Our office (formerly the Office of Safety, Energy and the Environment) oversees USDOT policies for the Secretary of Transportation, coordinates strategic planning across the Department, and oversees performance-based policy, decision-making, and investment. We initiate and coordinate Secretarial policies on safety, energy and environment issues affecting all aspects of transportation. Our office provides technical expertise on policy matters for the Department’s legislative, regulatory and research programs. We serve as the Departmental focal point for initiatives related to achieving Departmental strategic goals regarding safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life in communities, and environmental sustainability. We conduct analyses and recommend policies for reducing transportation fatality and injury rates, increasing stewardship of the human and natural environment including air quality, water quality, and historic resources, and protecting environmental health while improving the transportation system.
New! Updated NEPA Order
The U.S. Department of Transportation (Department) is seeking public comment on a proposed update to its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing procedures, DOT Order 5610.1D, Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts. The Department is proposing this update and seeking public review and comment on the proposal, consistent with the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations implementing NEPA. The document was published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016, and comments may be made now to docket number DOT-OST-2016-0239. The comment period will end 21 days from the date of publication. For more information, please see the Federal Register Notice and the Department's existing NEPA implementing procedures, DOT Order 5610.1C, and the CE Administrative Record, which provides the rationale and supporting information for the proposed new categorical exclusions (CEs) and the modifications to certain existing CEs.
- To develop, coordinate and evaluate public policy on transportation safety, environment, and energy issues affecting all aspects of transportation.
- To maintain policy oversight of legislative and regulatory proposals affecting these areas across the Department.
- To conduct or oversee studies and analyses, as appropriate, and provide advice on research and development requirements and concerns.
- To monitor compliance procedures for handling National Transportation Safety Board recommendations.
- To coordinate the creation of the Department's Strategic Plan.
- To engage with stakeholders on issues impacting a wide range of safety, health, and environmental issues.
- To manage the Department's Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center.
What We Do
The safety and health team provides the Secretary and senior Department officials with a source of informed, rigorous, independent policy advice and leadership to assure that the Department is responding to its safety and health responsibilities, meeting key national and organizational safety goals efficiently, consistently, and effectively. As part of this role, the team develops and reviews transportation legislation and regulations, and coordinates national transportation policy initiatives relating to safety and health matters. The team works with all modes, providing leadership and supporting individual modal administrations in high profile air, rail, highway, pipeline, hazardous materials transportation and maritime safety issues of special importance to the Secretary.
The energy and environment team is primarily responsibile for developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations, and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives, relating to environmental and energy matters affecting all aspects of transportation. The team reviews and analyzes the environmental implications of domestic transportation policy to provide a basis for advising management actions and decisions.
The planning and performance team helps coordinate Departmental efforts to ensure that transportation investments support a high quality of life in communities and create ladders of opportunity. This team works on a wide range of issues related to: ensuring that planned transportation projects meet community needs, including by ensuring effective public involvement; developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations related to transportation planning and investment; and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives, including by working with other federal, State and local agencies.
The Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center (IPIC) serves as the central resource for accelerating project delivery for all Departmental projects, as well as for removing barriers to efficient and effective project permitting and environmental review through the Center’s environmental specialists, data analysts, and conflict-resolution experts.