(a) To the fullest extent possible, all environmental investigations, reviews, and consultations be coordinated as a single process, and compliance with all applicable environmental requirements be reflected in the environmental review document required by this regulation.1
1 FHWA and FTA have supplementary guidance on environmental documents and procedures for their programs. This guidance includes, but is not limited to: FHWA Technical Advisory T6640.8A, October 30, 1987; “SAFETEA-LU Environmental Review Process: Final Guidance,” November 15, 2006; Appendix A of 23 CFR part 450, titled “Linking the Transportation Planning and NEPA Processes”; and “Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment,” May 2006. The FHWA and FTA supplementary guidance, and any updated versions of the guidance, are available from the respective FHWA and FTA headquarters and field offices as prescribed in 49 CFR part 7 and on their respective Web sites athttp://www.fhwa.dot.gov and http://www.fta.dot.gov, or in hard copy by request.
(b) Alternative courses of action be evaluated and decisions be made in the best overall public interest based upon a balanced consideration of the need for safe and efficient transportation; of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the proposed transportation improvement; and of national, State, and local environmental protection goals.
(c) Public involvement and a systematic interdisciplinary approach be essential parts of the development process for proposed actions.
(d) Measures necessary to mitigate adverse impacts be incorporated into the action. Measures necessary to mitigate adverse impacts are eligible for Federal funding when the Administration determines that:
(2) The proposed mitigation represents a reasonable public expenditure after considering the impacts of the action and the benefits of the proposed mitigation measures. In making this determination, the Administration will consider, among other factors, the extent to which the proposed measures would assist in complying with a Federal statute, Executive Order, or Administration regulation or policy.
(e) Costs incurred by the applicant for the preparation of environmental documents requested by the Administration be eligible for Federal assistance.
(f) No person, because of handicap, age, race, color, sex, or national origin, be excluded from participating in, or denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any Administration program or procedural activity required by or developed pursuant to this regulation.