Environmental commitments are any agreed-upon action to mitigate (restore, enhance, avoid, minimize, and/or replace) impacts to the human environment (40 CFR 1508.20). The human environment includes social, economic, natural, and cultural resources. Typically, these actions are agreed upon between ODOT and the regulatory agencies as part of the coordination process and provide compliance with state and federal law. Failure to comply and/or follow-through with these actions can result in loss of federal funding and approvals, degraded public and agency relations, fines, project schedule delays, and/or potential criminal charges against individuals associated with the action. Environmental commitments can originate and require implementation at any point in the Project Development Process and during Operations & Maintenance.
The OES Guidance for Writing Environmental Commitments summarizes how to:
- decide what actions become environmental commitments
- write environmental commitments
- communicate commitments with responsible individuals
- follow through with commitments
- record and track successful implementation of environmental commitments in EnviroNet