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Course Description

NEPA and the Transportation Decisionmaking Process

PROGRAM AREA: Environment
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
3 Days
1.8 Units
$625 Per Participant
3 Days
1.8 Units
$725 Per Participant

TRAINING LEVEL: Intermediate

CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 20 Maximum: 30


This comprehensive, three-day, instructor-led course presents the historical background and evolution of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related environmental laws. It discusses their influence on FHWA's policies and procedures for the transportation project development and decisionmaking process. The course examines how the framework of laws, regulations, policies, and guidance integrate social, environmental, and economic factors in making transportation project decisions that are in the best overall public interest.

The course emphasizes the Council on Environmental Quality and FHWA's regulations; FHWA policy and guidance for implementing NEPA, Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, and related environmental requirements. It discusses the NEPA Essential Elements in detail, including purpose and need, alternatives, impacts, mitigation, public involvement, interagency coordination and documentation. The course presents the requirements and considerations used to decide whether to prepare an environmental impact statement, an environmental assessment or determination that a project is categorically excluded from either. While this is not a course in environmental document writing, it presents the key principles for preparing high quality environmental documents, including the core principles from the FHWA/AASHTO/American Council of Engineering Companies Improving the Quality of Environmental Documents and the FHWA IQED initiative. The course also includes group exercises that allow participants to apply the course concepts to a realistic project scenario involving several transportation, social and environmental considerations.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the NEPA principles in relation to transportation project development.
  • Describe how the NEPA umbrella concept influences the transportation decisionmaking process.
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of participants in the NEPA process.
  • Describe the imporatnce of a reasoned, collaborative process when developing and evaluating alternatives.
  • Discuss balancing an array of interests and values in making transportation decisions.
  • List the milestones in transportation planning that link to the NEPA project development process.
  • Describe the documentation requirements of the NEPA process.
  • Discuss environmental streamlining, stewardship, and leadership in managing the NEPA process.


The target audience for this course includes FHWA, State departments of transportation (including consultants acting on behalf of the State), Federal and State environmental resource agencies, local governments, and metropolitan planning organizations who participate in the transportation decisionmaking process. We strongly encourage the sponsoring organization to invite a mix of planning and environmental staff from these agencies.

If you have questions about this NHI training, please contact NHI at or 877.558.6873.


Start Date: 12/08/2015
End Date: 12/10/2015
Local Coordinator: Allison Landry (225) 767-9134
No Public Seats Available
Please contact the Local Coordinator to enroll in this session.
0 FHWA Seats

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Host this Course

The National Highway Institute (NHI) has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, NHI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, NHI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.


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