Purpose & Need Training How to Write a Better Statement May 13, 2014 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Purpose & Need Training How to Write a Better Statement May 13, 2014

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  1. 0 Purpose & Need TrainingHow to Write a Better StatementMay 13, 2014 Presented by: FHWA-Ohio Division Office of Environmental Services

  2. Why Are You Here? • Increase Project Management Awareness • Understand Federal Requirements • Understand the foundation of an approved NEPA Document is the P&N • Understand relationship between P&N and Alternatives Analysis, Logical Termini, etc. Purpose & Need Training Class

  3. This Class is For You • Ask Questions!! • Share Experiences • Peer Interaction Encouraged Purpose & Need Training Class

  4. Class Objective • Learn how to write and review P&Ns that: • Focus on transportation problems • Advance a project efficiently • Provide a basis for evaluating alternatives • Are legally defensible Purpose & Need Training Class

  5. Introductions • Name • Company • Environmental and P&N Experience • Class Expectations Purpose & Need Training Class

  6. Agenda • Regulatory Process • Developing a P&N • Case Studies • Review/Q&A • Test Purpose & Need Training Class

  7. Regulations, Policy & Procedures

  8. Federal Law & Regulations • Law • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) • Regulations • Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) • (40 CFR 1502) • Federal Highway Adminstration (FHWA) • (23 CFR 771) Purpose & Need Training Class

  9. NEPA • Established a systematic, interdisciplinary approach for decision-making • Study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of action “To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation” Purpose & Need Training Class

  10. CEQ Regulations • 40 CFR 1500.1 (c) - Purpose • It is not better documents but better decisions that count • NEPA’s purpose is not to generate paperwork - even excellent paperwork - but to foster excellent action • 40 CFR 1502.13 - Purpose and Need • The statement briefly specifies the underlying purpose and need to which the agency is responding in proposing the alternatives including the proposed action Purpose & Need Training Class

  11. CEQ Regulations • 40 CFR 1502.14 - Alternatives • Heart of the environmental document • Agencies shall: “…evaluate all reasonable alternatives, and for alternatives which were eliminated from detailed study, briefly discuss the reasons for their having been eliminated.” Purpose & Need Training Class

  12. FHWA Regulations • 23 CFR 771.111(f) …the action evaluated in each EIS or finding of no significant impact (FONSI) shall: • Connect logical termini • Have independent utility • Not restrict consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable transportation improvements • P&N Guidance and Policy is based upon 40 CFR 1500 and 23 CFR 771 Purpose & Need Training Class

  13. FHWA Definition • Purpose • State concisely and clearly why the undertaking is being proposed • Articulates intended positive outcomes • Need • Transportation problem(s) to be addressed • Defines causes of existing problems • Factual, quantifiable data Purpose & Need Training Class

  14. FHWA Guidance • Joint-lead or cooperating agencies should afford substantial deference to the lead agency's articulation of a project’s P&N • P&N is the cornerstone for the alternatives analysis, but should not discuss solutions • Care should be taken to ensure P&N is not so narrow as to unreasonably point to a single solution Purpose & Need Training Class

  15. FHWA Policy & Guidance • FHWA Technical Advisory (T6640.8a) • 10/30/87 • P&N in Environmental Documents • 9/18/1990 • FHWA/FTA Joint Guidance on P&N • 7/23/2003 • Development of Logical Termini • 11/5/1993 • Linking Planning and NEPA • 2/22/2005 • CEQ 40 Most Asked Questions • ceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/regs/40/40p3.htm Purpose & Need Training Class

  16. FHWA Technical Advisory Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) Documents (T6640.8A) www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/impTA6640.asp Section II - Part B Purpose & Need for Action • Describe location, length, termini, proposed improvements, etc. • Identify and describe the transportation needs which the proposed action is intended to satisfy • e.g., provide system continuity, alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety, correct roadway deficiencies, etc. Purpose & Need Training Class

  17. FHWA Technical Advisory Section V - Part D • Clearly demonstrate that a "need" exists and define the "need" in understandable terms • Forms the basis for the “No Build" discussion in the Alternatives section • Assists in the identification of reasonable alternatives and in the selection of the preferred Purpose & Need Training Class

  18. FHWA Technical Advisory • On projects where a law, Executive Order, or regulation mandates an evaluation of avoidance alternatives, explanation of the project need should be more specific so that avoidance alternatives that do not meet the stated project need can be readily dismissed Purpose & Need Training Class

  19. Purpose & Need in Environmental Documents www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/tdmneed.asp • In many ways, P&N is the most important section of an environmental document • Establishes why the agency is proposing to spend public funds, while at the same time causing significant environmental impacts Purpose & Need Training Class

  20. Purpose & Need in Environmental Documents • A clear and well-justified P&N explains to the public and decision-makers why expenditure of funds is necessary and worthwhile • Priority being given to the action relative to other needed highway projects is warranted • Although significant environmental impacts may be expected, justify why impacts are acceptable Purpose & Need Training Class

  21. FHWA/FTAJoint Guidance on P&N www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/guidebook/Gjoint.asp • Lead agency has authority and responsibility to define 'purpose and need' for NEPA analysis • For Federal-Aid (FHWA Title 23 US Code funded) projects, lead agency is FHWA Purpose & Need Training Class

  22. Logical Termini • Rational end points for a transportation improvement and for review of environmental impacts Purpose & Need Training Class

  23. Logical Termini Development Guidance on Development of Logical Project Termini (11/5/1993) www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/tdmtermini.asp • In developing a project that can be advanced through planning, environmental, design, and construction, the project sponsor needs to consider a “whole” or integrated project • Should satisfy an identified need and consider the context of the local area’s socio-economics and topography, future travel demand, and other planned infrastructure improvements Purpose & Need Training Class

  24. Logical Termini Development • Proposed improvements may miss the mark by only peripherally satisfying the need or by causing unexpected side effects which require additional corrective action • “Segmentation" may occur where a transportation need extends throughout an entire corridor but environmental issues and needs are discussed for only a segment of the corridor Purpose & Need Training Class

  25. Logical Termini Development • Three general principles at 23 CFR 771.111(f): • Logical termini connection should be of sufficient length to address environmental matters on a broad scope • Independent utility or significance • Reasonable expenditure even if no additional transportation improvements in the area are made • Consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable transportation improvements is not restricted Purpose & Need Training Class

  26. Linking Planning & NEPA (2/22/2005) www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/plannepalegal050222.htm • A sound transportation planning process is the primary source of an undertaking’s P&N • P&N is where planning and NEPA intersect Purpose & Need Training Class

  27. Linking Planning & NEPA • The following information from planning studies can be used in the P&N: • Goals and objectives from the transportation planning process • Analysis results from management systems • Congestion • Pavement • Bridge • Safety Purpose & Need Training Class

  28. Linking Planning & NEPA • With proper documentation and public involvement, a P&N derived from the planning process can legitimately narrow the alternatives analyzed for NEPA Purpose & Need Training Class

  29. Linking Planning & NEPA • Alternatives eliminated during the planning process because they do not meet P&N, can be omitted from the detailed analysis of alternatives in the NEPA document • Explain the rationale for elimination of alternatives in the NEPA document Purpose & Need Training Class

  30. Linking Planning & NEPA • A statement of the transportation problem • Not solution-based • Based on articulated planning factors and developed through a certified planning process Purpose & Need Training Class

  31. Linking Planning & NEPA • Specific enough so range of alternatives developed offer solutions to the existing transportation problem • Not so specific as to "reverse engineer” a solution • May reflect other priorities and limitations in the area (i.e. environmental resources, growth, land use, and economic development) Purpose & Need Training Class

  32. Purpose & NeedandODOT’s PDP Purpose & Need Training Class

  33. ODOT’s PDP Purpose & Need Training Class

  34. ODOT’s PDP Five Project Paths Path 1 Path 5 Least Complex Most complex 34 Purpose & Need Training Class

  35. OES’s Role • ODOT-OES will advise and assist with: • Finalizing P&N for all projects during NEPA • Any questions you may have • P&N for CE Level 3 projects and above must be sent into OES for concurrence • OES submits Draft P&N for CE Level 4s and higher to FHWA for concurrence DO NOT WAIT - Involve OES Early Purpose & Need Training Class

  36. District’s Role • District’s Role • Research and prepare • May hire consultant to prepare • Locals and consultants must send P&N to district for review and approval • For local projects, districts can no longer prepare CE 2 documents or higher • Seek local stakeholder concurrence • Ensure consistent quality control Purpose & Need Training Class

  37. FHWA’s Role • FHWA provides concurrence that the P&N: • Defines existing transportation problem(s) and need(s) to the level independent utility can be established • Establishes logical termini and intermediate control points to address environmental matters • Is adequate to evaluate, eliminate or advance planning level conceptual alternatives • Does not restrict consideration of alternatives for other foreseeable transportation improvements Purpose & Need Training Class

  38. Purpose and Need • P&N refined throughout the Planning, Preliminary Engineering, and Environmental Engineering Phases • The planning and environmental stages • Considered draft until the environmental document is approved • FHWA Ohio Division has delegated authority to ODOT to review and approve P&Ns for CE Level 1-3 projects • Based on acceptance of the PDP • Based on implementation of the CE PA Purpose & Need Training Class

  39. Developing aPurpose & Need Purpose & Need Training Class

  40. Importance of P&N • The P&N is used to: • Communicate and coordinate effectively with stakeholders and the public • Evaluate alternatives • Justify impacts • Establish logical termini and independent utility • Manage controversy Purpose & Need Training Class

  41. Importance of P&N • A well-written P&N will: • Describe how the project was developed • Present a shared understanding of the transportation problemsand objectives • Assist in defining project scope • Guide the development and evaluation of alternatives • Avoid developing an ill-conceived project • Ensure decisions are legally defensible Purpose & Need Training Class

  42. Basic Format • Project History • Purpose Statement • Need Elements • Goals and Objectives - optional • Summary • Logical Termini/Independent Utility Purpose & Need Training Class

  43. Online CE Purpose & Need Training Class

  44. Online CE Purpose & Need Training Class

  45. Online CE Purpose & Need Training Class

  46. Project History Purpose & Need Training Class

  47. ProjectContext and Status • Background on existing facility • Actions taken to date • Funding status, schedule, etc. • Prior investigations/studies • Traffic • Safety • Planning Purpose & Need Training Class

  48. Planning and Development • Land Use/Visioning Documents • MPO • TIP/STIP • Local Comprehensive Plans • Community Mission Statements Purpose & Need Training Class

  49. Legislative Intent • Federal, State or Local government mandate • Consider legislative (federal/state) directives • Congressional Earmarks • Conference Report (if one exists) helpful in clarifying intent of earmark Purpose & Need Training Class