The planned Route 15 improvements for Phase 1 (3.5 miles of widening) will be funded by Loudoun County and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA). Per Loudoun County staff, since Route 15 previously received Federal funds (approx. $1M) the Route 15 improvements are subject to a complex Federal review process sometimes referred to as “Section 106”.
The Section 106 process will likely cause significant delays to the Route 15 improvements. This process is ripe for abuse, mismanagement and will be used by the special interest groups to promote delays and other strategic barriers, to include lawsuits.
Loudoun County has identified various historic and environmental groups/agencies that will require coordination (see the slide below that was presented at the July 16, 2018 Route 15 Stakeholder Committee Meeting).
Per the Federal Highway Administration:
“The National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, provides a framework for environmental analyses, reviews, and a series of discussions known as consultations.
NEPA’s process “umbrella” covers a project’s compliance with all pertinent Federal environmental laws.
While NEPA provides a coordinated environmental review process, the related environmental law specifies what an agency must do to comply with its particular requirements—which can vary widely. One such law, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their projects on historic properties.
A historic property is any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object that is included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Officers—or SHPOs—administer the Federal or State historic preservation program.”