(1) The provisions of this regulation and the CEQ regulation apply to actions where the Administration exercises sufficient control to condition the permit or project approval. Actions taken by the applicant which do not require Federal approvals, such as preparation of a regional transportation plan are not subject to this regulation.
(2) This regulation does not apply to, or alter approvals by the Administration made prior to the effective date of this regulation.
(3) Environmental documents accepted or prepared after the effective date of this regulation shall be developed in accordance with this regulation.
(b) It shall be the responsibility of the applicant, in cooperation with the Administration to implement those mitigation measures stated as commitments in the environmental documents prepared pursuant to this regulation. The FHWA will assure that this is accomplished as a part of its program management responsibilities that include reviews of designs, plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E), and construction inspections. The FTA will assure implementation of committed mitigation measures through incorporation by reference in the grant agreement, followed by reviews of designs and construction inspections.
(c) The following roles and responsibilities apply during the environmental review process:
(1) The lead agencies are responsible for managing the environmental review process and the preparation of the appropriate environmental review documents.
(2) Any applicant that is a State or local governmental entity that is, or is expected to be, a direct recipient of funds under title 23, U.S. Code, or chapter 53 of title 49 U.S. Code, for the action shall serve as a joint lead agency with the Administration in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 139, and may prepare environmental review documents if the Administration furnishes guidance and independently evaluates the documents.
(3) The Administration may invite other Federal, State, local, or federally-recognized Indian tribal governmental units to serve as joint lead agencies in accordance with the CEQ regulation. If the applicant is serving as a joint lead agency under 23 U.S.C. 139(c)(3), then the Administration and the applicant will decide jointly which other agencies to invite to serve as joint lead agencies.
(4) When the applicant seeks an Administration action other than the approval of funds, the role of the applicant will be determined by the Administration in accordance with the CEQ regulation and 23 U.S.C. 139.
(5) Regardless of its role under paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(4) of this section, a public agency that has statewide jurisdiction (for example, a State highway agency or a State department of transportation) or a local unit of government acting through a statewide agency, that meets the requirements of section 102(2)(D) of NEPA, may prepare the EIS and other environmental review documents with the Administration furnishing guidance, participating in the preparation, and independently evaluating the document. All FHWA applicants qualify under this paragraph.
(6) The role of a project sponsor that is a private institution or firm is limited to providing technical studies and commenting on environmental review documents.
(d) When entering into Federal-aid project agreements pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 106, it shall be the responsibility of the State highway agency to ensure that the project is constructed in accordance with and incorporates all committed environmental impact mitigation measures listed in approved environmental review documents unless the State requests and receives written FHWA approval to modify or delete such mitigation features.