Environmental Stewardship is the integration of environmental considerations into the planning, design, construction and operational activities associated with the Nebraska transportation system. These environmental considerations include cultural, natural and human elements. The Department is committed to its role as an environmental steward and to preserving and protecting the environmental features and resources of the state. This goal emphasizes that transportation decisions and investments must be balanced with environmental considerations. The performance measures linked to this strategic goal illustrate our promise to carry environmental commitments forward into construction, take swift corrective action to benefit the environment, when necessary, and to encourage an environmentally sustainable transportation system. Nebraska was one of three pilot states to develop an ActionPlan ensuring full consideration of the economic, social and environmental effects of highway projects, thus insuring that decisions made on such projects are made in the best overall public interest. Nebraska’s Action Plan was accepted and approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration on June 13, 1973. In the 33 years since the implementation of the Action Plan, NDOT has been addressing environmental issues, which have expanded considerably, and which today present numerous challenges. NDOT continues to meet the challenges.
Environmental Section Responsibilities
The NDOT Environmental Section is part of the Project Development Division, and is responsible for:
- Evaluation of social, economic and environmental impacts of road construction projects. Obtaining project approvals from the Federal Highway Administration on projects with federal involvement. Preparation of environmental studies and evaluation documents for road construction projects, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Providing liaison between the Department, government agencies, consultants and the public on environmental issues
- Providing liaison with the Paleontological and Archaeological Highway Salvage Program.
- Coordination between the Nebraska State Historical Preservation Office regarding preservation of historic bridges.
- Coordinating with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and other agencies for permit acquisition when projects involve waterways, wetlands and floodplains. Identification and development of wetland mitigation sites, including establishment of wetland mitigation banks.
- Preparing seeding, erosion control and landscaping plans and specifications for roadside and Departmental property grounds improvement and maintenance.