Clean Water Review Of Highway Sections Was Not Improper "Segmentation"

Thursday, August 30, 2018 7:55 am
August 2018 - Volume 46 Number 8

The Army Corps of Engineers properly deferred to transportation agencies’ decision to route a new interstate a particular way. The Corps also properly reviewed the environmental impact of six individual route sections rather than the route as a whole.

Facts: The Federal Highway Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation (transportation agencies) determined that the existing routes covering the approximately 150 miles between Indianapolis and Evansville were insufficient. The direct route between them was narrow and overcrowded, plagued by traffic accidents. And a second route added 13 miles to the drive. The transportation agencies decided that the best solution was to build a new interstate (I-69) along the direct route. This new interstate would reduce the number of traffic accidents, provide better access to several towns, and improve the access of 446,000 people to major institutions of higher education, such as the Bloomington campus of Indiana University.

Pursuant to the Clean Water Act, the Army Corps of Engineers assesses new highways’ environmental impact on wetlands before issuing permits "for the discharge of dredged or fill [..]