our effort is a prominent leadership role by FHWA to coordinate transportation and environmental decisionmaking among many Federal agencies and with other units of government, both at the project level and the policy level. I know that each of you have charted in your unit's performance plan the specific actions that you and your staff will take in the new fiscal year to implement this environmental leadership vision for FHWA. Collectively, the unit plans will significantly advance the goals of the Executive Order. Your diligence in assuring that the performance plan is fully accomplished is critical to our success.

The President's decision to issue this Executive Order provides us all with a new opportunity to engage our colleagues in other Federal agencies and in State, local, and tribal governments in enhancing how we do business so that transportation improvements are environmentally responsible and delivered in a timely fashion. I look forward to learning about your achievements from across the country in achieving our goals in this challenging area.

cc: Director of Field Services

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