NEPA Decision-making in Transportation Planning

AECOM - Planning and Design


Monday, October 24, 2016
10:30 a.m. - noon EDT

Philadelphia, PA, United States

CM | 1.50

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This workshop was requested by Dr. Erick Guerra, Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania’s PennDesign program in Philadelphia. Dr. Guerra’s transportation planning graduate class (a group of new students each year) is exploring the practical matters of implementing transportation projects. This event is the third in a series begun in 2014 with the approved event “NEPA in Transportation.” The purpose of this third event is to continue learning about the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by focusing on its decision-making processes as they apply to advancing transportation projects. the specific goal is to gain an understanding of:

·         How decision-making happens in NEPA

·         Who the entities are in decision-making, what are their roles, and what factors are important to them


·         How entities from different jurisdictions and points of view can work together to achieve consensus on a preferred alternative  

This classroom session focuses on NEPA and decision-making as interpreted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration. The session includes legal, technical, and practical aspects of working with key stakeholders, and provides an interactive, role-playing exercise in decision-making and best practices. The classroom session will cover the regulatory context of NEPA, the roles of key stakeholders, and the details of working toward decision-making and consensus. The session will examine: how decisions are made as well as the legal requirements and context for documenting decision-making in a NEPA process. Key concepts, such as “purpose and need,” “technical data,” “public input,” and “stakeholder considerations” that are elements in NEPA decision-making will be discussed. The session will use a real world transportation project to illustrate the NEPA process elements: the King of Prussia Rail project being advanced by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) with the support of AECOM, its consultant.




Leslie Roche, AICP

Invited Speaker