Friday, December 4

Signed Legislation: Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (Part VII)

Read part I of  Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015


SEC. 1117. EMERGENCY RELIEF.

    (a) Eligibility- Section 125(d)(3) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in subparagraph (A) by striking `or' at the end;
      (2) in subparagraph (B) by striking the period at the end and inserting `; or'; and
      (3) by adding at the end the following:
      `(C) projects eligible for assistance under this section located on Federal lands transportation facilities or other federally owned roads that are open to public travel (as defined in subsection (e)).'.
    (b) Definitions- Section 125(e) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

Follow the 1461

Share this post on your social media!

      `(1) DEFINITIONS- In this subsection, the following definitions apply:
      `(A) OPEN TO PUBLIC TRAVEL- The term `open to public travel' means, with respect to a road, that, except during scheduled periods, extreme weather conditions, or emergencies, the road--
      `(i) is maintained;
      `(ii) is open to the general public; and
      `(iii) can accommodate travel by a standard passenger vehicle, without restrictive gates or prohibitive signs or regulations, other than for general traffic control or restrictions based on size, weight, or class of registration.
      `(B) STANDARD PASSENGER VEHICLE- The term `standard passenger vehicle' means a vehicle with 6 inches of clearance from the lowest point of the frame, body, suspension, or differential to the ground.'.

SEC. 1118. HIGHWAY USE TAX EVASION PROJECTS.

    Section 143(b) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) by striking paragraph (2)(A) and inserting the following:
      `(A) IN GENERAL- From administrative funds made available under section 104(a), the Secretary may deduct such sums as are necessary, not to exceed $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2021, to carry out this section.';
      (2) in the heading for paragraph (8) by inserting `BLOCK GRANT' after `SURFACE TRANSPORTATION'; and
      (3) in paragraph (9) by inserting `, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate' after `the Secretary'.

SEC. 1119. BUNDLING OF BRIDGE PROJECTS.

    Section 144 of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in subsection (c)(2)(A) by striking `the natural condition of the bridge' and inserting `the natural condition of the water';
      (2) by redesignating subsection (j) as subsection (k);
      (3) by inserting after subsection (i) the following:
    `(j) Bundling of Bridge Projects-
      `(1) PURPOSE- The purpose of this subsection is to save costs and time by encouraging States to bundle multiple bridge projects as 1 project.
      `(2) ELIGIBLE ENTITY DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `eligible entity' means an entity eligible to carry out a bridge project under section 119 or 133.
      `(3) BUNDLING OF BRIDGE PROJECTS- An eligible entity may bundle 2 or more similar bridge projects that are--
      `(A) eligible projects under section 119 or 133;
      `(B) included as a bundled project in a transportation improvement program under section 134(j) or a statewide transportation improvement program under section 135, as applicable; and
      `(C) awarded to a single contractor or consultant pursuant to a contract for engineering and design or construction between the contractor and an eligible entity.
      `(4) ITEMIZATION- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including regulations), a bundling of bridge projects under this subsection may be listed as--
      `(A) 1 project for purposes of sections 134 and 135; and
      `(B) a single project within the applicable bundle.
      `(5) FINANCIAL CHARACTERISTICS- Projects bundled under this subsection shall have the same financial characteristics, including--
      `(A) the same funding category or subcategory; and
      `(B) the same Federal share.
      `(6) ENGINEERING COST REIMBURSEMENT- The provisions of section 102(b) do not apply to projects carried out under this subsection.'; and
      (4) in subsection (k)(2), as redesignated by paragraph (2) of this section, by striking `104(b)(3)' and inserting `104(b)(2)'.

SEC. 1120. TRIBAL HIGH PRIORITY PROJECTS PROGRAM.

    Section 1123(h)(1) of MAP-21 (23 U.S.C. 202 note) is amended by striking `fiscal years' and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting `fiscal years 2016 through 2021.'.

SEC. 1121. CONSTRUCTION OF FERRY BOATS AND FERRY TERMINAL FACILITIES.

    Section 147(e) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by striking `2013 and 2014' and inserting `2016 through 2021'.

Subtitle B--Planning and Performance Management

SEC. 1201. METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING.

    Section 134 of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in subsection (c)(2), by striking `and bicycle transportation facilities' and inserting `, bicycle transportation facilities, and intermodal facilities that support intercity transportation, including intercity buses and intercity bus facilities';
      (2) in subsection (d)--
      (A) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (6) as paragraphs (4) through (7), respectively;
      (B) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
      `(3) REPRESENTATION-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- Designation or selection of officials or representatives under paragraph (2) shall be determined by the metropolitan planning organization according to the bylaws or enabling statute of the organization.
      `(B) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION REPRESENTATIVE- Subject to the bylaws or enabling statute of the metropolitan planning organization, a representative of a provider of public transportation may also serve as a representative of a local municipality.
      `(C) POWERS OF CERTAIN OFFICIALS- An official described in paragraph (2)(B) shall have responsibilities, actions, duties, voting rights, and any other authority commensurate with other officials described in paragraph (2).'; and
      (C) in paragraph (5) as so redesignated by striking `paragraph (5)' and inserting `paragraph (6)';
      (3) in subsection (e)(4)(B), by striking `subsection (d)(5)' and inserting `subsection (d)(6)';
      (4) in subsection (g)(3)(A), by inserting `tourism, natural disaster risk reduction,' after `economic development,';
      (5) in subsection (h)--
      (A) in paragraph (1)--
      (i) in subparagraph (G), by striking `and' at the end;
      (ii) in subparagraph (H) by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
      (iii) by adding at the end the following:
      `(I) improve the reliance and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation; and
      `(J) enhance travel and tourism.'; and
      (B) in paragraph (2)(A) by striking `and in section 5301(c) of title 49' and inserting `and the general purposes described in section 5301 of title 49';
      (6) in subsection (i)--
      (A) in paragraph (2)(A)(i) by striking `transit,' and inserting `public transportation facilities, intercity bus facilities,';
      (B) in paragraph (6)(A)--
      (i) by inserting `public ports,' before `freight shippers,'; and
      (ii) by inserting `(including intercity bus operators, employer-based commuting programs, such as a carpool program, vanpool program, transit benefit program, parking cash-out program, shuttle program, or telework program)' after `private providers of transportation'; and
      (C) in paragraph (8) by striking `paragraph (2)(C)' and inserting `paragraph (2)(E)' each place it appears;
      (7) in subsection (k)(3)--
      (A) in subparagraph (A) by inserting `(including intercity bus operators, employer-based commuting programs such as a carpool program, vanpool program, transit benefit program, parking cash-out program, shuttle program, or telework program), job access projects,' after `reduction'; and
      (B) by adding at the end the following:
      `(C) CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PLAN- A metropolitan planning organization with a transportation management area may develop a plan that includes projects and strategies that will be considered in the TIP of such metropolitan planning organization. Such plan shall--
      `(i) develop regional goals to reduce vehicle miles traveled during peak commuting hours and improve transportation connections between areas with high job concentration and areas with high concentrations of low-income households;
      `(ii) identify existing public transportation services, employer-based commuter programs, and other existing transportation services that support access to jobs in the region; and
      `(iii) identify proposed projects and programs to reduce congestion and increase job access opportunities.
      `(D) PARTICIPATION- In developing the plan under subparagraph (C), a metropolitan planning organization shall consult with employers, private and nonprofit providers of public transportation, transportation management organizations, and organizations that provide job access reverse commute projects or job-related services to low-income individuals.';
      (8) in subsection (l)--
      (A) by adding a period at the end of paragraph (1); and
      (B) in paragraph (2)(D) by striking `of less than 200,000' and inserting `with a population of 200,000 or less';
      (9) in subsection (n)(1) by inserting `49' after `chapter 53 of title'; and
      (10) in subsection (p) by striking `Funds set aside under section 104(f)' and inserting `Funds apportioned under section 104(b)(5)'.

SEC. 1202. STATEWIDE AND NONMETROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING.

    Section 135 of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in subsection (a)(2) by striking `and bicycle transportation facilities' and inserting, `, bicycle transportation facilities, and intermodal facilities that support intercity transportation, including intercity buses and intercity bus facilities';
      (2) in subsection (d)--
      (A) in paragraph (1)--
      (i) in subparagraph (G) by striking `and' at the end;
      (ii) in subparagraph (H) by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
      (iii) by adding at the end the following:
      `(I) improve the reliance and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation; and
      `(J) enhance travel and tourism.'; and
      (B) in paragraph (2)--
      (i) in subparagraph (A) by striking `and in section 5301(c) of title 49' and inserting `and the general purposes described in section 5301 of title 49';
      (ii) in subparagraph (B)(ii) by striking `urbanized'; and
      (iii) in subparagraph (C) by striking `urbanized'; and
      (3) in subsection (f)--
      (A) in paragraph (3)(A)(ii)--
      (i) by inserting `public ports,' before `freight shippers,'; and
      (ii) by inserting `(including intercity bus operators, employer-based commuting programs, such as a carpool program, vanpool program, transit benefit program, parking cash-out program, shuttle program, or telework program)' after `private providers of transportation'; and
      (B) in paragraph (7), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking `should' and inserting `shall'.

Subtitle C--Acceleration of Project Delivery

SEC. 1301. SATISFACTION OF REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN HISTORIC SITES.

    (a) Highways- Section 138 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(c) Satisfaction of Requirements for Certain Historic Sites-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall--
      `(A) align, to the maximum extent practicable, with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and section 306108 of title 54, including implementing regulations; and
      `(B) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, coordinate with the Secretary of the Interior and the Executive Director of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (referred to in this subsection as the `Council') to establish procedures to satisfy the requirements described in subparagraph (A) (including regulations).
      `(2) AVOIDANCE ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- If, in an analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.), the Secretary determines that there is no feasible or prudent alternative to avoid use of a historic site, the Secretary may--
      `(i) include the determination of the Secretary in the analysis required under that Act;
      `(ii) provide a notice of the determination to--
      `(I) each applicable State historic preservation officer and tribal historic preservation officer;
      `(II) the Council, if the Council is participating in the consultation process under section 306108 of title 54; and
      `(III) the Secretary of the Interior; and
      `(iii) request from the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior a concurrence that the determination is sufficient to satisfy the requirement of subsection (a)(1).
      `(B) CONCURRENCE- If the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior each provide a concurrence requested under subparagraph (A)(iii), no further analysis under subsection (a)(1) shall be required.
      `(C) PUBLICATION- A notice of a determination, together with each relevant concurrence to that determination, under subparagraph (A) shall be--
      `(i) included in the record of decision or finding of no significant impact of the Secretary; and
      `(ii) posted on an appropriate Federal Web site by not later than 3 days after the date of receipt by the Secretary of all concurrences requested under subparagraph (A)(iii).
      `(3) ALIGNING HISTORICAL REVIEWS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- If the Secretary, the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior concur that no feasible and prudent alternative exists as described in paragraph (2), the Secretary may provide to the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior notice of the intent of the Secretary to satisfy the requirements of subsection (a)(2) through the consultation requirements of section 306108 of title 54.
      `(B) SATISFACTION OF CONDITIONS- To satisfy the requirements of subsection (a)(2), each individual described in paragraph (2)(A)(ii) shall concur in the treatment of the applicable historic site described in the memorandum of agreement or programmatic agreement developed under section 306108 of title 54.'.
    (b) Public Transportation- Section 303 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(e) Satisfaction of Requirements for Certain Historic Sites-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall--
      `(A) align, to the maximum extent practicable, the requirements of this section with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and section 306108 of title 54, including implementing regulations; and
      `(B) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, coordinate with the Secretary of the Interior and the Executive Director of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (referred to in this subsection as the `Council') to establish procedures to satisfy the requirements described in subparagraph (A) (including regulations).
      `(2) AVOIDANCE ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- If, in an analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.), the Secretary determines that there is no feasible or prudent alternative to avoid use of a historic site, the Secretary may--
      `(i) include the determination of the Secretary in the analysis required under that Act;
      `(ii) provide a notice of the determination to--
      `(I) each applicable State historic preservation officer and tribal historic preservation officer;
      `(II) the Council, if the Council is participating in the consultation process under section 306108 of title 54; and
      `(III) the Secretary of the Interior; and
      `(iii) request from the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior a concurrence that the determination is sufficient to satisfy the requirement of subsection (c)(1).
      `(B) CONCURRENCE- If the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior each provide a concurrence requested under subparagraph (A)(iii), no further analysis under subsection (a)(1) shall be required.
      `(C) PUBLICATION- A notice of a determination, together with each relevant concurrence to that determination, under subparagraph (A) shall be--
      `(i) included in the record of decision or finding of no significant impact of the Secretary; and
      `(ii) posted on an appropriate Federal Web site by not later than 3 days after the date of receipt by the Secretary of all concurrences requested under subparagraph (A)(iii).
      `(3) ALIGNING HISTORICAL REVIEWS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- If the Secretary, the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior concur that no feasible and prudent alternative exists as described in paragraph (2), the Secretary may provide to the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior notice of the intent of the Secretary to satisfy the requirements of subsection (c)(2) through the consultation requirements of section 306108 of title 54.
      `(B) SATISFACTION OF CONDITIONS- To satisfy the requirements of subsection (c)(2), the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior shall concur in the treatment of the applicable historic site described in the memorandum of agreement or programmatic agreement developed under section 306108 of title 54.'.

SEC. 1302. TREATMENT OF IMPROVEMENTS TO RAIL AND TRANSIT UNDER PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Title 23 Amendment- Section 138 of title 23, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(d) Rail and Transit-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Improvements to, or the maintenance, rehabilitation, or operation of, railroad or rail transit lines or elements thereof that are in use or were historically used for the transportation of goods or passengers shall not be considered a use of a historic site under subsection (a), regardless of whether the railroad or rail transit line or element thereof is listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places.
      `(2) EXCEPTIONS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- Paragraph (1) shall not apply to--
      `(i) stations; or
      `(ii) bridges or tunnels located on--
      `(I) railroad lines that have been abandoned; or
      `(II) transit lines that are not in use.
      `(B) CLARIFICATION WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN BRIDGES AND TUNNELS- The bridges and tunnels referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii) do not include bridges or tunnels located on railroad or transit lines--
      `(i) over which service has been discontinued; or
      `(ii) that have been railbanked or otherwise reserved for the transportation of goods or passengers.'.
    (b) Title 49 Amendment- Section 303 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended--
      (1) in subsection (c), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking `subsection (d)' and inserting `subsections (d), (e), and (f)'; and
      (2) by adding at the end the following:
    `(f) Rail and Transit-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Improvements to, or the maintenance, rehabilitation, or operation of, railroad or rail transit lines or elements thereof that are in use or were historically used for the transportation of goods or passengers shall not be considered a use of a historic site under subsection (c), regardless of whether the railroad or rail transit line or element thereof is listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places.
      `(2) EXCEPTIONS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- Paragraph (1) shall not apply to--
      `(i) stations; or
      `(ii) bridges or tunnels located on--
      `(I) railroad lines that have been abandoned; or
      `(II) transit lines that are not in use.
      `(B) CLARIFICATION WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN BRIDGES AND TUNNELS- The bridges and tunnels referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii) do not include bridges or tunnels located on railroad or transit lines--
      `(i) over which service has been discontinued; or
      `(ii) that have been railbanked or otherwise reserved for the transportation of goods or passengers.'.

SEC. 1303. CLARIFICATION OF TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORITIES.

    (a) Title 23 Amendment- Section 138 of title 23, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(e) References to Past Transportation Environmental Authorities-
      `(1) SECTION 4(F) REQUIREMENTS- The requirements of this section are commonly referred to as section 4(f) requirements (see section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act (Public Law 89-670; 80 Stat. 934) as in effect before the repeal of that section).
      `(2) SECTION 106 REQUIREMENTS- The requirements of section 306108 of title 54 are commonly referred to as section 106 requirements (see section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-665; 80 Stat. 915) as in effect before the repeal of that section).'.
    (b) Title 49 Amendment- Section 303 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(g) References to Past Transportation Environmental Authorities-
      `(1) SECTION 4(F) REQUIREMENTS- The requirements of this section are commonly referred to as section 4(f) requirements (see section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act (Public Law 89-670; 80 Stat. 934) as in effect before the repeal of that section).
      `(2) SECTION 106 REQUIREMENTS- The requirements of section 306108 of title 54 are commonly referred to as section 106 requirements (see section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-665; 80 Stat. 915) as in effect before the repeal of that section).'.

SEC. 1304. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN BRIDGES UNDER PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Title 23 Amendment- Section 138 of title 23, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(f) Bridge Exemption- A common post-1945 concrete or steel bridge or culvert that is exempt from individual review under section 306108 of title 54 (as described in 77 Fed. Reg. 68790) shall be treated under this section as having a de minimis impact on an area.'.
    (b) Title 49 Amendment- Section 303 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(h) Bridge Exemption- A common post-1945 concrete or steel bridge or culvert that is exempt from individual review under section 306108 of title 54 (as described in 77 Fed. Reg. 68790) shall be treated under this section as having a de minimis impact on an area.'.

SEC. 1305. EFFICIENT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS FOR PROJECT DECISIONMAKING.

    (a) Definitions- Section 139(a) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) by striking paragraph (5) and inserting the following:
      `(5) MULTIMODAL PROJECT- The term `multimodal project' means a project that requires the approval of more than 1 Department of Transportation operating administration or secretarial office.';
      (2) by adding at the end the following:
      `(9) SUBSTANTIAL DEFERENCE- The term `substantial deference' means deference by a participating agency to the recommendations and decisions of the lead agency unless it is not possible to defer without violating the participating agency's statutory responsibilities.'.
    (b) Applicability- Section 139(b)(3) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in subparagraph (A) in the matter preceding clause (i) by striking `initiate a rulemaking to'; and
      (2) by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:
      `(B) REQUIREMENTS- In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall ensure that programmatic reviews--
      `(i) promote transparency, including the transparency of--
      `(I) the analyses and data used in the environmental reviews;
      `(II) the treatment of any deferred issues raised by agencies or the public; and
      `(III) the temporal and spatial scales to be used to analyze issues under subclauses (I) and (II);
      `(ii) use accurate and timely information, including through establishment of--
      `(I) criteria for determining the general duration of the usefulness of the review; and
      `(II) a timeline for updating an out-of-date review;
      `(iii) describe--
      `(I) the relationship between any programmatic analysis and future tiered analysis; and
      `(II) the role of the public in the creation of future tiered analysis;
      `(iv) are available to other relevant Federal and State agencies, Indian tribes, and the public; and
      `(v) provide notice and public comment opportunities consistent with applicable requirements.'.
    (c) Federal Lead Agency- Section 139(c)(1)(A) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by inserting `, or an operating administration thereof designated by the Secretary,' after `Department of Transportation'.
    (d) Participating Agencies-
      (1) INVITATION- Section 139(d)(2) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by striking `The lead agency shall identify, as early as practicable in the environmental review process for a project,' and inserting `Not later than 45 days after the date of publication of a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement or the initiation of an environmental assessment, the lead agency shall identify'.
      (2) SINGLE NEPA DOCUMENT- Section 139(d) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
      `(8) SINGLE NEPA DOCUMENT-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- Except as inconsistent with paragraph (7), to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with Federal law, all Federal permits and reviews for a project shall rely on a single environment document prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) under the leadership of the lead agency.
      `(B) USE OF DOCUMENT-
      `(i) IN GENERAL- To the maximum extent practicable, the lead agency shall develop an environmental document sufficient to satisfy the requirements for any Federal approval or other Federal action required for the project, including permits issued by other Federal agencies.
      `(ii) COOPERATION OF PARTICIPATING AGENCIES- Other participating agencies shall cooperate with the lead agency and provide timely information to help the lead agency carry out this subparagraph.
      `(C) TREATMENT AS PARTICIPATING AND COOPERATING AGENCIES- A Federal agency required to make an approval or take an action for a project, as described in subparagraph (B), shall work with the lead agency for the project to ensure that the agency making the approval or taking the action is treated as being both a participating and cooperating agency for the project.'.
    (e) Project Initiation- Section 139(e) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
      `(3) ENVIRONMENTAL CHECKLIST-
      `(A) DEVELOPMENT- The lead agency for a project, in consultation with participating agencies, shall develop, as appropriate, a checklist to help project sponsors identify potential natural, cultural, and historic resources in the area of the project.
      `(B) PURPOSE- The purposes of the checklist are--
      `(i) to identify agencies and organizations that can provide information about natural, cultural, and historic resources;
      `(ii) to develop the information needed to determine the range of alternatives; and
      `(iii) to improve interagency collaboration to help expedite the permitting process for the lead agency and participating agencies.'.
    (f) Purpose and Need- Section 139(f) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in the subsection heading by inserting `; Alternatives Analysis' after `Need';
      (2) in paragraph (4)--
      (A) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:
      `(A) PARTICIPATION-
      `(i) IN GENERAL- As early as practicable during the environmental review process, the lead agency shall seek the involvement of participating agencies and the public for the purpose of reaching agreement early in the environmental review process on a reasonable range of alternatives that will satisfy all subsequent Federal environmental review and permit requirements.
      `(ii) COMMENTS OF PARTICIPATING AGENCIES- To the maximum extent practicable and consistent with applicable law, each participating agency receiving an opportunity for involvement under clause (i) shall--
      `(I) limit the agency's comments to subject matter areas within the agency's special expertise or jurisdiction; and
      `(II) afford substantial deference to the range of alternatives recommended by the lead agency.
      `(iii) EFFECT OF NONPARTICIPATION- A participating agency that declines to participate in the development of the purpose and need and reasonable range of alternatives for a project shall be required to comply with the schedule developed under subsection (g)(1)(B).'; and
      (B) in subparagraph (B)--
      (i) by striking `Following participation under paragraph (1)' and inserting the following:
      `(i) DETERMINATION- Following participation under subparagraph (A)'; and
      (ii) by adding at the end the following:
      `(ii) USE- To the maximum extent practicable and consistent with Federal law, the range of alternatives determined for a project under clause (i) shall be used for all Federal environmental reviews and permit processes required for the project unless the alternatives must be modified--
      `(I) to address significant new information or circumstances, and the lead agency and participating agencies agree that the alternatives must be modified to address the new information or circumstances; or
      `(II) for the lead agency or a participating agency to fulfill its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) in a timely manner.'.
    (g) Coordination and Scheduling-
      (1) COORDINATION PLAN- Section 139(g)(1) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (A) in subparagraph (A) by striking `The lead agency' and inserting `Not later than 90 days after the date of publication of a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement or the initiation of an environmental assessment, the lead agency'; and
      (B) in subparagraph (B)(i) by striking `may establish' and inserting `shall establish'.
      (2) DEADLINES FOR DECISIONS UNDER OTHER LAWS- Section 139(g)(3) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
      `(3) DEADLINES FOR DECISIONS UNDER OTHER LAWS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- In any case in which a decision under any Federal law relating to a project (including the issuance or denial of a permit or license) is required by law, regulation, or Executive order to be made after the date on which the lead agency has issued a categorical exclusion, finding of no significant impact, or record of decision with respect to the project, any such later decision shall be made or completed by the later of--
      `(i) the date that is 180 days after the lead agency's final decision has been made; or
      `(ii) the date that is 180 days after the date on which a completed application was submitted for the permit or license.
      `(B) TREATMENT OF DELAYS- Following the deadline established by subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and publish on the Department's Internet Web site--
      `(i) as soon as practicable after the 180-day period, an initial notice of the failure of the Federal agency to make the decision; and
      `(ii) every 60 days thereafter, until such date as all decisions of the Federal agency relating to the project have been made by the Federal agency, an additional notice that describes the number of decisions of the Federal agency that remain outstanding as of the date of the additional notice.'.
      (3) ADOPTION OF DOCUMENTS; ACCELERATED DECISIONMAKING IN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS-
      (A) IN GENERAL- Section 139(g) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (i) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
      (ii) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:
      `(4) ACCELERATED DECISIONMAKING IN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS-
      `(A) IN GENERAL- In preparing a final environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), if the lead agency modifies the statement in response to comments that are minor and are confined to factual corrections or explanations of why the comments do not warrant additional agency response, the lead agency may write on errata sheets attached to the statement instead of rewriting the draft statement, subject to the condition that the errata sheets--
      `(i) cite the sources, authorities, and reasons that support the position of the agency; and
      `(ii) if appropriate, indicate the circumstances that would trigger agency reappraisal or further response.
      `(B) SINGLE DOCUMENT- To the maximum extent practicable, the lead agency shall expeditiously develop a single document that consists of a final environmental impact statement and a record of decision, unless--
      `(i) the final environmental impact statement makes substantial changes to the proposed action that are relevant to environmental or safety concerns; or
      `(ii) there is a significant new circumstance or information relevant to environmental concerns that bears on the proposed action or the impacts of the proposed action.'.
      (B) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 1319 of MAP-21 (42 U.S.C. 4332a), and the item relating to that section in the table of contents contained in section 1(c) of that Act, are repealed.
    (h) Issue Identification and Resolution-
      (1) ISSUE RESOLUTION- Section 139(h) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (A) by redesignating paragraphs (4) through (7) as paragraphs (5) through (8), respectively; and
      (B) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:
      `(4) ISSUE RESOLUTION- Any issue resolved by the lead agency and participating agencies may not be reconsidered unless significant new information or circumstances arise.'.
      (2) FAILURE TO ASSURE- Section 139(h)(5)(C) of title 23, United States Code, (as redesignated by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection) is amended by striking `paragraph (5) and' and inserting `paragraph (6)'.
      (3) ACCELERATED ISSUE RESOLUTION AND REFERRAL- Section 139(h)(6) of title 23, United States Code, (as redesignated by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection) is amended by striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following:
      `(C) REFERRAL TO COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY-
      `(i) IN GENERAL- If issue resolution for a project is not achieved on or before the 30th day after the date of a meeting under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Council on Environmental Quality.
      `(ii) MEETING- Not later than 30 days after the date of receipt of a referral from the Secretary under clause (i), the Council on Environmental Quality shall hold an issue resolution meeting with--
      `(I) the head of the lead agency;
      `(II) the heads of relevant participating agencies; and
      `(III) the project sponsor (including the Governor only if the initial issue resolution meeting request came from the Governor).
      `(iii) RESOLUTION- The Council on Environmental Quality shall work with the lead agency, relevant participating agencies, and the project sponsor until all issues are resolved.'.
      (4) FINANCIAL PENALTY PROVISIONS- Section 139(h)(7)(B)(i)(I) of title 23, United States Code, (as redesignated by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection) is amended by striking `under section 106(i) is required' and inserting `is required under subsection (h) or (i) of section 106'.
    (i) Assistance to Affected State and Federal Agencies-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 139(j)(1) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
      `(1) IN GENERAL-
      `(A) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE FUNDS- The Secretary may allow a public entity receiving financial assistance from the Department of Transportation under this title or chapter 53 of title 49 to provide funds to Federal agencies (including the Department), State agencies, and Indian tribes participating in the environmental review process for the project or program.
      `(B) USE OF FUNDS- Funds referred to in subparagraph (A) may be provided only to support activities that directly and meaningfully contribute to expediting and improving permitting and review processes, including planning, approval, and consultation processes for the project or program.'.
      (2) ACTIVITIES ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING- Section 139(j)(2) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by inserting `activities directly related to the environmental review process,' before `dedicated staffing,'.
      (3) AGREEMENT- Section 139(j)(6) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
      `(6) AGREEMENT- Prior to providing funds approved by the Secretary for dedicated staffing at an affected agency under paragraphs (1) and (2), the affected agency and the requesting public entity shall enter into an agreement that establishes the projects and priorities to be addressed by the use of the funds.'.
    (j) Implementation of Programmatic Compliance-
      (1) RULEMAKING- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete a rulemaking to implement the provisions of section 139(b)(3) of title 23, United States Code, as amended by this section.
      (2) CONSULTATION- Before initiating the rulemaking under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with relevant Federal agencies, relevant State resource agencies, State departments of transportation, Indian tribes, and the public on the appropriate use and scope of the programmatic approaches.
      (3) REQUIREMENTS- In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure that the rulemaking meets the requirements of section 139(b)(3)(B) of title 23, United States Code, as amended by this section.
      (4) COMMENT PERIOD- The Secretary shall--
      (A) allow not fewer than 60 days for public notice and comment on the proposed rule; and
      (B) address any comments received under this subsection.

SEC. 1306. IMPROVING TRANSPARENCY IN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS.

    (a) In General- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall--
      (1) maintain and use a searchable Internet Web site--
      (A) to make publicly available the status and progress of projects, as defined in section 139 of title 23, United States Code, requiring an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement with respect to compliance with applicable requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and any other Federal, State, or local approval required for such projects; and
      (B) to make publicly available the names of participating agencies not participating in the development of a project purpose and need and range of alternatives under section 139(f) of title 23, United States Code; and
      (2) in coordination with agencies described in subsection (b) and State agencies, issue reporting standards to meet the requirements of paragraph (1).
    (b) Federal, State, and Local Agency Participation- A Federal, State, or local agency participating in the environmental review or permitting process for a project, as defined in section 139 of title 23, United States Code, shall provide to the Secretary information regarding the status and progress of the approval of the project for publication on the Internet Web site maintained under subsection (a), consistent with the standards established under subsection (a).
    (c) States With Delegated Authority- A State with delegated authority for responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) pursuant to section 327 of title 23, United States Code, shall be responsible for supplying project development and compliance status to the Secretary for all applicable projects.

SEC. 1307. INTEGRATION OF PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW.

    (a) Definitions- Section 168(a) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
      `(1) ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS- The term `environmental review process' has the meaning given that term in section 139(a).';
      (2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (4) as paragraphs (3) through (5), respectively;
      (3) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
      `(2) LEAD AGENCY- The term `lead agency' has the meaning given that term in section 139(a).'; and
      (4) by striking paragraph (3) (as redesignated by paragraph (2) of this subsection) and inserting the following:
      `(3) PLANNING PRODUCT- The term `planning product' means a decision, analysis, study, or other documented information that is the result of an evaluation or decisionmaking process carried out by a metropolitan planning organization or a State, as appropriate, during metropolitan or statewide transportation planning under section 134 or section 135, respectively.'.
    (b) Adoption of Planning Products for Use in NEPA Proceedings- Section 168(b) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in the subsection heading by inserting `or Incorporation by Reference' after `Adoption';
      (2) in paragraph (1) by striking `the Federal lead agency for a project may adopt' and inserting `and to the maximum extent practicable and appropriate, the lead agency for a project may adopt or incorporate by reference';
      (3) by striking paragraph (2) and redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively;
      (4) by striking paragraph (2) (as so redesignated) and inserting the following:
      `(2) PARTIAL ADOPTION OR INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF PLANNING PRODUCTS- The lead agency may adopt or incorporate by reference a planning product under paragraph (1) in its entirety or may select portions for adoption or incorporation by reference.'; and
      (5) in paragraph (3) (as so redesignated) by inserting `or incorporation by reference' after `adoption'.
    (c) Applicability-
      (1) PLANNING DECISIONS- Section 168(c)(1) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) by striking `adopted' and inserting `adopted or incorporated by reference by the lead agency';
      (B) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (E) as subparagraphs (B) through (F), respectively;
      (C) by inserting before subparagraph (B) (as so redesignated) the following:
      `(A) the project purpose and need;';
      (D) by striking subparagraph (B) (as so redesignated) and inserting the following:
      `(B) the preliminary screening of alternatives and elimination of unreasonable alternatives;';
      (E) in subparagraph (C) (as so redesignated) by inserting `and general travel corridor' after `modal choice';
      (F) in subparagraph (E) (as so redesignated) by striking `and' at the end;
      (G) in subparagraph (F) (as so redesignated)--
      (i) in the matter preceding clause (i) by striking `potential impacts' and all that follows through `resource agencies,' and inserting `potential impacts of a project, including a programmatic mitigation plan developed in accordance with section 169, that the lead agency'; and
      (ii) in clause (ii) by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and
      (H) by adding at the end the following:
      `(G) whether tolling, private financial assistance, or other special financial measures are necessary to implement the project.'.
      (2) PLANNING ANALYSES- Section 168(c)(2) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) by striking `adopted' and inserting `adopted or incorporated by reference by the lead agency';
      (B) in subparagraph (G)--
      (i) by inserting `direct, indirect, and' before `cumulative effects'; and
      (ii) by striking `, identified as a result of a statewide or regional cumulative effects assessment'; and
      (C) in subparagraph (H)--
      (i) by striking `proposed action' and inserting `proposed project'; and
      (ii) by striking `Federal lead agency' and inserting `lead agency'.
    (d) Conditions- Section 168(d) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking `Adoption and use' and all that follows through `Federal lead agency, that' and inserting `The lead agency in the environmental review process may adopt or incorporate by reference and use a planning product under this section if the lead agency determines that';
      (2) in paragraph (2) by striking `by engaging in active consultation' and inserting `in consultation';
      (3) by striking paragraphs (4) and (5) and inserting the following:
      `(4) The planning process included public notice that the planning products may be adopted or incorporated by reference during a subsequent environmental review process in accordance with this section.
      `(5) During the environmental review process, but prior to determining whether to rely on and use the planning product, the lead agency has--
      `(A) made the planning documents available for review and comment by members of the general public and Federal, State, local, and tribal governments that may have an interest in the proposed action;
      `(B) provided notice of the lead agency's intent to adopt the planning product or incorporate the planning product by reference; and
      `(C) considered any resulting comments.';
      (4) in paragraph (9)--
      (A) by inserting `or incorporation by reference' after `adoption'; and
      (B) by inserting `and is sufficient to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)' after `for the project'; and
      (5) in paragraph (10) by striking `not later than 5 years prior to date on which the information is adopted' and inserting `within the 5-year period ending on the date on which the information is adopted or incorporated by reference'.
    (e) Effect of Adoption or Incorporation by Reference- Section 168(e) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--
      (1) in the subsection heading by inserting `or Incorporation by Reference' after `Adoption'; and
      (2) by striking `adopted by the Federal lead agency' and inserting `adopted or incorporated by reference by the lead agency'.
Read part VIII of  Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015

Join the conversation in the comments!
Read the 1461 Comment Guidelines.

1461 reaches over 1.5 Million People!

No comments: