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Planning & Environmental Linkages

Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) studies represent a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process, and uses the information, analysis, and products developed during planning to inform the environmental review process.

I-526 LCC EAST Planning & Environmental Linkages Study Final Report

A PEL study is a collaborative approach to decision-making used to identify transportation issues and environmental concerns. This integrated approach considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the planning process and uses this information to streamline the transportation project development and environmental review process. The resulting information of a PEL study will be carried forward into the next phase of the project development process, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

This PEL Study final report is the culmination of technical studies and reports, interagency coordination, and community outreach and feedback. This documents the purpose and need for the study; presents a discussion of the alternatives and the analysis of them; describes the affected environment, assessment of environmental, transportation, social, and economic impacts; identifies appropriate mitigation measures to offset impacts; and presents a set of reasonable alternatives. It also incorporates analysis and feedback from public and agency sources gathered during the study. We encourage you to explore the PEL Study final report and its very detailed appendices in the links below.

PEL Study Benefits

As described by FHWA, potential benefits of a PEL study include:

  • Improved sharing of information
  • Elimination of duplicative efforts in planning and NEPA processes
  • Improved communication and stronger relationships
  • Early consultation and collaboration among stakeholders to identify potential impacts
  • Accelerated project delivery
  • Better environmental outcomes
  • Timely permit decisions
  • Mutually beneficial outcomes

I-526 LCC EAST PEL Process