I-17 101 traffic interchange

Public invited to comment on renewing ADOT-FHWA environmental review agreement

Public invited to comment on renewing ADOT-FHWA environmental review agreement

September 28, 2023

Input welcome through Oct. 30 on draft Memorandum of Understanding

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

A draft Memorandum of Understanding that would continue this agreement, known as Categorical Exclusion assignment, has been posted to the Federal Register and is available for comment until Oct. 30.

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 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.  

Congress established the program to help streamline environmental reviews for federal-aid highway projects. 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.

You can learn more about Categorical Exclusion assignment, review the draft Memorandum of Understanding, and find out how to submit comments to FHWA at azdot.gov/CE-Assignment.