Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Project development

Environmental process | Environmental review

Construction Impacts (Environmental Review)


The purpose of this guidance is to consider construction activities during the environmental review process to minimize construction impacts to the human and natural environment and maintain good relationships with adjacent property owners, residents, and other transportation users within the project area.

When to use this subject

Project managers need to consider construction impacts on all projects. These impacts may be temporary, only occurring during construction of the project, or permanent, and remain after completion of project construction. Typical issues that construction causes may include increased noise and dust, increased traffic, excess material disposal, use of haul roads, safety concerns, temporary bypasses and detours that may impact access to businesses and residents, and right-of-way needs for staging and/or easements. Measures to avoid impacts to resources such as threatened and endangered species, wetlands, cultural resources, water resources, Section 4(f) and 6(f) properties, and Environmental Justice populations are part of the avoidance, minimization, and mitigation effort for construction related impacts. Aside from state and local permit requirements and regulations related to construction activity, there are no federal threshold criteria for construction impacts, however, as noted above, efforts to avoid, minimize, and mitigate construction impacts are part of the environmental review process.

Class I Actions (Environmental Impact Statement (EIS))

Conduct an early assessment of the magnitude of potential construction-related impacts and assess the need for further study in the scoping documents (SD) and scoping decision documents (SDD).
Conduct an inventory of potential construction impacts for each of the project alternatives and summarize the findings in the draft EIS (DEIS). Include preliminary mitigation measures in the DEIS and finalize the specific mitigation measures in the final EIS (FEIS).

Class II Actions (Categorical Exclusion (CATEX))

If potential problems from construction impacts are not going to be an issue for the project, indicate that fact in a brief statement in the document. If there will be potential construction impacts, follow the same procedure as that for Class I Actions and document specific mitigation measures in the CATEX.

Class III Actions (Environmental Assessment/Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EA/EAW)

Follow the same procedure that you would for CATEXs.

For specific process information, reach out to the contacts (link on the righthand bar).

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

You need construction limits before construction impacts can be determined. Analysis of construction impacts needs to be included in the environmental document, including a discussion of avoidance and minimization efforts and necessary commitments and mitigation measures.

Organizations involved