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  HOME »  TEA-21 LAB
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TEA-21 Lab:
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Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century Environmental Streamlining Laboratory

North Carolina's Department of Transportation (NCDOT) serves as a national environmental streamlining model. Acting as a TEA-21 "laboratory," NCDOT hopes to demonstrate effective and efficient integration of transportation and environmental decision-making. NCDOT's laboratory vision, which is continuously being expanded, is to engage all stakeholders in a shared, efficient, and balanced transportation decision-making process that yields a transportation system that meets the mobility needs of NCDOT's customers, enhances the livability of the communities that our transportation systems serve and minimizes the impacts that our decisions may have on the human and natural environment.

As part of TEA-21 and our laboratory vision, NCDOT has prioritized our environmental commitments through evaluating and addressing five critical components within our agency. The critical components and our five goals are Effective and Timely Decision Making Without Compromising Environmental Quality, Integrating Review and Permitting Processes, Early NEPA Reviews/Approvals, Full and Early Participation and Meaningful Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.

To study and advance environmental streamlining and this balanced form of decision-making, called "environmental stewardship," the North Carolina Board of Transportation formed an Environmental Planning and Policy Committee (EPPC). NCDOT and the EPPC are working to integrate environmental stewardship into decision-making; engage the public and resource agencies early in the project development process; build trust and effective working relationships; develop mutual goals related to transportation and the environment with local, state and federal partners; use context sensitive design and maintenance strategies; and continually improve our processes, among other initiatives.

Environmental Excellence at NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has chosen to structure its environmental management plan based on the performance excellence criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Each year, the President of the United States presents this award to a variety of businesses and organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven critical areas including: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and business results. The seven criteria are designed to help organizations enhance their competitiveness by focusing on two goals: delivering ever improving value to customers and improving overall organizational performance. The Baldrige performance excellence criteria are a framework that any organization can use to improve overall performance. In addition to the seven criteria, the NCDOT has chosen to incorporate an eighth criteria into our performance excellence criteria -- partnerships. Our goal is to utilize these eight criteria to assess our performance for the purpose of identifying our successes and potential improvement opportunities.

Eight Performance Excellence Criteria

For more information regarding the "Eight Performance Excellence Criteria" click here.




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