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Notice

Surface Transportation Project Delivery Pilot Program; Caltrans Audit Report

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ACTION:

Final report.

SUMMARY:

Section 6005 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Pilot Program, codified at 23 U.S.C. 327. To ensure compliance by each State participating in the Pilot Program, 23 U.S.C. 327(g) mandates semiannual audits during each of the first 2 years of State participation. This final report presents the findings from the sixth FHWA audit of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) under the pilot program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Ruth Rentch, Office of Project Development and Environmental Review, (202) 366-2034, Ruth.Rentch@dot.gov, or Mr. Michael Harkins, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-4928, Michael.Harkins@dot.gov, Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

This document, the notice and request for comment, and all comments received may be viewed online through the Federal eRulemaking portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines are available on the Web site. It is available 24 hours each day, 366 days this year. Please follow the instructions. An electronic copy of this notice may be downloaded from the Office of the Federal Register's home page at http://www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office's Web site at http://www.access.gpo.gov.

Background

Section 6005 of SAFETEA-LU (codified at 23 U.S.C. 327) established a pilot program to allow up to five States to assume the Secretary of Transportation's responsibilities for environmental review, consultation, or other actions under any Federal environmental law pertaining to the review or approval of highway projects. In order to be selected for the pilot program, a State must submit an application to the Secretary.

On June 29, 2007, Caltrans and FHWA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that established the assignments to and assumptions of responsibility to Caltrans. Under the MOU, Caltrans assumed the majority of FHWA's responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as the FHWA's responsibilities under other Federal environmental laws for most highway projects in California.

To ensure compliance by each State participating in the Pilot Program, 23 U.S.C. 327(g) requires the Secretary to conduct semiannual audits during each of the first 2 years of State participation; and annual audits during each subsequent year of State participation. The results of each audit must be presented in the form of an audit report and be made available for public comment. The FHWA solicited comments on the sixth audit report in a Federal Register Notice published on February 22, 2012, at 77 FR 10599. The FHWA received one comment from Caltrans. This notice provides the final draft of the sixth FHWA audit report for Caltrans under the pilot program.

Authority: Section 6005 of Pub. L. 109-59; 23 U.S.C. 315 and 327; 49 CFR 1.48.

Issued on: April 26, 2012.

Victor M. Mendez,

Administrator.

[FR Doc. 2012-10616 Filed 5-2-12; 8:45 am]

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