2010 Mn/DOT Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining Workshop: Using the Basics to Streamline Project Delivery

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 10:15am
United States


8:30 - 8:40 a.m.


Frank Pafko, Director, Office of Environmental Services, Mn/DOT

8:40 - 9:00 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Tom Sorel, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation 
Dave Scott, Assistant Division Administrator, FHWA Minnesota Division 
Moderator: Frank Pafko, Mn/DOT

9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote Speakers

Integration of Environmental Review and Project Delivery 
James “Skip” Spensley, Spensley and Associates 
Moderator: Frank Pafko, Mn/DOT 

The environmental review process is an integral part of the project development process – not an added step at the end of pre-design. This session covered the major steps in the integrated process. Strategies for incorporating risk management into the process, to better identify and address potential problems, were also presented.

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.

General Session

Establishing Project Purpose and Need 
James “Skip” Spensley, Spensley and Associates 
Moderator: Frank Pafko, Mn/DOT 
Defining the project Purpose and Need (or Problem Statement) is the foundation for development of a proposed project and for the evaluation of alternatives, ultimately resulting in selection of a preferred alternative. This session covered the basics of writing a good Purpose and Need statement and gave examples from Minnesota projects.

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Award Ceremony

Frank Pafko, Director of Environmental Services, Mn/DOT

1:15 - 2:10 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Current Issues in Environmental Review 
Dan Johnson, FHWA Resource Center, Baltimore
Phil Forst, FHWA MN Division 
Skip Spensley, Spensley and Associates
Jeanne Witzig, Kimley Horn 
Mary Bieringer, Mn/DOT 
Moderator: Jennie Ross, Mn/DOT

This session included presentations of new and potential future changes in environmental review process requirements, followed by a Question and Answer period.

Session 2: Noise: An Open Forum
Tim Anderson, FHWA MN Division 
Mel Roseen, Mn/DOT 
Peter Wasko, 
Moderator: Marilyn Jordahl- Larson, Mn/DOT

This session was an open and informal forum including a panel discussion of noise topics and issues generated by participants’ questions and remarks. Topics included enhancements to the MINNOISE Model, the new Federal Noise Policy Rule schedule, urban versus rural noise analysis, Type II Noise Abatement Study update, rumble stripe studies and more.

Session 3: Preliminary Project Footprint and Layout Estimation for Storm Water Management 
Dwayne Stenlund, Mn/DOT 
Moderator: Adam Popenhagen, Mn/DOT

Federal, state and local laws regulate treatment and management of storm water that are impacted by construction activities. The laws ultimately require volume, rate and water quality treatment. In order to meet these requirements and properly incorporate design and constructability options, temporary and permanent landforms must be estimated and secured early in program delivery. This session covered the Lombardi approach of back to the basics for meeting permit requirements of NPDES, DNR, USACE and watersheds and context sensitive solutions for new and retrofit projects.

2:30 - 3:25 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Session 4: Alternatives Development and Decision-Making: Requirements and Strategies 
Dan Johnson, FHWA Resource Center, Baltimore
Tamara Cameron, Corps of Engineers 
Jennie Ross, 
Moderator: Phil Forst, FHWA

NEPA, Section 404 (wetland permitting), and Section 4(f) processes require documentation of alternatives development and decision-making. This session reviewed approaches for developing alternatives; establishing evaluation criteria based on Purpose and Need and other factors; decision-making; stakeholder/agency concurrence; and documentation.

Session 5: Contaminated Property Management: Liability, Acquisition, and Cleanup
Nancy Radle, Mn/DOT
Moderator: Brian Kamnikar, Mn/DOT

This session summarized the contamination investigation process, including managing environmental liability, acquisition, and cleanup as they relate to construction project examples.

Session 6: Current Topics in Reviewing Roadside Vegetation 
Ken Graeve, Mn/DOT 
Paul Voigt, 
Moderator: Dan Gullickson, Mn/DOT

This session provided an overview of invasive species, rare/endangered plant,s and when to call for tree protection salvage reviews as it relates to environmental documentation and plan production.

3:30 - 4:25 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Session 7: Addressing Project Revisions In NEPA 
Jennie Ross
, Mn/DOT 
Phil Forst, 
Dan Johnson, FHWA Resource Center 
Skip Spensley, Spensley & Assoc. 
Moderator: Rick Dalton, Mn/DOT

This session included a presentation on how to address project changes during and after the NEPA/MEPA process.

Session 8: Section 106 Basics
Kristen Zschomler, Mn/DOT 
Moderator: Chris Hiniker, SEH

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires consideration of a project’s effect to historic properties. This session covered the steps and timelines required for the Cultural Resources Unit to complete a Section 106 review on a project, as well as the time and cost savings that Districts and local agencies have experienced from the streamlining initiatives completed by the CRU over the past 20 years.

Session 9: Complete Streets
Scott Bradley, Mn/DOT 
Moderator: Jeanne Witzig, Kimley-Horn

This session provided an overview of the philosophy, principles, and benefits of CSS as an over-arching umbrella for addressing and implementing Complete Streets. The focus of the presentation was understanding considerations of critical importance when seeking to plan, implement, operate, maintain, and sustain Complete Streets successfully within the context of urban or community environments.


This event was sponsored by the Mn/DOT Office of Environmental Services and facilitated by the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.