At present, agencies do not use the programmatic evaluations referred to in Section 4(f) and rely on individual assessments to meet the requirements of Section 4(f) for proposed rail and transit projects using the features of Section 4(f). However, agencies have been given greater flexibility to develop programmatic approaches to expedite the entire environmental assessment process, in accordance with Section 1305 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The language of the “programmatic approaches” of POP-21 is codified in 23 U.S.C. 139(b)(3) and implemented by agencies in 23 CFR 771.105. As described in the final rule in which FRA 23 CFR part 771 was adopted, FRA also assessed whether it should support, in whole or in part, any of the FHWA
s programmatic evaluations. Based on this assessment, FRA found that the absorption of FHWA net benefit and historical evaluations of programmatic gateways for its programs was appropriate. See 83 FR 54480, 54484 (29 October 2018). Similarly, the FTA reconsidered the possibility of being part of the programmatic net utility and historical bridge evaluations after considering projects that followed the section 4(f) process and could have benefited from the use of programmatic evaluations. As a result, the agencies support these two programmatic evaluations at the federal level, with minor technical changes, described below. The technical changes are limited to replacing references to FHWA by agencies and definitions required for rail and transit projects. FRA and FTA will provide on their websites the full text of the programmatic evaluations in Section 4(f), as amended below. Any questions? For historical resources, please contact the Section 4(f) Specialist at (512) 416-2619.
For parks and recreation areas, please contact the Section 4(f) Specialist at (512) 416-2644. In the case of projects involving one or more public meetings or hearings, information on the proposed use of the immovable property shall be communicated to the public in accordance with point (f) of Section 4. 6. The Administration finds that the project records are consistent with those set out in the sections Applicability, Alternatives, Results, Mitigation and Measures to Reduce Damage, Coordination and Public Participation in this Programmatic Assessment. Additional programmatic evaluations may be approved by the FHWA for use on a national basis. Click here to compare the five programmatic evaluations. There are five national programmatic evaluations in Section 4(f) that can be used instead of individual assessments for certain types of motorway projects and certain uses. The main advantage of a programmatic evaluation is that it saves time.
Unlike an individual assessment, a programmatic assessment does not require a project, comment time or circulation, as its framework and core approach have already been disseminated and approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). The specific details of the project are then applied to the program to determine whether it can be used or not. Programmatic evaluations are generally approved much faster than individual evaluations. Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act (U.S. DOT ACT) protects public and accessible parks, recreational areas as well as wildlife and waterfowl reserves and historic sites, regardless of ownership and accessibility. . . .
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