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National Highway Institute offers Planning and Environment Linkages Courses

National Highway Institute offers Planning and Environment Linkages Courses

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The National Highway Institute (NHI), the training and education arm of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), offers in-person and virtual training on Planning and Environment Linkages. NHI is an accredited training provider by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Training credits can be used toward Professional Engineer (PE) licensure. Also, planners can receive certification maintenance (CM) credits for NHI courses through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Current Planning and Environment Linkages Courses

142078 Planning and Environment Linkages
Instructor-led 2-day course
$300 per person


Participants learn and discuss why PEL has been a successful practice, the benefits of PEL, the points of interface between planning and environmental review processes. In addition, the course covers PEL approaches using authorities associated with planning and environmental review, planning information in the environmental review process, general considerations for using any PEL approach, and the processes for developing purpose and need during planning that can be used in NEPA. Other topics are the process for screening and eliminating unreasonable alternatives during planning, the role of Consultation, Coordination, and Public Involvement in PEL, documentation in a PEL approach, and action strategies to advance PEL in a state or region.

142078V Planning and Environment Linkages Virtual Option
Instructor-led 12-hour course with the same curriculum as 142078 offered through a virtual platform.

142078A – Planning and Environment Linkages without Implement PEL Activity
Instructor-led 16-hour course
$300 per person


This course is a slightly shorter version of NHI-142078.  Both focus on the integration of PEL into the transportation planning and environmental review process. NHI-142078 offers an additional activity to help practitioners identify strategies implement PEL in their state or region which is omitted in this course.

Target Audience for NHI PEL Courses

  • State DOT practitioners
  • Resource Agencies
  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
  • Local public agencies
  • Federal agencies (e.g., Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and regulatory agencies with a role in NEPA permitting, approving, or mitigating potential impacts from transportation projects)

NHI encourages transportation planners to complete FHWA-NHI-142005 NEPA and the Transportation Decision-making Process prior to taking the PEL courses. Environmental specialists are encouraged to complete FHWA-NHI-151052 Basics of Transportation Planning.

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Photo of a group of men and women attending a training session
Image: Lumber River Council of Governments, North Carolina

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