The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This workshop provides a retrospective of NEPA’s influence and examines recent presidential executive orders, streamlining initiatives, technology advances, and current studies. Participants will share potential research directions that may reshape the future of transportation and the environment and will offer greater insights on ways to preserve the nation’s transportation heritage.
The Need for a National Policy—15 minutes
The History of NEPA’s Evolution—15 minutes
TxDOT Experience with NEPA Assignment—15 minutes
Emerging Directions on the National Environmental Policy Scene—15 minutes
How NEPA is Applied in an Urban Context—15 minutes
The Importance of Environmental Justice to NEPA—15 minutes
Ecology Behind the Act—What it did and did not do - 15 minutes
Break into separate table discussions and develop Research Needs Statements (RNS) on topics of History, NEPA Changes, EJ, Ecology, and Urban Issues—60 minutes
Table Reports (2 RNS per table) and overall group discussion—30 minutes
The Need for a National Policy
Diane Nulton, HDRShow Abstract
This presentation looks at the two decades of discussion preceding creation of the act, the debate that ensued in Congress for 10 months before its passage and what Congress hoped to achieve with passage of the National Environmental Policy Act.
The History of NEPA’s Evolution
Rae Zimmerman, New York UniversityShow Abstract
The history of NEPA’s evolution and its state and local counterparts over the years for normal and non-normal situations is addressed along with changes in transportation infrastructure and the environment in which it operates to meet NEPA needs. NEPA has shaped transportation decisions for almost five decades in light of constantly evolving legal frameworks, social values, transportation usage, modes of travel, project scale, and demands for transportation system protection, adaptation, and resilience in the face of numerous extreme events and emergencies (intentional and unintentional).
TxDOT Experience with NEPA Assignment
Carlos Swonke, Texas Department of TransportationShow Abstract
Carlos Swonke will discuss Texas DOTs experience with NEPA and the decision to seek NEPA Assignment. Mr. Swonke will discuss the process TxDOT underwent to acquire NEPA assignment and the results TxDOT has witnessed since taking on the assignment.
Emerging Directions on the National Environmental Policy Scene
Nancy Skinner, WSPShow Abstract
Jack Allen, HNTB Corporation
This segment looks at the latest ideas and evolving dialogue on what our national policy should do and achieve.
How NEPA Is Applied in an Urban Context
Buddy Desai, JacobsShow Abstract
It is easy to see the type of environmental issues that ensue as the human growth moves into rural areas but how does our environmental focus shift within NEPA as cities both rebuild and expand their urban infrastructure.
The Importance of Environmental Justice to NEPA
Carolyn Nelson, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)Show Abstract
Environmental Justice came into existence a quarter of a century after NEPA was signed into law. The need for environmental equity reached the boiling point in the 1980's and early 1990's when undesirable facilities were commonly cited in minority and poor communities. President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898 in 1994. Environmental Justice added a new and much needed dimension to NEPA evaluations.
Ecology Behind the Act: What It Did and Did Not Do
Jenifer Young, VHB, Inc