I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT and FHWA renew environmental review agreement

ADOT and FHWA renew environmental review agreement

December 20, 2023

Involves projects without significant environmental impacts

PHOENIX – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Arizona Department of Transportation have renewed an agreement through which ADOT assumes FHWA’s authority for environmental reviews and determinations for certain types of projects.

Final approval of this Memorandum of Understanding, which follows a public comment period that began in October, continues an agreement known as Responsibility for Categorical Exclusions. Congress established the program to help streamline environmental reviews for federal-aid highway projects. 

The agreement, established in 2018 and renewed in 2021, involves federal-aid projects found to have no significant environmental impacts. It allows ADOT to determine, as defined under the National Environmental Policy Act, whether a project is categorically excluded from preparation of a more extensive environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement based on anticipated environmental impacts. Arizona is among eight states, including California and Utah, that currently have this authority.  

States must still comply with all requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 (NEPA) and other federal environmental laws, regulations, executive orders and policies on all federal-aid highway projects their transportation departments administer.

Please visit azdot.gov/CE-Assignment to learn more about this agreement and review the final Memorandum of Understanding.