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Project Oversight

U.S. Department of Transportation FHWA and FTA logo

CRC's federal leads oversee NEPA process

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) ensure the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for federal transportation projects like the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) is properly conducted and completed before they provide funding or approval to construct the project. NEPA governs proposed actions requiring federal funding, permits or approvals. FHWA and FTA signed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and will sign the Record of Decision (ROD). Approval from both agencies is required to move forward into final design and construction.

Both FHWA and FTA are divisions within the United States Department of Transportation. The FHWA carries out federal highway programs in partnership with state and local agencies to meet the nation's transportation needs. The agency promotes the use of the best available safety practices, programs and technologies in all phases of highway planning, design, construction and operation. FHWA ensures that all people and businesses affected by transportation decisions are treated equally and in accordance with the law.

The FTA distributes federal funding to support a variety of public transportation systems throughout the U.S., including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways and people movers.

InterCEP Agreement facilitates collaboration of state and federal regulatory agencies

As a bi-state project the CRC is subject to both Oregon and Washington regulations, as well as many federal requirements. The project team worked with state and federal agencies to develop an effective approach for coordinating their involvement and streamlining regulatory reviews and permits. The result is explained in the  Interstate Collaborative Environmental Process (InterCEP) Agreement.

The goal of InterCEP is to allow the CRC project to efficiently plan, design and build a solution that successfully addresses the project’s goals and meets state and federal environmental regulations.

The following regulatory agencies serve a role through the InterCEP Agreement:

AGENCY REGULATORY ROLE
National Marine Fisheries Service Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act Section 404, Sections 9 & 10 Rivers and Harbors Act Section 408
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Sole Source Aquifer, National Environmental Policy Act
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Washington State Department of Ecology Clean Water Act Section 401 and Section 402 (authority delegated by EPA), Shoreline Management Act (delegated to local land use agencies), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (authority delegated by EPA) Clean Air Act (authority delegated by EPA)
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Hydraulic Project Approval
Washington Department of Natural Resources State Owned Aquatic Lands Use Authorization
Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish and Wildlife Coordination Statute, Fish Passage Statute
Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development Coastal Zone Management Act (authority delegated by NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management)
Oregon Department of State Lands Removal Fill Law, State Owned Waterway Easement
Oregon State Historic Preservation Office Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Clean Water Act Section 401 and Section 402 (authority delegated by EPA), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (authority delegated by EPA) Clean Air Act (authority delegated by EPA)

InterCEP provided formal feedback to CRC at key project milestones, including:

  • Project Purpose and Need
  • Screening Criteria for Alternatives
  • Methods for analyzing impacts
  • Range of Alternatives to carry into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
  • Preliminary Draft EIS
  • Preliminary Final EIS