Programmatic Permits Covering Highway Maintenance Activities Provide Regulatory Efficiency and Achieve Environmental Outcomes

Gregor Myhr, Washington State Department of Transportation
Topic Area
Policy and Regulatory Developments in Transportation

In the early 2000's, WSDOT coordinated with local, state and federal agencies under leadership by the state legislature to develop programmatic permits that would cover 80% of WSDOT highway maintenance program activities and meet environmental outcomes that protect habitat, water quality, and fish life. Over the last decade WSDOT has seen an increase in the number of highway maintenance activities covered by the permits and ability to measure the performance of environmental outcomes. A few factors that contribute to efficiencies gained through programmatic permit coverage include adaptively managing standard conditions, training and awareness, and providing maintenance crews with a mobile data tracking system that includes important environmental information and a platform to document work performed to ensure compliance with permits. With these systems in place, WSDOT can more effectively manage permit compliance and environmental outcomes and thereby, increasing trust between WSDOT, regulatory agencies, tribal governments, and the public.

Abstract Keywords
Highway Maintenance / Permits / Environment outcome