Streamlining environmental stewardship using the Red Book

Posted in: Bridges, Environmental, Highways

redbook_bodyDo you ever wish there was a handbook that showed you how to efficiently navigate agency coordination while developing an environmental document? You’re in luck, because the Federal Highway Administration’s 2015 Red Book is a “how to” guide for streamlining and synchronizing National Environmental Policy Act and other regulatory reviews.

First developed in 1988, the Red Book provides insight into the review process for a variety of environmental documents like environmental assessments and environmental impact statements. It breaks down the concurrent review procedure into easy to understand components, affording agencies the opportunity to replicate the procedure or portions of the procedure more widely and without having to execute a formal agreement. The Red Book explores these and other procedures including topics and scenarios where challenges may occur.

The Red Book includes a flow chart of the process with major milestones that might be present during a synchronized review for an EIS.

For NEPA practitioners, having transportation agencies and other participating and cooperating agencies provide concurrent document review can improve the environmental review process’ efficiency. The foundational aspect of synchronized review, though, is having these agencies actively communicate with one another during the review process. With concurrent reviews, the agencies can detect potential issues simultaneously and discuss as a group ways to identify solutions.

With the Red Book as your handbook, your technical environmental review process can be streamlined with the assistance of charts, timelines, case studies and a list of additional resources.

Has the Red Book saved you time on previous technical environmental reviews or environmental document reviews? Let us know your experience with streamlining and synchronizing NEPA and other regulatory reviews in the comments.

Lou Raymond

About the Author

Lou Raymond, P.E., AICP, is a transportation engineer and environmental planner with over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. He is familiar with interagency reviews and agency coordination processes for transportation projects across the Southeast, having been involved in over 20 environmental planning projects over the course of his career.

Read more posts by Lou Raymond

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