Florida’s ETDM Process: Efficient Transportation Decision Making
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has developed an innovative process for ensuring that transportation projects are planned and implemented in a way that protects our natural and human environmental resources. This process, known as Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM), enables resource protection agencies and the public to provide early input to FDOT and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) about the potential effects of proposed transportation projects. The goal of ETDM is to make transportation decisions more quickly without sacrificing the quality of the human and natural environments.
The ETDM Story
FDOT developed the ETDM Process in response to Congress’ call to “streamline” the environmental review and permitting process (Section 1309 of TEA-21). The ETDM Process was developed over a 3-year period in collaboration with MPOs and federal and state resource agencies. FDOT’s federal transportation partners included FHWA, FTA, and the U.S. Coast Guard. FDOT began implementing the ETDM process in the spring of 2003. Collaborating agencies signed the ETDM Memorandum of Understanding. Program implementation details and funding requirements are documented in Agency Operating and Funding Agreements.
Expected ETDM Benefits
- Early identification of avoidance/minimization options
- Socioeconomic effects balanced with the natural environment
- Disputed projects addressed before programming
- Attention focused on key technical issues, not on proving the negative
- Agencies and affected communities have ready access to quality data
- Summary reports provide feedback
How Can the Public Get Involved?
Early in the project planning process, the public and the Environmental Technical Advisory Team (ETAT) review projects for potential environmental effects. The ETAT consists of government representatives with statutory authority for issuing permits or providing environmental consultation. At the same time, they are notified to review a project, the public is informed that the project information is available for their review on the ETDM website or through the MPO or FDOT District Office. Members of the public provide comments through workshops, correspondence, telephone communication, and emails. ETDM Coordinators summarize and provide feedback through the ETDM website and the FDOT District Office. All project information continues to be available and updated as the project progresses.
You can access the ETDM website by clicking here: http://etdmpub.fla-etat.org/