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AASHTO Journal

Florida DOT, FHWA Ink Accord Assigning NEPA Review Responsibilities to FDOT

The Florida Department of Transportation said it expects to save about $22 million a year in environmental review costs under a new agreement with the Federal Highway Administration. Under NEPA assignment, FDOT will be legally responsible for ensuring that all federally funded highway projects continue to comply with all NEPA requirements.

capitol0816.jpgThe announcement said FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold and FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau signed a memorandum of understanding Dec. 14 in Orlando that assigns to FDOT the FHWA's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act for federally funded highway projects.

Under it, the state agency will be legally responsible for ensuring that federally funded road projects continue to comply with all NEPA requirements.

"FDOT expects significant time and cost savings as a result of this landmark agreement," Boxold said. "That's good news for Florida's families, since a critical road improvement project can now be delivered to the public quicker and less costly."

Nadeau said: "This MOU is more than a document. It's a symbol of the innovative partnership we are building with the Florida DOT, and an important tool that empowers states without sacrificing our federal oversight responsibilities for the environment."

FDOT's announcement said federally funded highway projects take longer to complete the required environmental review process compared with state-funded projects. With the new agreement, FDOT said it will save about 25 percent of the time it would otherwise take to process NEPA documents by the FHWA, which translates into a savings of about $22 million a year.

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