The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires examination of potential impacts to the social and natural environment when considering proposed transportation projects involving federal funds or approval action. Supporting the Act, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and NJDOT adopted the policy of managing the NEPA project development and decision-making process as an “umbrella,” under which all applicable environmental laws, executive orders, and regulations are considered and addressed prior to the final project decision and document approval. This umbrella includes laws relating to historic preservation, endangered species, wetlands, parks, and others. Conclusion of the NEPA process results in a decision that addresses multiple concerns and requirements. The FHWA NEPA process allows transportation officials to make project decisions that balance engineering and transportation needs with social, economic, and natural environmental factors. During the process, a wide range of partners including the public, businesses, interest groups, and agencies at all levels of government, provide input into the project and environmental decisions.
The NJDOT Bureau of Environmental Program Resources oversees compliance with the principles or essential elements of NEPA compliance throughout the project delivery process, including:
|PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PHASES||DOCUMENTATION / ACTION||COORDINATION|
|Concept Development||Purpose & Need, Environmental Screening Report and Alternatives Analysis||Project Team, Public, Stakeholders and Permitting Agencies|
|Preliminary Engineering||Technical Environmental Studies (as needed), Categorical Exclusion||Project Team, Public, Stakeholders, Permitting Agencies|
|Final Design||Permits, Environmental Reevaluation, Environmental Plan Sheets and Environmental Mitigation||Project Team, Public, Stakeholders, Permitting Agencies|
|Construction||Environmental Mitigation, Construction Monitoring||Project Team, Public, Stakeholders, Permitting Agencies, Contractor|