Environmental Consideration During Transportation Planning

Environmental Consideration During Transportation Planning...

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© 2003 by CRC Press LLC 67 Environmental Considerations During Transportation Planning 67.1 The Environmental Process 67.2 Fundamental Concepts and Legal Requirements Transportation Noise • Transportation and Air Quality • Water Quality as Related to Transportation • Energy Use • Ecological Impacts • Sociological Concerns • Aesthetics 67.3 Summation Environmental considerations are required during the planning of all transportation projects to help ensure that mobility does not occur at the price of damaging our environment. Accordingly, transpor- tation planners, land use planners, transportation engineers, and environmental specialists must consider environmental impacts when planning or designing a transportation project. It is important that these individuals understand why environmental planning is necessary, how the impact must be analyzed, and what must be done to mitigate environmental impacts. Evaluation of impacts requires a systematic, interdisciplinary approach due to the diversity of impacts that may occur. This chapter presents an overview of the environmental process with emphasis on the physical impacts, especially air quality and noise pollution. 67.1 The Environmental Process The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962 (FAHA62) required c ontinuing, c ooperative and c omprehensive effort during project development and is often referred to as the 3-C process. FAHA62 is significant in that a public involvement process was begun, which is now ingrained in transportation planning. The cornerstone of the present environmental legislation is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA was passed in 1969 and became effective in 1970. In a very short and succinct piece of legislation, NEPA declares a national policy that each generation is the trustees of our environment and is charged with the responsibility of minimizing anthropogenic impacts to the environment to preserve our resources for future generations. To accomplish this charge, Section 102 required a systematic, interdisciplinary approach to ensure an integrated approach of natural and social sciences to allow informed planning and decision-making. Detailed documentation was also required which led to the birth of the environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS evaluation required the analysis of: 1. Impacts 2. Unavoidable impacts Roger L. Wayson University of Central Florida
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3. Alternatives 4. Short term use vs. long term productivity 5. Irretrievable use of resources An EIS has to be prepared for any Federal project, policy or program implementation. The environmental assessment process is often called the NEPA process. Subsequent legislation, such as the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1970 (FAHA70) for highways, has implemented NEPA requirements for all major transportation projects participating in federal funding.
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Environmental Consideration During Transportation Planning...

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