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"