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Transportation agencies streamline environmental regs

By , - Last modified: February 8, 2013 at 9:49 AM

The Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration have published proposed regulation changes that are designed to streamline environmental paperwork and reviews for transportation projects seeking federal money.

The changes to the National Environmental Policy Act regulations are aimed at projects where the environmental impact is minimal, according to the Feb. 7 posting in the Federal Register.

That could reduce the time and cost of projects for governments and agencies, as well as companies contracted to do work on transportation projects.

Examples of such project components would be installation of discrete utilities such as poles and underground wiring, construction of bike and pedestrian pathways, planning activities not directly related to construction, and land acquisitions not in or adjacent to environmentally sensitive areas.

The regulation changes are also related to Executive Order 13563, which President Barack Obama signed in January 2011 to direct federal agencies to review regulations for improved processes.

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