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Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual

Chapter 10: Environmental Evaluation of State-Funded Projects

10.3 Determination of Need for a TEER

The Environmental Division is responsible for determining the need to prepare a TEER (Major or Minor) for a state-funded project on a case-by-case basis. The determination is based on the criteria listed above in Section 10.1. Figure 10.1 illustrates the series of decision points that are made to determine whether a TEER is prepared.

Figure 10.1 Determination of Need for TEER Documentation

Figure 10.1

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The state-funded transportation project may be identified either by a local agency or by TDOT. The earliest steps in the evaluation of the project are:

  • Identify the purpose and transportation need of the project; and
  • Identify and screen preliminary alternatives.

This information may be documented in a Transportation Planning Report (TPR), outlining the project history, study area, community characteristics, existing transportation conditions, preliminary purpose and need, and options or preliminary alternatives for consideration. The approach to these steps is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2, Project Identification and Development.

To assist in the determination, the Environmental Division staff may conduct a field visit with local officials or other TDOT Division staff as necessary, and/or participate in a coordination meeting with local officials and other TDOT Division staff. The Environmental Division staff reviews available maps, plans, and other material to determine whether special circumstances (such as those listed above in Section 10.1 ) may exist. In addition, the determination review process considers the applicability of the two alternative tests (listed on Page 10-1) for determining whether the project might constitute a major federal action to the extent that the requirements of NEPA apply.

The determination of whether a TEER is necessary (and why or why not necessary) is documented in a memorandum that is placed in the project file.

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