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The United States Department of Transportation Act -
Section 4(f)

Section 4(f) provides special protection for significant historic or archeological sites and publicly owned resources that may be impacted by a project. This includes the following:
  • Publicly owned parks;
  • Publicly owned recreation areas;
  • Wildlife and waterfowl refuges; and
  • Significant historic or archeological sites.

Prepare a Categorical Exclusion for Location Approval

The sponsor must prepare a Categorical Exclusion (CE) letter for location approval to satisfy NEPA. CE applies to projects that are excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental document, such as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) because they do not result in significant environmental effects. The CE letter will be submitted to SHA for review. SHA will then forward it to FHWA for their concurrence.

A project qualifies for a CE only if the proposed actions do not:

  • Induce significant impacts to planned growth or land use for the area;
  • Require the relocation of significant numbers of people;
  • Have significant impact on any natural, cultural, recreational, historic or other resources;
  • Involve significant air, noise or water quality impacts;
  • Have significant impacts on travel patterns; or
  • Either individually or cumulatively, have any significant environmental impacts.

Important Note to Project Sponsors

NEPA, Section 106, and Section 4(f), or other necessary Federal approvals must be received before an advertising package is reviewed and written approval to advertise is issued by SHA. Project sponsors will not be reimbursed for any project activities undertaken prior to these approvals.

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