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Transportation Construction Projects

Transportation projects are subject to review and approval by federal and state agencies responsible for regulating various aspects of the environment.  These requirements begin in the earliest stages of planning and continue until a project is complete.  In some cases there may also be post-construction processes, required maintenance or operating permits that take effect after project completion.

In Maryland many federal processes have been delegated to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) or combined with MDE's in a joint review process.  There are also several requirements that are unique to Maryland. 

The following requirements are presented in an "If, then..." format to provide you with the parameters that trigger each process or permit:

Pre-Planning Processes

If,then...

A Project is paid for with federal funds or involves a major federal action significantly affecting the human environment:(A federal action includes the issuing of a permit for construction or any approval process in which a federal agency can exercise discretion over the outcome):

The decision-making process and the assessment of the project’s impacts on the environment must be documented by a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process. 

There are several types of NEPA documents (EIS, EA, CE, etc.) depending on likely level of impacts. 

Forms/checklists and processes are usually dictated by the federal sponsor (FHWA, FAA, MTA, USACOE, etc.).

Federal permits will be required:

Coordination for these permits should take place during the NEPA process.

A Project is paid for entirely by state funds, does not require a permit from a federal agency, and requires no federal action to begin or continue:

Impacts should be assessed using the Maryland Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) checklist. Contact the Maryland Department of the Environment's Customer Service Center (MDE CSC) at (410)537-3772 or (800)633-6101 x3772 for additional information.

Pre-Construction Permits and Approvals

If,  then...

Any portion of Project, regardless of size, is located within 1000 feet of tidal waters or tidal wetlands, or is in tidal waters:

Approval of the Critical Areas Commission is required.

The Project limit of disturbance is more than 5,000 square feet:

Stormwater Management Plan Approval is required from MDE.

The Project involves disturbance of 5,000 square feet of soil, or excavation of 100 cubic yards of soil:

Sediment and Erosion Control Plan Approval is required from MDE.

The Project or any part of the project will involve grading or land disturbance within the Severn River Watershed:Sediment & Erosion Control Plans must be approved by the Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation District (AASCD) in addition to approval by MDE.
The project involves construction of a highway that requires clearing of one acre or more of forest and involves the use of State funds:It must be reviewed by DNR Forest Service and mitigated under the Maryland Reforestation Law.
The project involves construction of a highway that causes cutting of trees or clearing of less than one acre of forest within a designated right of way of a State, County or local roadway:A Roadside Tree Permit is required from DNR.
The project is not part of a highway construction project, is not in the Critical Area, but requires a Sediment and Erosion Control Plan and will disturb more than 40,000 square feet:It must be mitigated under the Maryland Forest Conservation Law.
The Project involves construction activity with a planned total disturbance of one acre or more:

A Notice of Intent (NOI) to be covered under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Construction  Activity.

The Project involves alteration (filling) of floodplains, waterways, tidal wetlands, non-tidal wetlands, including those involving dredging or requiring:You must complete the Joint Federal/State Application for the Alteration of Any Floodplain, Waterway, Tidal or Non-tidal Wetland.
The Project will use federal funding or assistance, but will not require a federal permit:You must request a Coastal Zone Management Act federal consistency determination from MDE. (For projects that also require a federal permit this review will be part of the Joint Permit Application.)

Your project includes construction or modification of a bridge or causeway across a navigable waterway of the U. S. :

You must apply for a Coast Guard bridge permit. This includes all temporary bridges used for construction access or traffic detour.

Other Requirements

If, then...
The Project  requires Sediment and Erosion Control Plan approval:Plans must include a certification that a "responsible person" will be on-site during construction.  This certification must be executed by someone who has passed MDE's  Responsible Personnel Training ("Green Card" training).
The Project is an SHA project that requires Sediment and Erosion Control Plan approval:SHA requires that project designers and construction inspectors pass the SHA Sediment and Erosion Control Training Program ("Yellow Card").
Responsibility for Sediment and Erosion Control activities will be transferred to the Construction Contractor:

The original permittee must submit a Transfer of Authorization to MDE.

Post Construction

When,then...
The Project is completed: 

A Stormwater Management "As Built" Certification and Tabulations must be submitted MDE.

Upon final stabilization of the construction area Covered by the General Permit for Construction Activity:

A Notice of Termination Form must be submitted to MDE.

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Last Updated on Thu Apr 09, 2015