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EPA REGION III JOINS EFFORTS TO IMPROVE COMPATIBILITY BETWEEN TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

 EPA REGION III JOINS EFFORTS TO IMPROVE COMPATIBILITY
 BETWEEN TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
 PHILADELPHIA, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III will join the Federal Highway Administration, Region 3; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic division; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5; National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional office: and state transportation and resource agencies in signing an interagency consensus for integrating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act at a ceremony to be held at Fort McHenry, Md., today at 2 p.m.
 EPA official Richard Pepino explained that this agreement will eliminate delays that prolong the approval of federally funded highway projects and will enhance the environmental protection goals of the agencies involved. A flow chart has been established to help coordinate the regulatory process which spans the jurisdiction of the five agencies.
 Currently, the NEPA requirements for federally funded transportation projects are completed before a wetlands permit is submitted. If the wetlands permit requires modification to the project design to mitigate wetlands destruction, construction is delayed and project costs increase. The integrated NEPA/404 process seeks to streamline these procedures by identifying wetland issues during the course of the NEPA review. By integrating these requirements, the amount of backtracking and delays will be reduced considerably.
 "The interagency agreement that will be signed epitomizes the concept of good government," EPA Regional Administrator Edwin B. Erickson stated. "Bringing these agencies together to incorporate transportation improvements and environmental sensitivity sets a great precedent for our region and for the country."
 -0- 7/23/92
 /Editors: In case of inclement weather, the site will be changed from Fort McHenry to the Federal Highway Administration Regional Office Building, 31 Hopkins Plaza, 16th floor./
 /CONTACT: Carolyn E. Szumal of the EPA, 215-597-6911/ CO: United States Enivronmental Protection Agency ST: Maryland, Pennsylvania IN: SU: EXE


MJ-MP -- PH030 -- 2585 07/23/92 13:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 23, 1992
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