The Long-Standing Requirement for Environmental Review
For several years now roadway construction project managers (representing either the Indiana Department of Transportation, or one of various consulting firms representing either INDOT or one of the many city, county or local highway departments throughout Indiana) have submitted descriptions of highway projects to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for review. These projects generally are for work that requires minimal or no right-of-way, and are otherwise below the size and scope of projects requiring a formal NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) level Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study.
In the past, IDEM responded to each such request for review for these small-scale roadway projects with a standardized letter listing all the environmental issues project managers should consider or comply with to ensure the environmental impacts of their roadway-related projects would be minimized. In turn, project managers then included IDEM's response letter as part of the documentation packet allowing the project to move forward.