The Environmental Division assesses the overall environmental impacts of highway construction and maintenance as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Assessments Section oversees the environmental impact assessment process and assembles this information into documents for public review and comment.
Specialists within the division assess impacts for the social, economic, and environmental impacts area, including:
- Air quality
- Noise quality
- Hazardous materials
- Wetlands and stream impacts
- Water quality, including public drinking supplies
- Land use and land cover
- Terrestrial and aquatic communities
- Endangered Species
- Relocations of homes and businesses
- Environmental Justice
- Recreational areas
- Archeological and historic sites
Involved in this process is direct coordination with other divisions of the AHTD, other state and federal agencies, the public, and other interested parties. Avoidance or minimization of impacts is the desired goal, and if minimization or avoidance of impacts is not possible, mitigation for the impact(s) is developed, if possible.
The information developed and coordinated as part of the NEPA process is made available to the public via meetings and/or hearings, media, web-sites, and correspondence. This public involvement process is coordinated with the Division’s Public Involvement Section.