Section 4(f) applies to projects that receive funding from or require approval by an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Section 4(f) properties include publicly owned public parks, recreation areas, and wildlife or waterfowl refuges, or any publicly or privately owned historic site listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Section 4(f) requires that the DOT agency select an avoidance alternative to the use of the protected property unless there is no feasible or prudent alternative.
The FHWA is ultimately responsible for making all decisions related to Section 4(f) compliance. These include whether Section 4(f) applies to a property, whether a use will occur, whether a de minimis impact determination may be made, assessment of each alternative’s impacts to Section 4(f) properties, and determining whether the law allows the selection of a particular alternative after consulting with the appropriate officials with jurisdiction.
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