ARTBA urged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) June 27 to approve a request from Utah to take advantage of provisions contained within the last two surface transportation program reauthorization laws that allow states to assume responsibility for categorical exclusions (CE) as part of the environmental review and approval process. CEs are the least burdensome form of environmental reviews and are reserved for projects where impacts to the environment are minimal. In general, using CEs can reduce project approval times by years and even up to a decade compared to more burdensome forms of review, such as environmental impact statements. Having states administer the CEs themselves will further increase efficiency by lessening the burdens on federal agencies. ARTBA is hopeful Utah’s efforts will encourage other states to take advantage of opportunities for delegation of federal environmental reviews. Read ARTBA’s comments.
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