Division of Environmental Analysis (DEA)

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In response to enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), in 1969, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), in 1973, Caltrans formally initiated an environmental function. Subsequently, in response to the passage of a host of environmentally-related lawsand regulations and heightened public support for the environment, the Program has grown to become a substantive and inseparable part of Caltrans' planning, development, construction, operation and maintenance efforts.

  • Read more about DEA . . .

    The Division of Environmental Analysis administers Caltrans' responsibilities under federal and state environmental law. The Program develops and maintains Caltrans environmental standards, policies, procedures, and practices that are implemented by the Department's 12 District Environmental Branches. Program staff work with the districts to identify and assess the effects of Caltrans projects on the state's natural and cultural environments, and identify ways to avoid or mitigate those effects.

    The Division of Environmental Analysis acts as the Department compliance lead and assists the Districts and our transportation partners in:

    • Complying with state and federal environmental laws;
    • Encouraging the public to participate in the environmental evaluation process;
    • Determining the environmental consequences of our activities;
    • Proposing prudent, feasible and cost effective strategies and alternatives to avoid or minimize adverse impacts of the Department's activities, and;
    • Ensuring the mitigation selected is appropriate.
  •  The Environmental Management Office has updated the CE Checklist to:
    • Update the dollar amounts for CEs under 23 CFR 771.117(c)(23) “Projects with limited federal assistance”
    • Add a checkbox confirming that the project description matches that found in the FSTIP and RTP and that the appropriate page of the FSTIP has been added to the project file
    • Add a section on US Coast Guard Coordination
    • Make clarifications to the Cultural Resources, Biology, and Wetlands sections based on NEPA Assignment Monitoring Reviews

    Additionally, a peer review is no longer required for categorical exclusions under 23 USC 326 or 23 USC 327. The CE checklist as well as Chapters 30 and 38 of the SER have been updated accordingly. 

    The CE/CE form has been updated to clarify when a categorical exemption under CEQA would not be prepared and to change the effective date of the 23 USC 326 CE Assignment MOU.

  •  The Environmental Management Office has prepared a new fact sheet outlining the requirements for FSTIP considerations in NEPA approvals. In addition, a sample ESR has been provided on the SER forms and templates page. The ESR contains a new checkbox for the FSTIP/RTP project page attachment. Districts are encouraged to incorporate the changes into their ESRs.

  • The Environmental Management Office has updated SER Chapter 11 "Air Quality," as well as the "Air Quality Conformity Findings Checklist" to clarify that certain categorical exclusions under 23 USC 326 may require the preparation of an Air Quality Conformity Analysis.

  • The Stormwater Office has a new campaign called Protect Every Drop.

  • On May 31, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) renewed the 23 USC 326 CE MOU for another three year term. No comments related to this MOU were received during the public comment period that ended May 11, 2016.

  • The Environmental Management Office has prepared a short Fact Sheet on Section 1309 of the FAST Act, "Program for Eliminating Duplication of Environmental Reviews," sometimes referred to as "CEQA for NEPA" or "CEQA/NEPA Reciprocity."

  • The Environmental Management Office has updated the "Fact Sheet for Categorical Exclusions under 23 CFR 771.117(c)(22) and 771.117(c)(23)" for projects within an existing operational right-of-way and projects receiving limited federal funding. This update was required to reflect that Section 1314 of the FAST Act provided for annual inflation adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index.

  • The Environmental Management Office has posted new Draft EIR/EIS and Final EIR/EIS Distribution List samples on the SER Forms and Templates page to reflect the Department of the Interior's new submittal requirements (effective February, 2016). Chapter 32 has also been updated.

  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is renewing the 23 USC 326 CE MOU for another three year term, which will authorize Caltrans to continue making Categorical Exclusion determinations, as has been done since June 2007. Until May 11, 2016, comments on the renewal are being accepted from the public.  To view the Draft MOU, make comments, and for more information on the 23 USC CE Assignment Program, please click here.

  • In February 2016, Caltrans submitted to the Legislature the fourth report on NEPA Assignment performance. This report is required by Section 820.1(d) of the California Streets and Highways Code (SHC) and includes a comparative analysis of the time Caltrans is saving in preparing, reviewing, and approving environmental documents under NEPA Assignment, as compared to the time that FHWA took for similar activities prior to NEPA Assignment. Under SHC Sec. 820.1 (last amended by in 2011 by AB 892), the Legislature waived California’s U.S. Constitution 11th amendment right to sovereign immunity from actions brought in federal court against Caltrans for its decisions made in performing NEPA Assignment responsibilities.

  • The Environmental Management Office has added a link to the 2015 FSTIP on the left navigation menu of the SER Home Page. This link will assist staff in verifying key information (project description, funding status and sources) from the FSTIP in order to be in compliance with federal requirements prior to NEPA Approval.

  • The presentations and virtual posters from the Irvine and Marysville Road Ecology Meetings are now online.

  • The 2016 dates for submitting an environmental document to the California Transportation Commission are now posted on the EMO website under the CTC submittal instructions link.

  • The Environmental Management Office has added the FAST Act (signed by President Obama on December 4, 2015) to Chapter 1 of the SER. Links to more information regarding the provisions of the FAST Act have also been included.

  • The Divisions of Design and Environmental Analysis have issued a Policy Memorandum which directs that the FHWA's 1981 "Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects" will continue to be used until the FHWA's new guidance (January 2015) has been evaluated and any applicable tools, guidance, and templates/outlines have been updated.

  • In an effort to address hydroacoustic impacts early in the project delivery process, "Technical Guidance for Assessment and Mitigation of Hydroacoustic Effects of Pile Driving on Fish," has been updated. The Compendium of Hydroacoustic Data is available in Appendix 1 of the Manual. Please continue to work with appropriate project delivery team members and resource agency staff to address issues specific to your project and to check the fish hydroacoustic website for changes as science and engineering evolve to further address hydroacoustic issues. For biological information and assistance regarding hydroacoustic impacts please contact at 707-445-6627, or at (916) 653-8566.
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Contact Information

General Information:

(916) 654-2852
Media Line:
(916) 657-5060
Current Highway Conditions:
(800) 427-7623

Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

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