DOT uses an environmental review process to inform strategies, resulting in better outcomes throughout our programs.
Sustainable transportation infrastructure begins with the planning process. Transportation decisions need to be made in an environmentally sensitive way, using a comprehensive planning process that includes the public and considers land use, development, safety, and security.
National Environmental Policy Act
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Department to conduct an environmental review for all major actions that may have a significant impact on the environment. The following resource areas are some of the key areas that DOT examines as part of its NEPA review:
Resources on the Environmental Review Process
- Department of Transportation Office of the Undersecretary for Policy
- DOT Agency Project Delivery Plan
- DOT NEPA procedures
- Accelerating Project Delivery
- Airport, Environmental Program
- Environmental Policy
- Air Traffic Organization Environmental Reviews
- Environmental Desk Reference for Airport Actions
- Environmental Review Toolkit
- Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty
- Environment Resources
- Everyday Counts
- Environmental Excellence Awards
Motor Carriers Safety
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development
The ability to develop sustainably is dependent on how we manage our land resources.
- FHWA: Land Use and Transportation Planning
- FHWA: Section 4(f)
- FHWA: Section 4(f) History
- FHWA: Agricultural Lands
The Department evaluates all actions to ensure that our emissions conform to the goals established by state air quality implementation plans.
- FHWA: Air Quality
- FAA: Airport Noise and Emissions
- EPA: General Conformity
- EPA: Transportation Conformity
- EPA: Air quality standards
Water Resources & Wetlands
The Department considers the impacts to marine, wetland, and freshwater resources to safeguard the quality of our floodplains and other natural water sources.
Minimizing the impact to native and endangered species is a crucial component to the Department’s environmental review process.
Historic & Cultural Resources
Our dedication to historical heritage ranges from restoring historic buildings to ensuring projects preserve cultural antiquities. When the Department’s actions may have an impact on tribal cultural resources, it engages in government-to-government consultation to consider tribal views in historic preservation consultation.
- FHWA: Historic Preservation
- STB: Environment and Preservation
- CEQ/AHCP: NEPA and NHPA-A Handbook for Integrating NEPA and Section 106
- ACHP: Native American Program
Social & Economic Impact
The Department pursues projects that enhance socioeconomic value and the quality of life in local communities. When the Department’s actions may have an impact on tribal lands, it engages in government-to-government consultation to ensure tribal views are considered by the decision-makers.
- FHWA: Community Impact Assessment
- FHWA: Tribal Transportation Program
- FAA: Acquiring Land for Airports and Relocation Assistance
- FHWA: Safety and NEPA
- FHWA: Safe Routes to School
- NHTSA: Vehicle Safety
In an effort to ensure our actions do not disproportionately affect any population based on race, income, or religion, the Department incorporates environmental justice into the environmental review process.
The Department ensures safe transportation of hazardous materials and proper disposal of hazardous waste generated.
- FHWA: Brownfields
- PHMSA: Hazardous Materials Safety
- FAA: Hazardous Materials Safety
- FRA: Railroad Safety
- FMCSA: How to Comply with Hazardous Materials Regulations
The Department seeks to ensure that no specific community bears the burden of noise, while seeking to make our operations quieter with new technologies.