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Transportation: Transportation Improvement Program
Linking Planning and NEPA in the 2013 TIP Update


[ Overview ] [ 2014 Activities ]

Overview

Linking Planning and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) is an emerging process that focuses on identifying infrastructure needs early in the planning process and provides a consistent means of collecting and recording key information relating to project purpose and need, project context, potential project limits, and potential environmental resource impacts that will provide a better understanding of the key issues that may affect the project delivery schedule and budget.  This document focuses on contributing planning information pertaining to NEPA to post-TIP project development.  Much of the information and mapping contained in this document will be added as attachments to the individual project LPN Level 2 screening forms.

As part of Linking Planning and NEPA activities associated with the SPC Transportation Improvement Plan 2013 update, SPC staff conducted preliminary environmental screenings on selected new projects from the 2013 TIP. The projects most practical to conduct preliminary environmental screening on are the projects with a preliminary engineering phase that have the greatest potential to impact environmental resources (such as bridge replacements, new capacity projects, and projects with a significant amount of anticipated new right-of-way acquisition). The selected projects are largely bridge replacements with PE phases on the 2013 TIPThe region’s current transportation investment policy focuses on addressing the significant backlog of deficient bridges within the region.

Three separate reports were produced one for each of the PennDOT Districts in the SPC region.  The reports were provided to PennDOT District Environmental Managers at the time of TIP adoption.  In addition the material contained in the reports was uploaded to the corresponding PennDOT LPN Screening Form 2 for each project.  This information is linked to the scoping phase of preliminary engineering and the start of the traditional NEPA clearance for each project.

Select one of the following reports:

PennDOT District 10-0 PennDOT District 11-0 PennDOT District 12-0
PennDOT District 10-0
(PDF, 226 MB)
PennDOT District 11-0
(PDF, 713 MB)
PennDOT District 12-0
(PDF, 491 MB)

2014 Activities

Elizabeth Bridge, Allegheny CountyEnsuring that our infrastructure is designed to help protect the environment and enhance public health underlies SPC’s work that links planning and environmental process. SPC is involved in several activities related to establishing and utilizing improved processes, developing candidate project information, and interagency collaboration to assist pre-TIP transportation planning.

Key 2014 Highlights

  • 2015-2018 TIP Update
    • SPC implemented enhancements for pre-TIP planning that established a more systematic process for considering project proposals and determining how proposals advance, which helped facilitate successful adoption of the 2015-2018 TIP.
    • SPC received statewide Best Practice recognition from the Federal Highway Administration for its integration of Linking Planning and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) elements into the 2015-2018 TIP update process.
  • Long Range Plan Update
    • SPC developed a Regional Ecosystem Framework GIS model that quantitatively identifies concentrations of sensitive environmental resources throughout the region. This will be used as an analysis tool by SPC and member planning entities to assess the likely level of environmental resource agency involvement in future infrastructure projects. This can help engineers establish more realistic scopes of work, budgets, and schedules for projects to be programmed on future TIPs.
  • SPC also participates in the statewide Linking Planning and NEPA Advisory Committee, as well as the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Environmental Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

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