The NEPA Section is responsible for the preparation of environmental documents required for The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for federal and state funded transportation projects in Tennessee.
This section compiles and collates information on various social, economic and environmental issues for each transportation project. This information includes a discussion of the purpose and need, social and economic structure of the affected community, land use, farmland, energy, conservation, floodplains, hazardous waste, visual concerns as well as the construction impacts.
This information, combined with the technical studies reports containing information about impacts to streams, wetlands and other ecological and water resources, historical and archeological resources, air quality and noise, is presented in the environmental documents. These documents can range from the most basic classification known as Categorical Exclusion for the projects through the more comprehensive Environmental Assessment, to the most complex Environmental Impact Statement. The NEPA Section coordinates project development with federal, state, local officials and the public. It also assumes leadership in implementing the Concurrence Points Process with Resource Agencies as outlined in the Tennessee Environmental Streamlining Agreement (TESA).
The Environmental Division coordinates with the Local Programs Development Office in the Program Development Division to ensure that appropriate environmental documentation is prepared and approved for locally managed projects. Guidance for developing documentation and the Template for the Programmatic Categorical Exclusion for all projects should be coordinated through the Environmental Division.