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Search for courses based on delivery type, program area, or topic below, or find upcoming trainings in your state or territory. For more information on trainings from the National Highway Institute, contact us.

Course Description

Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) (VIRTUAL DELIVERY)

PROGRAM AREA: Environment
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
12 Hours
1.2 Units
$450 Per Participant

TRAINING LEVEL: Intermediate

CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 15 Maximum: 20


Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) is a 2-day instructor-led training course offered by NHI, the authoritative source in transportation training.

Integrating PEL into the transportation planning and environment review processes promotes more informed decision-making and accelerated project delivery. Furthermore, several policies and authorities encourage the implementation of PEL.

The course emphasizes the following benefits of PEL: accelerate project delivery, development of purpose and need early in the planning process, elimination of unreasonable alternatives during the planning process, early and improved coordination with resource agencies and stakeholders, improved program and informed project decisions, less duplication and improve documentation, promotion of efficient and cost-effective solutions, earlier consideration of potential environmental effects, and enhanced consultation, coordination, and public involvement.

As a participant, you will learn and discuss why PEL has been a successful practice, the benefits of PEL, the points of interface between planning and environmental review processes, PEL approaches using authorities associated with planning and environmental review, informing, using, or adopting planning information in the environmental review process, general considerations for using any PEL approach, the processes for developing purpose and need during planning that can be used in NEPA, the process for screening and eliminating unreasonable alternatives during planning, the role of Consultation, Coordination, and Public Involvement in PEL, documentation in a PEL approach, and action strategies to advance PEL in your State or region.


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

  • Identify why PEL has been a successful practice for transportation practitioners.
  • Describe how planning and environment review processes interface.
  • Summarize how specific authorities and their requirements influence how States and MPOs approach PEL.
  • Identify different approaches for PEL, their related flexibilities and how to transition this information into NEPA.
  • Summarize how applying PEL in planning supports development of purpose and need for the environmental review process.
  • Summarize how to use PEL in screening and eliminating unreasonable alternatives during planning.
  • Describe how public involvement supports PEL.
  • Summarize how documentation is essential to a PEL approach.
  • Identify strategies to implement PEL and accelerate project delivery.


The target audience includes transportation practitioners employed at State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs), Resource Agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and local public agencies, as well as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and regulatory agencies with a role in NEPA permitting, approving, or mitigating potential impacts from transportation projects. Typical course participants have a college degree and work as an analyst, planner, project development specialist, environmental specialist, public involvement specialist, civil rights specialist, consultant, or any other position requiring knowledge of PEL.

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


To prepare for this course transportation planners are encouraged to complete FHWA-NHI-142052 Introduction to NEPA and Transportation Decisionmaking, and environmental specialists are encouraged to complete FHWA-NHI-151052 Basics of Transportation Planning.


There are no sessions available. Sign up for session alerts to receive email alerts when sessions of this course are scheduled.

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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