What is Linking Planning and NEPA?
Linking planning and NEPA involves including environmental considerations in transportation planning and carrying decisions and products made during the planning process into the NEPA process.
This linkage can lead to a seamless decision-making process that minimizes duplication of effort, promotes environmental stewardship, and reduces delays in project implementation by promoting early coordination of planning and environmental staff. Linking planning and NEPA also can avoid some of the problems associated with traditional approaches to environmental analysis in the project planning stage.
This website provides resources and best practices for project sponsors in the SCAG region who are seeking to better link planning and NEPA in major transportation corridor studies and area plans.
Best practices highlighted below come from a variety of sources, including the FHWA Environmental Review Toolkit, FHWA sponsored peer exchange workshop,2 and an April 2010 SCAG workshop on the update of SCAG’s procedures for Regionally Significant Transportation Investment Studies to better link planning and NEPA. Additional resources are listed at the end of this section.