Glossary

Description
401 Certification/Water Quality Certification
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires the states to issue a 401 Water Quality Certification for all projects that require a Federal Permit (such as a Section 404 Permit). The "401" is essentially a verification by the state that a given project will not degrade Waters of the State or otherwise violate water quality standards.
Abatement [Noise]
A reduction in the degree or intensity of traffic and other noise sources through various forms of 'mitigative' measures, such as noise barriers or walls.
 
Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST)
Usually a metal, fiberglass or plastic storage tank generally considered to be containing a oil, gasoline or other hazardous material which is located at or near the ground surface (See Underground Storage Tank).
Abstain or Abstention
Under the Merger Process, abstain means that a team member does not actively object to a concurrence point but the agency representative does not sign the concurrence point form. The process may continue and the agency representative agrees not to revisit the concurrence point. Written justification for abstaining from a concurrence point should be provided to the project team within 5 days of the concurrence meeting.
Access
The ability to reach or connect to another mode of transportation from an existing mode of transportation or an individual property (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Access Control
[See Control of Access].
Access Management
The planning, design, and implementation of land use and transportation strategies that maintain a safe flow of traffic while accommodating the access needs of adjacent development. The goal of Access Management is to balance the need to provide efficient, safe, and timely travel with the desired ability to allow access to the individual destination (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Access Management
The planning, design, and implementation of land use and transportation strategies that maintain a safe flow of traffic while accommodating the access needs of adjacent development. The goal of Access Management is to balance the need to provide efficient, safe, and timely travel with the desired ability to allow access to the individual destination (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Access Management Plan
A plan showing the location of access (and in some cases the design) for every parcel on a major roadway segment or within an interchange area. The Plan is often jointly developed and adopted by state agencies and local jurisdictions that have control over land development in the affected area (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Activity
A major item of work in a Project Schedule Network that has a definite start, finish and duration. An Activity will generally have a specific product, outcome or deliverable associated with it and can be further broken down into activity elements. An Activity will have a responsible work center to monitor completion (source: PMii Course Catalog).
Activity Centers
Statewide and regional centers, and areas outside North Carolina that serve a state’s citizens (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Activity Element
A breakdown of tasks necessary to complete an activity. Each Activity Element will have planned work effort in hours, and an assigned work center and cost center. The duration and dates for Activity Elements are drawn from the scheduled start date and the finish date of its activity. Each Activity Element has an Activity Type for calculation of planned and actual costs (source: PMii Course Catalog).
Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Adverse Effects
General phrase referring to potentially negative impacts to certain resources, such as changes to the setting characteristics and visual changes to a historic property.
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
An independent Federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement and productive use of our Nation's historic resources and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. There are 20 statutorily designated members.
Aerial Photography
Photographs of the ground taken from a plane or helicopter. Usually provided in a .sid file format with a .sdw file that contains position/location data.
Affected Environment
The physical features, land area or areas to be influenced, or impacted, by an alternative alignment under consideration. This term also includes various social and environmental factors and conditions pertinent to an area.
Affected Environment
The physical features, land, area, or areas to be influenced, or impacted, by an alternative alignment under consideration. This term also includes various social and environmental factors and conditions pertinent to an area (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Agency Coordination
A general term referring to the process whereby government agencies are afforded an opportunity to review and comment upon transportation proposals (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Agency Coordination [Process]
See Bridge Replacement Process III
Agricultural Land
Land that includes: arable land, land under permanent crops and land under permanent meadows and pastures (source: Interagency Leadership Team – Goal #1 Glossary).
Air Pollutants
Substances in the air that could, at high enough concentrations, harm human beings, animals, vegetation or inanimate objects. Air pollutants may include forms of matter of almost any natural or artificial composition capable of being airborne. They may consist of solid particles, liquid droplets or gases, or combinations of these forms (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Air Pollutants/Air Pollution
Substances in the air (generally considered man-made in origin) that could, at high enough concentrations, harm humans, animals, vegetation or materials. Five major air pollutants generally involving transportation projects include (ground-level) ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Air Quality and Noise Management Plan (AQNMP)
A general subset of a Comprehensive Transportation Plan that examines human quality of life indicators such as air pollution associated with transportation projects and traffic noise.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. There are six categories with AQI values ranging from 0 to 500, levels of health concern between good and hazardous and their corresponding colors of green, yellow, orange, red, purple and maroon. The AQI focuses on five major air pollutants: (ground-level) ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Air Quality Standards
Levels of air pollutants prescribed by regulations that may not be exceeded during a specified time in a defined area. EPA establishes national air quality standards for major pollutants, including (ground-level) ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Alignment and Slope
Arrangement or position in a straight line or in parallel lines and to diverge from the vertical or horizontal; incline (source: http://dictionary.reference.com).
Alignment Refinement [See Horizontal & Vertical Alignment]
General phrase referring to an improvement and/or adjustment to a highway alignment to potentially avoid or minimize impacts to the environment or to correct a design deficiency.
Alternative
One of a number of specific transportation improvements proposals, alignments, options, design choices, etc., in a defined study area.
 
Alternative Access
The ability of any vehicle to enter a roadway indirectly through a roadway of lower classification (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Alternative Screening
One of a number of specific transportation improvement proposals, alignments, options, design choices, etc., in a defined study area. For a transportation project, alternatives to be studied normally include the no-action alternative, an upgrading of the existing roadway alternative, new transportation routes and locations, transportation systems management strategies, multi-modal alternatives, if warranted, and any combinations of the above.
Alternatives Analysis
Comparative analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts and benefits for alternatives on a proposed action (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Alternatives CP2
Concurrence Point 2 in the Section 404/NEPA Merger process (source: NCDOT PDEA).
Ambient
Surrounding or existing environmental conditions. Generally used in reference to background noise levels, air quality conditions, water quality conditions, etc.
American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Anadromous Fish
Species of fish that live the majority of their lives in a marine environment, but swim up freshwater streams and rivers to spawn.
Annual Average Daily Traffic
The total volume of traffic on a highway segment for one year, divided by the number of days in the year (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
The total volume of traffic passing a point or segment of highway facility in both directions for 1 year, divided by the number of days in the year. (HCM 2000)
Antiquities Act of 1906
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Appalachian Development Highway System
A system of highways in Appalachia (200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi) designed to generate economic development in previously isolated areas, supplement the interstate system, connect to the interstate system, and provide access to areas within the Region as well as to markets in the rest of the nation (source: Strategic Highway Corridors Glossary; April 22, 2005).
Aquaculture
Farming of aquatic organisms including fish, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators and so forth (source: Interagency Leadership Team – Goal #1 Glossary).
Aquatic Resource of National Importance (ARNI)
Under the Clean Water Act Section 404(q) Memoranda of Agreement between USEPA and the Department of the Army and between the USFWS and the USACE (dated August 11 and December 21, 1992, respectively), the USEPA or USFWS can elevate a disagreement over a proposed decision by USACE to issue a Section 404 permit if the proposal would have a substantial and unacceptable impact on an ARNI. The disagreement is elevated to higher authorities within each agency for a decision. ARNI is analogous to rivers designated as Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW).
Aquifer
An underground geologic formation, or group of formations, containing groundwater that can supply wells and springs. There are potentially shallow and deep level groundwater sources or aquifers (e.g., Castle Hayne Aquifer).
Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Archaeological Predictive Model
A GIS technology tool utilized by NCDOT to identify, predict and quantify potential archeological resources early in the NEPA process and assess potential impacts from various alternatives. This is part of a phased identification process using background reports and/or archeological probabilities to establish context based upon information from known sites near a given project.
Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Archaeological Site(s)
A place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or historic), and which has been investigated using scientific archaeological methods (source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_site).
ArcMap
GIS Application Software
Area of Potential Effect (APE)
The geographic area or areas within which an undertaking may directly or indirectly cause alterations in the character or use of historic properties, if any such properties exist. The area of potential effects is influenced by the scale and nature of an undertaking and may be different for different kinds of effects caused by the undertaking (Implementing Regulations for Section 106 of NHPA: 36 CFR 800.16d).
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