The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines Categorical Exclusions (CE) as actions that based on past agency experience with similar actions, do not involve significant environmental impacts.
Actions that meet the criteria for CEs in 40 CFR 1508.4 and 23 CFR 771.117(a) and (b) and are listed in 23 CFR 771.177(c) generally do not require any further NEPA approvals by FHWA. Eligibility for a CE is documented using the CE Checklist.
Actions that are eligible for a CE, but are not specifically listed in 23 CFR 771.117(d) are processed as individual CEs. An Individual CE is prepared to document that no major environmental impacts are expected from the proposed action. FHWA must approve Individual CEs.
Both (c)-list and (d)-list categorical exclusions may be approved by ADOT if the project impacts do not exceed the threshold criteria listed in the FHWA-ADOT Programmatic Categorical Exclusion (PCE) Agreement.
These projects are exempt from the requirements to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Assessment (EA).
The following guidance documents will assist in preparing Environmental Documents:
The following template is available to be used for completing CEs: