Development of programmatic mitigation plans
As part of the statewide or metropolitan transportation planning process, a State or metropolitan planning organization may develop 1 or more programmatic mitigation plans to address the potential environmental impacts of future transportation projects.
A programmatic mitigation plan may be developed on a regional, ecosystem, watershed, or statewide scale.
The plan may encompass multiple environmental resources within a defined geographic area or may focus on a specific resource, such as aquatic resources, parkland, or wildlife habitat.
The plan may address impacts from all projects in a defined geographic area or may focus on a specific type of project.
The scope of the plan shall be determined by the State or metropolitan planning organization, as appropriate, in consultation with the agency or agencies with jurisdiction over the resources being addressed in the mitigation plan.
A programmatic mitigation plan may include—
an assessment of the condition of environmental resources in the geographic area covered by the plan, including an assessment of recent trends and any potential threats to those resources;
an assessment of potential opportunities to improve the overall quality of environmental resources in the geographic area covered by the plan, through strategic mitigation for impacts of transportation projects;
standard measures for mitigating certain types of impacts;
parameters for determining appropriate mitigation for certain types of impacts, such as mitigation ratios or criteria for determining appropriate mitigation sites;
adaptive management procedures, such as protocols that involve monitoring predicted impacts over time and adjusting mitigation measures in response to information gathered through the monitoring; and
acknowledgment of specific statutory or regulatory requirements that must be satisfied when determining appropriate mitigation for certain types of resources.
Before adopting a programmatic mitigation plan, a State or metropolitan planning organization shall—
consult with each agency with jurisdiction over the environmental resources considered in the programmatic mitigation plan;
make a draft of the plan available for review and comment by applicable environmental resource agencies and the public;
consider any comments received from such agencies and the public on the draft plan; and
address such comments in the final plan.
A programmatic mitigation plan may be integrated with other plans, including watershed plans, ecosystem plans, species recovery plans, growth management plans, and land use plans.
Integration With Other Plans.—
If a programmatic mitigation plan has been developed pursuant to this section, any Federal agency responsible for environmental reviews, permits, or approvals for a transportation project shall give substantial weight to the recommendations in a programmatic mitigation plan when carrying out the responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or other Federal environmental law.
Consideration in Project Development and Permitting.—
Nothing in this section limits the use of programmatic approaches to reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
Preservation of Existing Authorities.—
(Added Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title I, § 1311(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 543; amended Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title I, § 1306, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1389.)