Listed below are FHWA REGULATIONS on STANDARDS THAT MUST BE INCLUDED in reporting potentially significant impacts most commonly encountered by highway projects. This list is not all-inclusive and on specific projects there may be other impact areas that should be included.


A. Social Impacts

Where there are foreseeable impacts, discuss the following items for each alternative commensurate with the level of impacts and to the extent they are distinguishable:
  1. Changes in the     neighborhoods or community cohesion for the various social groups as a     result of the proposed action. These changes may be beneficial or adverse,     and may include splitting neighborhoods, isolating a portion of a     neighborhood or an ethnic group, generating new development, changing     property values, or separating residents from community facilities, etc.
  2. Changes in     travel patterns and accessibility (e.g., vehicular, commuter, bicycle, or     pedestrian).
  3. Impacts on     school districts, recreation areas, churches, businesses, police and fire     protection, etc. This should include both the direct impacts to these     entities and the indirect impacts resulting from the displacement of     households and businesses.
  4. Impacts of     alternatives on highway and traffic safety as well as on overall public     safety.
  5. General social     groups specially benefitted or harmed by the proposed project. The effects     of a project on the elderly, handicapped, nondrivers, transit-dependent,     and minority and ethnic groups are of particular concern and should be     described to the extent these effects can be reasonably predicted. Where     impacts on a minority or ethnic population are likely to be an important     issue, the following information     broken down by race, color, and national origin: the population of the     study area, the number of displaced residents, the type and number of     displaced businesses, and an estimate of the number of displaced employees     in each business sector. Changes in ethnic or minority employment     opportunities should be discussed and the relationship of the project to     other Federal actions which may serve or adversely affect the ethnic or     minority population should be identified.

    The discussion should address whether any social group is     disproportionally impacted and identify possible mitigation measures to     avoid or minimize any adverse impacts. Secondary sources of information     such as census and personal contact with community leaders supplemented by     visual inspections normally should be used to obtain the data for this     analysis. However, for projects with major community impacts, a survey of     the affected area may be needed to identify the extent and severity of     impacts on these social groups.

B. Relocation Impacts

The relocation information should be summarized in sufficient detail to adequately explain the relocation situation including anticipated problems and proposed solutions. Project relocation documents from which information is summarized should be referenced . Secondary sources of information such as census, economic reports, and contact with community leaders, supplemented by visual inspections (and, as appropriate, contact with local officials) may be used to obtain the data for this analysis. Where a proposed project will result in displacements, the following information regarding households and businesses should be discussed for each alternative under consideration commensurate with the level of impacts and to the extent they are likely to occur:
  1. An estimate of     the number of households to be displaced, including the family     characteristics (e.g., minority, ethnic, handicapped, elderly, large     family, income level, and owner/tenant status). However, where there are     very few displaces, information on race, ethnicity and income levels     should not be included to protect     the privacy of those affected.
  2. A discussion     comparing available (decent, safe, and sanitary) housing in the area with     the housing needs of the displaces. The comparison should include (1)     price ranges, (2) sizes (number of bedrooms), and (3) occupancy status     (owner/tenant).
  3. A discussion of     any affected neighborhoods, public facilities, non-profit organizations,     and families having special composition (e.g., ethnic, minority, elderly,     handicapped, or other factors) which may require special relocation     considerations and the measures proposed to resolve these relocation     concerns.
  4. A discussion of     the measures to be taken where the existing housing inventory is     insufficient, does not meet relocation standards, or is not within the     financial capability of the displaces. A commitment to last resort housing     should be included when sufficient comparable replacement housing may not     be available.
  5. An estimate of     the numbers, descriptions, types of occupancy (owner/tenant), and sizes     (number of employees) of businesses and farms to be displaced.     Additionally, the discussion should identify (1) sites available in the     area to which he affected businesses may relocate, (2) likelihood of such     relocation, and (3) potential impacts on individual businesses and farms     caused by displacement or proximity of the proposed highway if not     displaced.
  6. A discussion of     the results of contacts, if any, with local governments, organizations,     groups, and individuals regarding residential and business relocation     impacts, including any measures or coordination needed to reduce general     and/or specific impacts. These contacts are encouraged for projects with     large numbers of relocates or complex relocation requirements. Specific     financial and incentive programs or opportunities (beyond those provided     by the Uniform Relocation Act) to residential and business relocates to     minimize impacts may be identified, if available through other agencies or     organizations.
  7. A statement that     (1) the acquisition and relocation program will be conducted in accordance     with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition     Policies Act of 1970, as amended, and (2) relocation resources are     available to all residential and business relocates without     discrimination.

C.  Economic Impacts

Where there are foreseeable economic impacts, listed below are potentially significant impacts most commonly encountered by highway projects. These factors should be discussed for each reasonable alternative where a potential for impact exists. This list is not all-inclusive and on specific projects there may be other impact areas that should be included.
Discuss the following for each alternative commensurate with the level of impacts:
  1. The economic     impacts on the regional and/or local economy such as the effects of the     project on development, tax revenues and public expenditures, employment     opportunities, accessibility, and retail sales. Where substantial impacts     on the economic viability of affected municipalities are likely to occur,     they should also be discussed together with a summary of any efforts     undertaken and agreements reached for using the transportation investment     to support both public and private economic development plans. To the     extent possible, this discussion should rely upon results of coordination     with and views of affected State, county, and city officials and upon     studies performed under Section 134.
  2. The impacts on     the economic vitality of existing highway-related businesses (e.g.,     gasoline stations, motels, etc.) and the resultant impact, if any, on the     local economy. For example, the loss of business or employment resulting     from building an alternative on new location bypassing a local community.
  3. Impacts of the     proposed action on established business districts, and any opportunities     to minimize or reduce such impacts by the public and/or private sectors.     This concern is likely to occur on a project that might lead to or support     new large commercial development outside of a central business district.
Note:  The Secretary shall not approve any project involving approaches to a bridge under this title, if such project and bridge will significantly affect the traffic volume and the highway system of a contiguous State without first taking into full consideration the views of that State.

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