The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is the lead agency for the NEC FUTURE program. The FRA is working closely with a number of key partners, including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). In light of its expertise and likely future involvement in elements of the NEC FUTURE program, the FTA is a cooperating agency working with the FRA on the preparation of the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As a cooperating agency, FTA will review and contribute to technical studies, alternatives development, environmental impact assessments, and related topics. The FRA also regularly coordinates with other U.S. Department of Transportation modal agencies.
NEC FUTURE is being developed in close coordination with the NEC Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission (NEC Commission), an organization established through federal legislation to promote mutual cooperation and planning for the NEC. The NEC Commission members include representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the corridor states and District of Columbia, Amtrak, and non-voting representatives of the freight railroads who operate over the NEC. Connecting states and commuter operators on the NEC have also been invited as non-voting representatives.
In addition, NEC FUTURE was selected as a pilot project on environmental collaboration in January 2012. The year-long pilot, a unique partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to promote early collaboration with federal and state environmental agencies for efficient environmental decision-making, helped to identify best practices for environmental collaboration during a complex, multi-state planning process. It also provided a foundation for ongoing agency coordination, including a Statement of Principles to guide future communication with resource and regulatory agencies. For more information about the pilot, visit the CEQ Pilot webpage.