The Federal Highway Administration (FHW A) has issued final guidance outlining the procedures that the agency will follow when approving the use of public parks, wildlife refuges and historic sites for federal highway projects. 77 Fed. Reg. 42,802 (7/20/12). The policy paper addresses implementation of section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, which prohibits federal transportation projects from using historic properties, parkland, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, or recreation areas unless there is no “feasible and prudent alternative” and all possible actions have been taken to minimize the impacts. In addition to clarifying how the agency determines feasible and prudent avoidance alternatives and least overall harm, the document provides guidance on provisions enacted in 2005 as amendments under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act, as well as FHW A regulations issued in 2008, including the de minimis impact finding.
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FHWA guidance on assessing highways affects historic sites, parks
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