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Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a New Information Collection

This document has a comment period that ends in 6 days. (01/25/2021) Submit a formal comment

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.


Notice and request for comments.


The FHWA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of

Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for a new information collection, which is summarized below under Supplementary Information. We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


Please submit comments by January 25, 2021.


You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID 2020-0027 by any of the following methods:

Website: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery or Courier: U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Mark Ferroni, 202-366-3233, Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty, Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Title: Noise Barrier Inventory.

Background: The basis of the Federal-aid highway program is a strong federal-state partnership. At the core of that partnership is a philosophy of trust and flexibility, and a belief that the states are in the best position to make investment decisions and that states base these decisions on the needs and priorities of their citizens. The FHWA noise regulation (23 CFR 772) gives each state department of transportation (SDOT) flexibility to determine the feasibility and reasonableness of noise abatement by balancing of the benefits of noise abatement against the overall adverse social, economic, and environmental effects and costs of the noise abatement measures. The SDOT must base its determination on the interest of the overall public good, keeping in mind all the elements of the highway program (need, funding, environmental impacts, public involvement, etc.).

Reduction of highway traffic noise should occur through a program of shared responsibility with the most effective strategy being implementation of noise compatible planning and land use control strategies by state and local governments. Local governments can use their power to regulate land development to prohibit noise-sensitive land use development adjacent to a highway, or to require that developers plan, design, and construct development in ways that minimize noise impacts. The FHWA noise regulations limit Federal participation in the construction of noise barriers along existing highways to those projects proposed along lands where land development or substantial construction predated the existence of any highway.

The data reflects the flexibility in noise abatement decision-making. Some states have built many noise barriers while a few have built none. Through the end of 2010, 47 SDOTs and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have constructed over 2,748 linear miles of barriers at a cost of over $4.05 billion ($5.44 billion in 2010 dollars). Three states and the District of Columbia have not constructed noise barriers. Ten SDOTs account for approximately sixty-two percent (62%) of total barrier length and sixty-nine percent (69%) of total barrier cost. The type of information requested can be found in 23CFR772.13(f).

The previously distributed listing can be found at​environment/​noise/​noise_​barriers/​inventory/​summary/​sintro7.cfm. This listing continues to be extremely useful in the management of the highway traffic noise program, in our technical assistance efforts for State highway agencies, and in responding to inquiries from congressional sources, Federal, State, and local agencies, and the general public.

An updated listing of noise barriers will be distributed nationally for use in the highway traffic noise program. It is anticipated that this information will be requested in 2014 (for noise barriers constructed in 2011, 2012 and 2013) and then again in 2017 (for noise barriers constructed in 2014, 2015 and 2016). After review of the “Summary of Noise Barriers Constructed by December 31, 2004” document, a SDOT may request to delete, modify or add information to any calendar year.

Respondents: Each of the 50 SDOTs, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Frequency: Every 3 years.

Estimated Average Burden per Response: It is estimated that on average it would take 8 hours to respond to this request.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: It is estimated that the estimated total annual burden is 139 hours.

Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FHWA's performance; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burdens; (3) ways for the FHWA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized, including the use of electronic technology, without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

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Start Printed Page 75402 Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended; and 49 CFR 1.48.

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Issued On: November 20, 2020.

Michael Howell,

Information Collection Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2020-26128 Filed 11-24-20; 8:45 am]