The mission of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department’s (AHTD) Environmental Division is to effectively and efficiently provide interdisciplinary support and assistance to ensure compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and policies in the planning, construction, and operation of a safe, efficient, and environmentally sensitive intermodal transportation system.
The Environmental Division of the AHTD is primarily responsible for ensuring that the Department adequately addresses and documents the impacts of Highway projects on the natural and social environment in compliance with regulations set forth in the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA), as well as other state and federal laws pertaining to environmental protection.
It is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) policy to develop, enhance, and maintain environmental staff expertise, and encourage state transportation agencies to do the same. To accomplish this mission and to be consistent with FHWA’s policy, the Environmental Division has developed an organization that is capable of evaluating, documenting, and monitoring nearly all of the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of the AHTD’s construction and maintenance activities. The Division’s in-house staff has evolved into an interdisciplinary staff of project managers and professional staff capable of providing complete environmental evaluations of transportation projects.
The Division is divided into seven sections which are responsible for evaluating and documenting the many different potential environmental impacts from AHTD construction and maintenance activities. These sections are Assessments, Beautification, Cultural Resources, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), NPDES (Stormwater), Public Involvement and Special Studies. Some of the potential impacts that are evaluated by these sections include, endangered species, environmental justice, hazardous waste, water quality, historic structures, archeology, wetlands, noise analysis, and land use.