What Is NEPA Assignment?
NEPA Assignment is a program which formally assigns the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) NEPA responsibilities to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). It means ODOT assumes responsibility for all environmental laws, rules and orders, interagency consultation, and any other environmental related actions for transportation projects in Ohio. Under this program, ODOT is deemed to be a Federal Agency [FHWA] for environmental matters.
What's the big takeaway here?
ODOT is saving taxpayer dollars by reducing delays through streamlining the environmental process required for all transportation projects.
ODOT and FHWA NEPA Assignment MOU
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT concerning the State of Ohio’s participation in the Project Delivery Program pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 was originally executed and went into effect December 28, 2015. The original MOU was amended June 6, 2018 and a renewed MOU was executed and went into effect December 14, 2020. The responsibilities assigned to ODOT are subject to the same procedural and substantive requirements as previously applied to FHWA. The NEPA Assignment Program does not preempt or interfere with any power, jurisdiction, responsibility, or authority of an agency, excluding FHWA, under applicable laws and regulations.
ODOT Performance Measures
ODOT Self-Assessment Results
FHWA Audit Results
The Ohio NEPA Assignment Audit 4 Report is currently published on the Federal Register website for public review and comment. Comments regarding Audit 4 are due July 17, 2020.
ODOT Audit Close-Out Reports
The Road to NEPA Assignment
For background information and historical information about how Ohio earned NEPA Assignment designation, click here.
NEPA Assignment Disclosure
NEPA Assignment Material:
In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an administration in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), executed December 11, 2015 and amended June 6, 2018, ODOT must disclose to the public and agencies, as part of agency outreach and public involvement procedures the following statement:
“The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated June 6, 2018, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.”
In accordance with Section 3.1.3 of the above referenced MOU, Districts or the project sponsor are required to distribute information explaining NEPA Assignment to the public on projects assigned under the MOU. The Office of Environmental Services has developed brochures and poster boards to be used for this purpose. Either the brochures or the poster boards (available for download by clicking the yellow brochure and poster buttons above) shall be used at public meetings, per the ODOT NEPA Assignment Language Guidance.