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FHWA Provides Resources on Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL)

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides a number of resources for Local Public Agencies on Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL), which are accessible at this link. These resources are part of FHWA’s online library, Federal Aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies. In this library, several video series go into detail on one step or topic in the federal aid process, making it easier for local agencies to use the information.

The Federal Aid Essentials PEL resources describe how the process applies information gathered during the project planning phase to the process of environmental review. This often means engaging external stakeholders early on to discuss potential environmental and community roadblocks which might emerge. Integrating these talks into early planning can accelerate the environmental review process and establish stronger communications with both agencies and local communities. These relationships are worth investing in, with good communication allowing a project to anticipate or avoid final hour controversies. Making use of PEL can also allow early elimination of environmentally nonviable options and duplicative planning efforts. This amounts to reduced budget, improved project delivery, and better relations with local communities and the environment as a whole.

Click here to explore more resources and information on on Planning and Environment Linkages from Rural Transportation.

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