Streamlining accepted in Ohio

News AASHTO Journal June 18, 2003
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The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration came to an agreement that allows for streamlining

The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration came to an agreement that allows for streamlining environmental project reviews. As a result, ODOT expects to save more than 1,000 project days in review time in complying with long-standing environmental protection measures.


Under the agreement, ODOT assumes responsibility from FHWA for determining if Section 4(f) protection applies to a project and approves associated paperwork. Prior to ODOT's agreement with FHWA, all documentation involving transportation projects that could require the use of public park, recreation area, wildlife refuge or historic sites had to be approved by the federal agency.


Channeling environmental review through FHWA dictated a 30-day turnaround for approval, but ODOT Environmental Specialist Roberta Dunlap said her department could produce the required documentation in a day or two. FHWA does maintain some oversight through periodic Quality Assurance Reviews and the authority to reject an ODOT decision within 15 days.



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