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Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual

Chapter 9: Environmental Commitments and Coordination With Design and Construction Activities

9.2 NEPA Document Commitments

The Environmental Division planner has the responsibility to ensure that all commitments made in the NEPA document are carried forward to the design and construction phases. The planner is assisted in this task by staff of the Natural Resources Office and the Social and Cultural Resources Office, who assume the responsibility for the commitments made in their respective permit or technical area. The PPRM process tracks project commitments throughout the project planning and development process. The goals of the commitment tracking through PPRM are to carry all project commitments through the lifecycle of the project development and to inform other divisions of commitments made for a project. Throughout the development of the NEPA document, the planner works with the Project Manager and other staff to ensure that a description of all commitments are documenting in the Commitments Tracking Database. Some types of standard commitments, such as common measures for erosion control or use of best management practices, are not included in the database because it is TDOT's policy to include these on all projects. In addition, mitigation commitments that have not been developed through NEPA and that will be developed through the permitting process are documented by the Project Manager or Permits Office staff later in the process. Commitments in technical areas, such as mitigation for cultural resource impacts or noise abatement, should be input into the database by the planner, as necessary.

Also included in the database are commitments that are not the responsibility of the Natural Resources Office or the Social and Cultural Resources Office, but that need to be carried forward into the design and construction process. Examples of the types of commitments that may need to be carried forward include:

  • Aesthetic treatment, including wall surface treatment and landscaping;
  • Development of a site-specific plan to handle pyritic (acid-producing) rock; and
  • Installation of signage.

The database is a part of the Department's PPRM system and all TDOT Divisions (e.g., Design, Structures, Right-Of-Way, Construction, Maintenance, and all applicable regional staff) should have access to review the commitments on an individual an project at any time. The Environmental Division planner or Project Manager should ensure that any commitments entered into the database are reviewed and considered by the appropriate staff and (if necessary) are included in the project contract book or construction plans.

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