Environmental Impact Statements are used to determine impacts incurred by a proposed transportation improvement that is in the preliminary engineering stage of development.
In addition to those mentioned, other prominent issues include impacts on:
- Historical sites
- Archaeological sites
- Flora and fauna
Air Quality Requirements
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have established air quality requirements that impact transportation planning.
Both transportation long range plans (LRPs) and transportation improvement programs (TIPs) must be analyzed in areas that do not (non-attainment) or previously did not (maintenance) meet the air quality standards.
This is to ensure that those plans do not:
- Cause new air quality violations
- Worsen existing violations
- Delay attainment of national air quality standards
Virginia has three areas that currently require this regular analysis (every two years for TIPs and every three years for LRPs, or when a change, such as a design concept construction date is made to a regionally significant project).
VDOT leads this effort with input from localities, as well as the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the EPA and FHWA.