[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 122 (Friday, June 25, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36467-36471]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-15438]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2010-0027]


Livability Initiative Under Special Experimental Project No. 14

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The FHWA is announcing a livability initiative to harmonize 
and coordinate the Federal-aid highway program with grant-in-aid 
programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under 
this initiative, the FHWA will utilize Special Experimental Project No. 
14 (SEP-14) to permit, on a case-by-case basis, the application of HUD 
requirements on Federal-aid highway projects that may otherwise 
conflict with Federal-aid highway program requirements. One such 
requirement is contained in HUD's Section 3 Program, the goal of which 
is to provide training, employment and contracting opportunities to low 
and very low income persons residing within the metropolitan area (or 
nonmetropolitan county) in which the project is located and businesses 
that substantially employ such persons. The purposes of this SEP-14 
initiative is to evaluate the contracting efficiencies and impacts on 
competition in harmonizing conflicting FHWA and HUD contracting 
requirements, and to further the goals of the DOT, HUD, and EPA 
partnership on sustainable communities. This initiative will not result 
in the diversion of highway funds to housing projects. The statutory 
funding eligibility requirements must continue to be met in order to 
use Federal-aid highway funds.

DATES: This new experimental project is being initiated on June 25, 
2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information: Mr. Gerald 
Yakowenko, Office of Program Administration (HIPA), (202) 366-1562. For 
legal information: Mr. Michael Harkins, Office of the Chief Counsel 
(HCC-30), (202) 366-4928, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 
a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Electronic Access and Filing

    Interested parties may access the comments received by FHWA by 
going online and entering the following Web address: http://www.regulations.gov, which is available 24 hours each day, 365 days 
each year. Electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines are 
available under the help section of the Web site.
    An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded from the 
Office of the Federal Register's home page at http://www.archives.gov/federal_register and the Government Printing Office's Web page at 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov.

Background

    On March 30, 2010, the FHWA published a notice (75 FR 15767) 
regarding the FHWA's proposal to permit, on a case-by-case basis, the 
application of HUD requirements on Federal-aid highway projects that 
may otherwise conflict with Federal-aid highway program requirements, 
such as HUD's Section 3 Program that requires employment opportunities 
be provided to low and very low income persons residing within the area 
in which the project is located. This SEP-14 initiative is being 
advanced by the FHWA in order to evaluate the potential efficiencies 
that may be realized by harmonizing FHWA and HUD contracting 
requirements for jointly funded projects. Additionally, this initiative 
furthers the June 16, 2009, DOT, HUD, and EPA Interagency Partnership 
for Sustainable Communities. One of the goals of this partnership is to 
better align DOT, HUD, and EPA programs to encourage better 
coordination and location efficiency in housing and transportation 
choices. More information on the partnership can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/and http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/partnership/index.html.

SEP-14

    In 1988, a Transportation Research Board (TRB) task force, 
comprised of representatives from all segments of the highway industry, 
was formed to evaluate Innovative Contracting Practices. This TRB task 
force requested that the FHWA establish a project to evaluate and 
validate certain findings of the task force regarding innovative 
contracting practices, which are documented in Transportation Research 
Circular Number 386, titled, ``Innovative Contracting Practices,'' 
dated December 1991. In response, the FHWA initiated Special 
Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP-14) pursuant to the authority granted 
to the Secretary under 23 U.S.C. 502(a). (http://fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/021390.cfm).

[[Page 36468]]

    The SEP-14 strives to identify, evaluate, and document innovative 
contracting practices that have the potential to reduce the life cycle 
cost of projects, while at the same time, maintain product quality. 
Under SEP-14, the FHWA has the flexibility to experiment with 
innovative approaches to contracting. However, SEP-14 does not seek 
alternatives to the open competitive bid process.
    The innovative practices originally approved for evaluation were: 
Cost-plus-time bidding, lane rental, design-build contracting, and 
warranty clauses. Forty-one States have used at least one of the 
innovative practices under SEP-14. Based on their collective 
experiences, FHWA decided that cost-plus-time bidding, lane rental, and 
warranty clauses were techniques suitable for use as non-experimental, 
operational practices and in 1995 these were made regular Federal-aid 
procedures. Additionally, design-build contracting in the Federal-aid 
highway program was originally conducted under SEP-14 until Congress 
modified 23 U.S.C. 112 in section 1307 of the Transportation Equity Act 
for the 21st Century to permanently authorize the use of this 
contracting method. The SEP-14 continues to be used to test and 
evaluate experimental contracting practices.

Discussion of Comments

Summary

    On Tuesday, March 30, 2010, the FHWA published a notice and 
requested comment on a proposed contracting approach to be evaluated 
under SEP-14. Specifically, the contracting approach proposed seeks to 
harmonize FHWA and HUD contracting requirements by permitting States to 
apply HUD's local hiring provisions, which are required by HUD's 
Section 3 Program as a condition to using HUD's Community Development 
Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The FHWA proposes to advance this SEP-14 
approach pursuant to the DOT/HUD/EPA Sustainable Communities 
Partnership.
    The FHWA received 12 comments in response to this notice. Of these 
comments, nine were supportive (in varying degrees), one was neutral, 
and one was opposed. As a result of these comments, only one change is 
recommended for incorporation into the final notice. This change comes 
from the comment made by the National Housing Law Project, who 
suggested that the FHWA notify HUD whenever a SEP-14 application is 
made by a State DOT.

Identification and Response to Comments

    The following identifies and summarizes the major comments 
submitted by all the commenters in response to the March 30 notice, as 
well as the FHWA response:
1. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
    The Caltrans states that it would support the proposed SEP-14 
approach if FHWA's regulations are amended to permit geographic 
preferences.
    FHWA Response: The purpose of this experiment is to evaluate the 
effects, including impacts on competition, of applying HUD contracting 
requirements to FHWA projects. Once the FHWA determines that enough 
data has been obtained, the FHWA will consider to what extent a change 
in the regulations may be warranted.
2. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
    The PennDOT supports utilizing SEP-14 to permit the use of HUD's 
Section 3 Program on joint FHWA/HUD projects. Doing so would enable 
both PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic 
Development to maximize the use of both agencies' Federal dollars while 
reducing the financial burden on municipalities when undertaking these 
projects. The PennDOT notes that they have abandoned the use of CDBG 
funds on two projects because of the conflicting requirements between 
the FHWA and HUD programs.
    The PennDOT further notes an additional conflict between FHWA and 
HUD requirements. Specifically, the FHWA applies a disadvantaged 
business enterprise (DBE) program where there is a single goal for all 
disadvantaged businesses while HUD applies a minority and woman owned 
business enterprise (MBE/WBE) program where there are separate goals 
for minority and women owned businesses. The PennDOT recommends the 
application of the FHWA's DBE program since the FHWA would typically 
have the larger financial interest in the project.
    The PennDOT further recommends that SEP-14 approval be granted for 
a group or class of projects for administrative convenience.
    FHWA Response: The PennDOT provides a good example of the type of 
problem the FHWA intends to address with this SEP-14 approach. However, 
the FHWA is not proposing any variations to the DBE program and does 
not have authority to change HUD's MBE/WBE program. Since most 
contractors would likely have certifications for both DOT's DBE program 
and HUD's MBE/WBE program, the FHWA believes that both programs' 
program can be consistently applied to joint FHWA/HUD projects. Lastly, 
the project or projects for which SEP-14 approval will be granted will 
be determined by the scope of the State's work plan in which the State 
may propose to use the SEP-14 approach for one or more projects. 
However, the FHWA does not believe that approval should be granted for 
an entire class or category of projects.
3. National Housing Conference (NHC)
    The NHC supports the use of SEP-14 to reduce conflicts that would 
jeopardize the application of HUD's Section 3 Program to joint FHWA/HUD 
projects as well as the interest to combine HUD and DOT funding to 
advance the goals of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The 
NHC further agrees with the requirement for States to address the 
degree to which the project enhances livability and sustainability in 
their work plans, but is concerned with the omission of a reference to 
the importance of affordable housing in advancing livability and 
sustainability. As such, NHC suggests that the States address the 
following question in their work plans: ``Will the project reduce 
families' combined costs for housing and transportation?'' 
Additionally, NHC suggests asking the States whether their 
transportation and land use plans have been coordinated with affordable 
housing activities.
    FHWA Response: The FHWA appreciates NHC's comments and fully 
supports the goals of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. 
However, the FHWA declines to incorporate NHC's specific suggestions. 
While affordable housing is part of the overall goal of the Partnership 
for Sustainable Communities, the FHWA's efforts under the Partnership 
must be consistent with the agency's mission, which is to administer 
the Federal-aid highway program. Since this SEP-14 approach only 
concerns the administration of the Federal-aid highway program, 
requirements and data related to affordable housing would be beyond the 
scope of the experiment.
4. Transportation Equity Network (TEN)
    The TEN strongly supports the use of SEP-14 to harmonize 
conflicting FHWA and HUD requirements. However, TEN suggests that the 
Federal-aid highway program provide training and employment 
opportunities to low and very low income persons residing within the 
metropolitan area in which

[[Page 36469]]

the project is located. The TEN also suggests strengthening the 
criteria for evaluating how projects enhance livability, such as 
increasing economic development and promoting access to job 
opportunities.
    FHWA Response: The Federal-aid highway program already includes an 
On-the-Job Training Program under which State DOTs are required to 
offer apprenticeship and training programs targeted to move women, 
minorities, and socially and economically disadvantaged persons into 
journey level positions, and an On-the-Job Training and Supportive 
Services Program under which $10,000,000 every year is made available 
for training. For more information, please see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/eeo.htm. Also, the FHWA declines to expand 
the livability criteria as suggested by TEN. The FHWA believes the 
livability criteria set out in the notice are sufficient for purposes 
of the SEP-14 approach to be conducted.
5. American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD)
    The BCTD supports the SEP-14 approach and the goals established for 
the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. However, BCTD does not 
feel that SEP-14 is necessary to allow application of HUD's Section 3 
Program requirements. Rather, BCTD urges the Secretary to amend the 
regulations. The BCTD also asserts that the FHWA routinely denies 
requests to use project labor agreements (PLAs) because union hiring 
hall procedures, which confer a geographic preference for employment, 
are contrary to FHWA requirements.
    FHWA Response: The FHWA has long maintained that local hiring 
preferences are inconsistent with the requirement in 23 U.S.C. 112 to 
require such plans and specifications and methods of bidding as are 
effective in securing competition. With this SEP-14 approach, the FHWA 
is interested in examining the potential impacts on competition and 
whether competition, cost, and overall project efficiency will be 
enhanced by allowing the HUD funded work and FHWA funded work to be 
advertised and awarded as part of a single contract. Once we determine 
that we have enough data, we will consider to what extent a change in 
the regulations may be warranted.
6. National Housing Law Project (NHLP)
    The NHLP is generally supportive the SEP-14 approach. The NHLP 
submitted lengthy comments, but they are generally concerned with 
ensuring that HUD's Section 3 requirements are met and further enhance 
the livability criteria of the SEP-14 work plans. With respect to the 
livability criteria, NHLP's comments generally recommend that the SEP-
14 focus more on HUD goals and incorporate the promotion equitable and 
affordable housing, support for existing communities, and valuing 
communities and neighborhoods. The NHLP also suggests that a percentage 
of FHWA funds be set aside for training, that the HUD CDBG and Section 
3 offices be informed when a SEP-14 work plan is submitted.
    FHWA Response: With respect to NHLP's comments to expand the 
livability criteria to focus more on HUD goals and to set aside funds 
for training, the FHWA declines to do so for the reasons discussed in 
response to NHC's and TEN's comments: the promotion of affordable 
housing, while a laudable goal, is not the focus of FHWA's mission and 
the Federal-aid highway program already administers a training program. 
With respect to enforcement of HUD's Section 3 requirements, HUD will 
continue to administer the CDBG Program and will ensure that the 
applicable requirements are met. However, the FHWA agrees with NHLP's 
comment regarding the notification of HUD regarding the receipt of a 
SEP-14 work plan and will work with HUD to develop an appropriate 
protocol.
7. Transportation for America (TFA)
    The TFA expressed strong support for the SEP-14 approach. The TFA 
suggests strengthening the criteria for evaluating livability by 
requiring applicants to include housing components and to add explicit 
language regarding the eligibility of using Federal funds for On-the-
Job Training and Apprenticeship Programs. The TFA further suggests that 
DOT be explicit about how this SEP-14 eligibility furthers the Nation's 
livability goals.
    FHWA Response: With respect to TFA's comments to strengthen the 
livability criteria by including housing components and to clarify 
eligibility for training, the FHWA declines to do so for the reasons 
discussed in response to NHC's, TEN's, and NHLP's comments: the 
promotion of affordable housing, while a laudable goal, is not the 
focus of FHWA's mission and the Federal-aid highway program already 
administers a training program through which training activities will 
be conducted. Additionally, the FHWA believes that the existing 
livability criteria is sufficient to show how the project will further 
livability from a transportation perspective.
8. Brown and Mitchell, Inc.
    Brown and Mitchell, Inc., (Brown and Mitchell) a consulting 
engineering firm in Mississippi, supports the SEP-14 proposal to 
harmonize FHWA and HUD contracting requirements. Brown and Mitchell 
represents local communities who have been required to procure and 
award construction projects separately because of the conflicting 
requirements in FHWA and HUD regulations. Brown and Mitchell gives 
specific examples of two projects that had to be administered 
separately due to the conflict between FHWA and HUD provisions. Brown 
and Mitchell states that requiring projects to be undertaken under 
separate contracts due to conflicting regulations is a waste of time 
and taxpayer money in most cases because it is more efficient to 
procure the work under a single contract.
    FHWA Response: Brown and Mitchell provides a good example of what 
the FHWA is trying to accomplish with this SEP-14 approach. Utilizing 
SEP-14, the FHWA will be able to examine the potential impacts on 
competition and whether competition, cost, and overall project 
efficiency will be enhanced by allowing the HUD funded work and FHWA 
funded work to be advertised and awarded as part of a single contract. 
Once we determine that we have enough data, we will consider to what 
extent a change in the regulations may be warranted.
9. Lincoln County Highway Department
    The Lincoln County Highway Department (Lincoln County, Minnesota) 
concurs with the SEP-14 initiative, and notes that cooperation and 
streamlining of regulations can save money. However, the Lincoln County 
Highway Department expresses concern that transportation funds continue 
to be applied to transportation and not housing.
    FHWA Response: The FHWA is not altering the eligibility 
requirements for Federal-aid highway funding. The underlying project 
subject to a SEP-14 proposal must meet existing program funding 
eligibility requirements.
10. Joyce Dillard
    Joyce Dillard comments that the economic component of the HUD 
funding is critical to low income areas and that suspension of this 
component could be devastating.
    FHWA Response: The FHWA is not proposing to alter the economic 
component of the HUD funding programs. Rather, the FHWA's SEP-14 
initiative would permit the HUD geographic hiring preferences to be

[[Page 36470]]

utilized on a joint FHWA/HUD project rather than requiring separate 
contracts for the HUD and FHWA funded work.
11. American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
    The ARTBA commented that, while they are supportive of efforts to 
ease the contracting process and reduce delay, ARTBA is concerned that 
using SEP-14 to projects geared toward livability is inconsistent with 
the purpose and goals of the SEP-14 program. The ARTBA also expresses 
concern that the HUD and FHWA contracting requirements are designed for 
distinct and different purposes in that the HUD requirements are geared 
toward ensuring employment and economic opportunity while FHWA's are 
intended to ensure cost-efficient and timely delivery of highway 
project. Allowing the incorporation of HUD's hiring preferences would 
represent a major policy change and undermine the time-tested open and 
competitive bidding process. Additionally, ARTBA expresses concern that 
transportation funds are not diverted toward non-transportation 
purposes, and that joint FHWA/HUD contracts could lead to participation 
by contractors who are not prequalified to do highway work.
    FHWA Response: The primary objective of the SEP-14 initiative is to 
determine what contracting efficiencies can be realized by harmonizing 
the HUD and FHWA contracting requirements. This objective falls within 
the stated purpose of the SEP-14 program. As highlighted by PennDOT, 
who has abandoned CBDG money on two projects as a result of these 
conflicting requirements, and by Mitchell and Brown, who provided two 
examples of projects that were split into separate contracts, there 
appear to be disincentives for grant recipients to use CDBG funds on 
otherwise eligible Federal-aid highway activities and inefficiencies in 
forcing recipients to award separate contracts to resolve the issue. It 
is possible that competition can actually be enhanced when a single 
contract is used. The FHWA's primary intent behind this SEP-14 
initiative is to evaluate the contracting efficiencies and 
inefficiencies associated with joint FHWA/HUD projects.
    With respect to livability, it is the DOT's policy to promote 
projects that further livability, and the FHWA has set out some 
criteria for what the agency is looking for with respect to livability. 
We believe that the inherent nature of projects that qualify for HUD 
funding most likely satisfy the livability criteria. However, the fact 
that a project may be a livable project does not make it any less 
transportation oriented. As stated above, the primary purpose of this 
SEP-14 initiative is contracting efficiency. However, the FHWA would 
also like know whether these projects that are jointly funded by FHWA 
and HUD further livability.
    With respect to ARTBA's concern about the possible diversion of 
transportation funding to non-transportation projects, and as explained 
in response to the comments from the Lincoln County Highway Department, 
the underlying project subject to a SEP-14 proposal must meet existing 
highway program funding eligibility requirements. The FHWA will not 
allow highway funds to be diverted to housing projects. Also, with 
respect to the concern that contractors who are not prequalified to do 
highway work may be awarded construction contracts, prequalification 
has always been, and continues to be, a State department of 
transportation matter. The States will continue to be responsible for 
establishing the qualification requirements for contractors doing 
highway work.
12. Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
    The MDOT commented that it supports the goals of this SEP-14 
initiative to enhance the coordination of the Federal-aid Highway 
Program with grant programs administered by HUD and EPA. The MDOT 
further noted the following observations related to the initiative: (1) 
The FHWA should explore how HUD provisions might be extended to transit 
projects; (2) MDOT will ensure that, in light of this initiative, it 
does not create a bias in favor of urban projects over rural projects; 
(3) the notice is unclear regarding the extent to which HUD planning 
requirements apply; (4) the initiative should include mechanisms to 
help recipients identify and monitor HUD Section 3 performance; (5) the 
FHWA should issue guidance on HUD reporting requirements; (6) the State 
may need to amend its existing procurement law and minority preference 
programs in order to take advantage of this SEP-14 initiative; and (7) 
the livability factors should be amended to include the degree to which 
the project enhances access to public transit.
    FHWA Response: The FHWA appreciates MDOT support for this program, 
which the FHWA believes will result in contracting efficiencies and 
increased funding flexibility for the States. With respect to MDOT's 
observations, the FHWA responds as follows:
    (1) The FHWA should explore how HUD provisions might be extended to 
transit projects: The expansion of this SEP-14 initiative to transit 
projects is beyond the scope of SEP-14. This is an issue for the 
Federal Transit Administration.
    (2) MDOT will ensure that, in light of this initiative, it does not 
create a bias in favor of urban projects over rural projects: The FHWA 
appreciates MDOT's awareness of this issue and encourages the State to 
take appropriate steps to utilize its Federal-aid highway funds as the 
State deems most appropriate.
    (3) The notice is unclear regarding the extent to which HUD 
planning requirements apply: Grant recipients must apply with 
applicable FHWA and HUD requirements.
    (4) The initiative should include mechanisms to help recipients 
identify and monitor HUD Section 3 performance: The FHWA is not 
responsible for the administration of the HUD's Section 3 Program. HUD 
is the most appropriate agency to help recipients comply with HUD 
Section 3 requirements.
    (5) The FHWA should issue guidance on HUD reporting requirements: 
The FHWA is not responsible for the administration of the HUD's Section 
3 Program. HUD is the most appropriate agency to help recipients comply 
with HUD Section 3 requirements.
    (6) The State may need to amend its existing procurement law and 
minority preference programs in order to take advantage of this SEP-14 
initiative: The use of this SEP-14 initiative is not mandatory. States 
wishing to participate should first ensure that doing so is consistent 
with State requirements.
    (7) The livability factors should be amended to include the degree 
to which the project enhances access to public transit: The livability 
factors already address the extent to which the project will enhance 
user mobility through the creation of more convenient transportation 
options and whether the project will improve existing transportation 
choices by enhancing modal connectivity. The FHWA believes that these 
factors already encompass the degree to which a project may, among 
other things, enhance access to public transit.

SEP-14 Initiative

    The FHWA has decided to permit States to request SEP-14 approval 
for contracting practices intended to enhance livability and 
sustainability as part of any project that is to be jointly funded with 
HUD. In order to receive SEP-14 approval, States should follow

[[Page 36471]]

the normal process and submit work plans to the appropriate FHWA 
division office. For more information on the SEP-14 process, please 
see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/sep_a.cfm.
    In particular, with respect to projects involving activities that 
otherwise meet the requirements for the use of FHWA and HUD funds, 
States may experiment under SEP-14 with combining these funding sources 
for single, integrated projects that are procured and bid under a 
single contract while complying with training, employment, and 
contracting requirements of HUD's Section 3, to the greatest extent 
feasible. The purpose of the experiment is to gauge the extent to which 
HUD funding may be used for highway projects, the effects on 
competition whenever HUD's economic opportunity requirements are used 
on a joint FHWA/HUD project, and the extent to which the alignment of 
FHWA and HUD requirements further livability.
    The FHWA will only consider the possible use of HUD's economic 
opportunity requirements under SEP-14 in the context of a joint FHWA/
HUD project and only to the extent necessary to comply with applicable 
HUD statutes. The FHWA will not consider the use of such preferences 
unless necessary to meet the requirements of a Federal grant-in-aid 
program.
    In developing their work plans, States should address, at a 
minimum, the following points:

1. Competition

    a. States should describe how they will evaluate the effects of 
HUD's economic opportunity requirements on competitive bidding. In 
doing so, the States may wish to compare the bids received for the 
proposed project to prior projects of similar size and scope and in the 
same geographic area.
    b. States should quantify and report on the expected economic 
benefits from advancing the joint FHWA/HUD project under a single 
contract.
    c. States wishing to utilize SEP-14 to permit the use of HUD-
required hiring preferences on joint FHWA/HUD projects should identify 
the amount of HUD and FHWA funding involved in the project as well as 
the estimated total project cost. In order to qualify for a SEP-14 
approval to use a geographic preference for a joint FHWA/HUD project, 
the amount of HUD funding involved with the project must be at least 10 
percent of the amount of Title 23 eligible work, or with respect to 
projects financed with $100,000,000 or more in Federal funding in the 
aggregate, 5 percent of such eligible work. In any event, the FHWA may 
reject SEP-14 work plans for projects with only de minimis amount of 
HUD funding.
    d. States should address whether the HUD provision at issue 
conflicts with FHWA regulations and is necessary to meet HUD program 
requirements.
    e. The work plan should address the degree to which the project 
enhances livability and sustainability.

2. Livability

    Livability investments are projects that not only deliver 
transportation benefits, but are also designed and planned in such a 
way that they have a positive impact on qualitative measures of 
community life. This element of long-term outcomes delivers benefits 
that are inherently difficult to measure. However, it is implicit to 
livability that its benefits are shared and therefore magnified by the 
number of potential users in the affected community.
    The workplan should provide a description of the affected community 
and the scale of the project's impact. Factors relevant to whether a 
project improves the quality of the living and working environment of a 
community include:
    a. Will the project significantly enhance user mobility through the 
creation of more convenient transportation options for travelers?
    b. Will the project improve existing transportation choices by 
enhancing points of modal connectivity or by reducing congestion on 
existing modal assets?
    c. Will the project improve accessibility and transport services 
for economically disadvantaged populations, non-drivers, senior 
citizens, and persons with disabilities, or to make goods, commodities, 
and services more readily available to these groups?
    d. Is the project the result of a planning process which 
coordinated transportation and land-use planning decisions and 
encouraged community participation in the process?

3. Sustainability

    Sustainability refers to whether a project promotes a more 
environmentally sustainable transportation system. The workplan should 
address the following issues relevant to sustainability:
    a. Does the project improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on 
oil and/or reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Applicants are encouraged 
to provide quantitative information regarding expected reductions in 
emissions of CO2 or fuel consumption as a result of the project, or 
expected use of clean or alternative sources of energy. Projects that 
demonstrate a projected decrease in the movement of people or goods by 
less energy-efficient vehicles or systems will be given priority under 
this factor.
    b. Does the project maintain, protect or enhance the environment, 
as evidenced by its avoidance of adverse environmental impacts (for 
example, adverse impacts related to air quality, wetlands, and 
endangered species) and/or by its environmental benefits (for example, 
improved air quality, wetlands creation or improved habitat 
connectivity)?
    c. Does the project further the goals of the DOT, HUD, and EPA 
Sustainable Communities Partnership discussed above?

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 315.

    Issued on: June 21, 2010.
Victor M. Mendez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2010-15438 Filed 6-24-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P