Linking regional planning with project planning in support of NEPA
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The thesis investigates potential methods of linking transportation planning in Texas, principally long range planning, with the environmental clearance process required of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The purpose of the research is to achieve time and monetary savings by streamlining the NEPA process. These savings result principally by reducing duplicative efforts performed during transportation planning and the NEPA process. To achieve this goal, the thesis reviews the effectiveness of practices and efforts done in Texas and around the country designed to encourage planning documentation that supports the NEPA process. The thesis then assesses the challenges involved with implementing these practices in Texas and makes a series of recommendations designed to be implemented by various agencies in Texas that would provide linkages between transportation planning and the NEPA process.