The purpose of environmental permits is to meet federal and/or state requirements intended to protect the environment and to meet TDOT's goal of providing transportation infrastructure with full consideration given to environmental issues. The TDOT Environmental Division participates in permitting at two phases: 1) during the NEPA process and; 2) near the end of the design phase, after the final NEPA document is approved and prior to construction.
During the NEPA phase, a permit must be obtained to conduct archaeological studies on federally- and state-owned or managed lands. NEPA documents prepared by the Natural Resources Office, Environmental Permits Section staff also must include a section that describes the permits needed. To obtain the information needed for the NEPA document, the NEPA Documentation Office staff will need to coordinate with the Permits Section staff.
After the final NEPA document is approved, many TDOT projects require that permits be secured from federal and state regulatory agencies. This effort is led by the Permits Section, with support from the NEPA Documentation Office, Natural Resources Office and the Social and Cultural Resources Office.
This chapter describes the two levels of permitting described above (during NEPA and post-NEPA) and explains how permitting fits into the project development process, the parties responsible for securing permits, and the types of permits that may be required. For additional information, consult the Permits Section staff or their manual. The updateable manual, entitled Permits Section Training Manual outlines the types of permits and the permitting process. This manual can be reviewed in the office of the Environmental Permits Section Manager.