As of 2007, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) is federally required to engage and consult with affected land use management, natural resources, environmental protection, conservation and historic preservation state and local agencies regarding the development of the long-range transportation plan, called the CLRP (23 C.F.R. § 450.322(g)). In compliance with these regulations, the TPB has established a dialogue with environmental agencies to create a foundation for ongoing consultation and knowledge sharing regarding environmental issues on a regional, system-wide scale. These relationships have been fostered through several consultation efforts. One product of these efforts is the creation of a series of regional maps showing the intersection of the CLRP with State conservation plans and inventories of natural or historic resources.
Environmental Consultation and Mitigation Outreach Efforts
The initial consultation effort was initiated in March 2007 when the TPB solicited input and comments on the draft 2007 CLRP, requested suggestions on potential environmental mitigation strategies and collected environmental GIS data from natural resource and environment agencies in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
This was followed by a meeting held in March 2008 where the TPB presented a series of draft maps showing planned transportation projects and sensitive environmental resources to state and local transportation and resource agency staff for comment. Discussion at this second outreach effort focused on the need to promote opportunities for "meaningful mitigation" through the pooling of limited mitigation resources to implement larger mitigation projects that will result in greater net environmental benefits.
In November 2009 the third outreach effort focused on opportunities for promoting the concept of advanced mitigation in the National Capital Region. This one day workshop brought together state and local transportation and resource angency staff and resulted in the development of a set of next steps to further explore opportunities for advanced mitigation in each state in the metropolitan area and guide future TPB environmental consultation efforts.
The initial consultation effort in March 2007 included a request for environmental resource data and resulted in the development of a series of maps showing the interesection of the CLRP with State conservation plans and inventories of natural or historic resources. These maps were presented for comment at the March 2008 consultation meeting and the TPB agreed to regularly update these maps in order to inform state and local agencies and the public about the relationship between the CLRP and environmental concerns at the regional scale.