Web Content Viewer
Actions
The Road to NEPA Assignment
The Road to NEPA Assignment

Indian Mills, Upper Sandusky

Ohio Department of Transportation’s Desire to Participate in FHWA's NEPA Assignment Program

Section 6005(a) of the SAFETEA-LU (and updated by MAP 21) established a Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program that allows the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation to assign, and a State to assume, the USDOT Secretary's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.) and all or part of the USDOT Secretary's responsibilities for environmental review, consultation, or other action required under any Federal environmental law with respect to one or more highway projects within the State.

In 2014, the Ohio Department of Transportation partnered with the Federal Highway Administration Ohio Division to develop an application of participation in this program. This page is dedicated to those efforts.

Assignment Scope

ODOT accepted the Assignment of the USDOT Secretary’s responsibilities for all NEPA document types (CE, EA and EIS) and all environmental regulations/laws (Section 4(f), Section 106, etc.)

Benefits of Assignment

ODOT continues to see both cost and time savings from participating in the NEPA Assignment program.  ODOT saved over $32 million dollars (12/28/2015 through 03/31/2019) in construction delays/inflation costs.  The savings each year is dependent of the size and complexity of ODOT’s program.  As FHWA would have spent more time reviewing ODOT’s largest and most complex projects, ODOT would receive the most cost/time savings from those projects.  Consequently, higher savings are therefore realized in years with more large/complex projects as opposed to years with more smaller maintenance type projects. 

Savings Per Audit Period

Audit 1 Review Period 12/28/2015 through 03/31/2016

Project Size

 

Total # Days Saved

 

Amount Saved (Millions)

Small

 

1245

 

$                  5.26

Medium

 

360

 

$                  0.55

Large

 

270

 

$                  3.84

TOTAL SAVINGS

 

1875

 

$                  9.65


Audit 2 Review Period 04/01/2016 through 03/31/2017

Project Size

 

Total # Days Saved

 

Amount Saved (Millions)

Small

 

1350

 

$                  5.70

Medium

 

1230

 

$                  1.87

Large

 

390

 

$                  5.55

TOTAL SAVINGS

 

2970

 

$                13.12


Audit 3 Review Period 04/01/2017 through 03/31/2018

Project Size

 

Total # Days Saved

 

Amount Saved (Millions)

Small

 

1485

 

$                   2.54

Medium

 

525

 

$                   1.67

Large

 

345

 

$                   1.40

TOTAL SAVINGS

 

2355

 

$                   5.61


Audit 4 Review Period 04/01/2018 through 03/31/2019

Project Size

 

Total # Days Saved

 

Amount Saved (Millions)

Small

 

555

 

$                   1.04

Medium

 

555

 

$                   1.93

Large

 

240

 

$                   1.07

TOTAL SAVINGS

 

1350

 

$                   4.04

Risks to ODOT from the Assignment of FHWA’s Environmental Responsibilities

Not many changes expected:

  • Staff already specialized and heavily trained. For the most part, ODOT had more experienced staff than FHWA in all the disciplines. So, no new costs in training or education were expected.
  • ODOT already performed the reviews, so no changes to staff levels were expected.
  • ODOT only received 3 NEPA lawsuits in the from 2004 to 2014, so there was no expectation of more challenges.
  • If ODOT would lose a lawsuit, the risk to the Department was project stoppage, just as it would be with FHWA. (In addition, cost to defend a lawsuit is federal reimbursable as a project cost.)