According to a press release issued on December 14, FDOT will soon be in charge of carrying out their own environmental review processes on federally funded highway projects.
Framed as a way to “save both time and money on federally funded projects” the Florida Department of Transportation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) department that would sign over review responsibilities to the state-run transportation agency. That means that FDOT will soon be responsible for ensuring federally funded highway projects comply with all National Environmental Policy Act procedures. Projected savings are estimated, by FDOT, to be roughly $22M a year, and the switch is supposedly meant to empower states to move faster on road improvement projects.
According to the release, federally funded projects take longer to go through their environmental review process, so by shifting that review process to the State of Florida, they could be shaving off 25 percent of the average wait time for projects to move forward.
States that currently have this agreement with the FHWA include Texas and Ohio.