The U.S. Department of Transportation on Sept. 20 said it is accelerating the installation of electric vehicle charging stations by adopting a Department of Energy electric vehicle charging station categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act.
DOT filed a Federal Register notice announcing the adoption, taking advantage of a new provision in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“This will allow for faster environmental review processes for state and local governments as they work to build out a convenient, accessible, and reliable EV charging network by allowing the vast majority of DOT’s $7.5 billion in EV charging investments to be considered” under categorical exclusions, DOT said.
By adopting the Department of Energy’s EV Charging categorical exclusion, DOT now has an EV charging specific categorical exclusion that will help non-traditional grantees who are less familiar with the Federal Highway Administration’s currently available categorical exclusions, which cover many EV projects but require fluency with the NEPA process.
This is the first application of the FRA since President Biden signed it into law in June of 2023 and reflects the convergence of two administration priorities: EV charging and project delivery, DOT said.
DOT recently deployed $100 million in new funding through the Inflation Reduction Act to provide technical assistance for direct grant recipients, expand technical assistance for local and tribal governments -- particularly those receiving discretionary grants for the first time and support the modernization of the NEPA process.