Scoping in Environmental Review for Transportation Projects

Principal Investigator(s):

Carissa Schively Slotterback, Former Associate Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

This project focused on the use of scoping efforts in environmental review for transportation projects. While scoping is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), there is significant variation in state and federal agency approaches to scoping. While varied in its conduct, scoping typically involves some identification of stakeholders and relevant sources of information. The success of scoping efforts can be very important to gathering public and agency input about potential environmental impacts and in providing information about the environmental review and transportation planning process. Through documentation of approaches to scoping used by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and other state transportation agencies, as well as understanding approaches used by agencies implementing NEPA in other contexts, this project aimed to determine best practices for scoping. The key findings of the study provide insights into the range of approaches used for scoping in state departments of transportation, as well as valuable information about the influence of scoping efforts in environmental review.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2006072
  • Start date: 05/2006
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment