Planning and Environment Linkages


Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) helps transportation decision makers consider environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process. Practitioners can also use the information, analysis, and products developed during planning to inform the environmental review process. Although not required, use of PEL is encouraged by FHWA.

PEL benefits include consistency, improved sharing of information, and savings of costs and time by eliminating duplicative efforts. For many years federal law and regulations have supported PEL. The FAST Act and the Final Rule for Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning advances the concept of PEL by encouraging innovation and accelerated project delivery through use of these approaches.


Collaborative practices that support PEL include information sharing, communication, and building and strengthening relationships among partners and stakeholders. This Application provides information, questions, and examples for practitioners to consider PEL at specific points in the decision making process.

The Decision Guide provides information on the individual Key Decisions at which these processes are integrated. Hover over the highlighted Key Decisions to understand the specific relationship of PEL to the decision. Click on any highlighted Key Decision for more information about questions, data, and relationships that support this interface. Key Decisions that are greyed-out have no specific relevance to the individual application or topic area but are still accessible from this graphic.