Glossary

Description
Capacity Analysis
The use of engineering analytical tools to determine Level of Service for existing or projected traffic volumes. Used to evaluate degrees of traffic congestion.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
An odorless, colorless gas formed when carbon in fuels does not completely burn and a primary air pollutant. Vehicle exhaust contributes approximately 60 percent of all carbon monoxide emissions nationwide.
Carolina Bays
Wetlands, usually elliptical in shape, which are located in natural shallow depressions and are largely fed by rain and shallow groundwater. Carolina Bays are unique coastal plain geologic formations that once were found from the mid-Atlantic states to Florida. The highest concentration of bays occurs in North and South Carolina. The bays are typically oriented along a northwest to southeast alignment. Undisturbed Carolina Bays usually represent high quality wetlands with unique flora and fauna species.
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
A category of actions defined under Section 40 CFR 1508.4 (NEPA) which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human (and natural) environment and for which neither an environmental assessment (EA) nor environmental impact statement (EIS) is required. FHWA actions which typically qualify as Categorical Exclusions are specifically defined at 23 CFR 771.117(a). CEs are typically issued for most bridge replacement projects.
Causeway
An earthen or stone fill that extends into a floodplain, wetland or surface water (e.g., pond, stream, reservoir, or estuary). Causeways are typically found at the ends of bridges, and can also be used as a temporary access for construction, especially for bridges in larger streams and rivers.
Central Business District (CBD)
A general phrase typically referring to the downtown area of a city or metropolitan area where there is a concentration of retail and commercial buildings. Some typical characteristics of a central business district include a predominance of an area's public buildings, it features 'vertical zoning' and it usually has the highest land values of the region.
Citizens Information Workshop (CIW)
Public meeting held to inform citizens about an upcoming project; often there will be workshops for the public at various stages during the planning/design process.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Clean Air Act (CAA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Clean Water Act (CWA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Coastal Area Management Act of 1974 (CAMA) [NC]
Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982 (CBRA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Coastal Plain Counties (versus CAMA counties)
There are 41 coastal plain counties in eastern North Carolina that are listed in Appendix C of the Merger Process. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service (NOAA-Fisheries) and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) must be contacted when a merger project is in one of these counties to determine if they will participate on the project team. The 20 CAMA counties are a subset of the coastal plain counties.
Coastal Wetlands (CAMA)
The Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) defines coastal wetlands as any salt marsh or other marsh subject to regular or occasional flooding by tides, including wind tides (whether or not the tide waters reach the marshland areas through natural or artificial watercourses), provided this shall not include hurricane or tropical storm tides. Coastal wetlands contain some, but not necessarily all, of the following marsh plant species: (1) Cord Grass (Spartina alterniflora), (2) Black Needlerush (Juncus roemerianus), (3) Glasswort (Salicornia spp.), (4) Salt Grass (Distichlis spicata), (5) Sea Lavender (Limonium spp.), (6) Bulrush (Scirpus spp.), (7) Saw Grass (Cladium jamaicense), (8) Cat-tail (Typha spp.), (9) Salt Meadow Grass (Spartina patens), (10) Salt Reed Grass (Spartina cynosuroides). The coastal wetlands AEC includes any contiguous lands designated by the Secretary of ENR pursuant to G.S. 113-230 (a).
Coastal Zone
The coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shorelands (including the waters therein and thereunder), strongly influenced by each other and in proximity to the shorelines of the several coastal states, and includes islands, transitional and intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches. The zone extends in Great Lakes waters, to the international boundary between the United States and Canada and, in other areas, seaward to the outer limit of the outer limit of State title and ownership under the Submerged lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.), the Act of March 2, 1917 (48 U.S.C. 749), the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, as approved by the Act of March 24, 1976 (48 U.S.C. 1681 note), or section 1 of the Act of November 20, 1963 (48 U.S.C. 1705) as applicable. The zone extends inland from the shorelines only to the extent necessary to control shorelands, the uses of which have a direct and significant impact on the coastal waters. Excluded from the coastal zone are lands the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of or which is held in trust by the Federal Government, its officers or agents and to control those geographical areas which are likely to be affected by or vulnerable to sea level rise.
Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (CZMA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Code of Conduct
The Public Service Code of Conduct is a 1-page document that describes the following seven principles: professionalism; fairness and reasonableness; knowledge; honesty; timeliness; accountability; and respect. The Merger Process roles and responsibilities document states that Merger participants will abide by the Code of Conduct.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
See Acronym Cross Reference
Cofferdam
A temporary barrier for creating a dry work space in an area that is normally submerged. It is usually made of interlocking steel piles but may be made from other impermeable material. It is used in constructing the foundations of bridges.
Collector
In rural areas, routes that serve intracounty rather than statewide travel. In urban areas, streets that provide direct access to neighborhoods and arterials. An AASHTO Design Classification.
Columns
Slender vertical structural compression members of bridge bents. Columns rest on foundations and support bent caps.
Comment Period
The comment period is the period of time whereby a State or Federal agency requests public and other agency review input on a NEPA document or a Section 404 permit decision. The comment period for EAs is typically 30 days and for DEISs it is 45 days. Comment periods for USACE Public Notices are typically 30 days. Comment periods may be utilized for requesting input on start of study letters and scoping notices and they may also be extended by the lead or issuing agency upon request.
Community Cohesion
Projects should attempt to promote or maintain community togetherness; disruption of community cohesion should be considered when analyzing the environmental impacts.
Community Impact Analysis (CIA)
Community impact analysis is a process to evaluate the effects of a transportation action on a community and its quality of life. The assessment process is an integral part of project planning and development that shapes the outcome of a project. (CG)
Compensatory Mitigation
Replacing the environment impacted by a project or providing substitute resources or environments. For purposes of Section 10/404, compensatory mitigation is the restoration, creation, enhancement, or in exceptional circumstances, preservation of wetlands and/or other aquatic resources for the purpose of compensating for unavoidable adverse impacts which remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization has been achieved.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) ["Superfund"]
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP)
A multimodal series of maps depicting the transportation infrastructure needed to handle the area's travel demand for a minimum 20 year period. It is mutually adopted by NCDOT and the appropriate local agency (municipality, county, or MPO) and will serve as an official guide to providing a well-coordinated, efficient, and economical transportation system that utilizes all modes of transportation.
Concurrence [Point]
Refer to Memorandum of Understanding and Roles & Responsibilities for the concept and related statement.
Conformity
Transportation conformity is a Clean Air Act requirement that ensures that federally supported highway and transit projects are consistent with ('conform to') a state air quality implementation plan or SIP. Project specific air quality impacts are 'pre-planned' and pre-budgeted during the conformity analysis for particular air pollutants in areas or regions with air quality challenges.
Consensus
A term to mean general accord or collective opinion. Under the Merger Process, consensus may refer to the 'majority' of the team representative's opinion on a particular issue.
Consistency Decision (i.e. coastal program)
A consistency decision is required for all NCDOT projects in the 20 Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) counties. If a project impacts a CAMA Area of Environmental Concern (AEC), then a CAMA permit is required. The CAMA permit, if issued, then also serves as the consistency decision. If a CAMA permit is not required, then DOT must follow a separate process to obtain a consistency decision by submitting a consistency certification to the N.C. Division of Coastal Management (DCM). Upon receiving a consistency certification submission, DCM will evaluate it for completeness. If complete, DCM will review the proposed project for conformance with the enforceable policies of the State's certified coastal management program. As part of this review process, the proposed project is circulated to the public and a variety of State agencies for comment. After considering the comments and evaluating the proposed project's conformance with the enforceable policies of the State's coastal management program, DCM will issue either a letter of "concurrence" or "objection". This is the consistency decision.
Construction Management Plan (CMP)
Details the measures and procedures to be used to comply with the quality control provisions of the construction contract.
Constructive Use
Constructive use occurs when the transportation project does not incorporate land from a section 4(f) resource, but the project's proximity impacts are so severe that the protected activities, features, or attributes that qualify a resource for protection under section 4(f) are substantially impaired. Substantial impairment occurs only when the protected activities, features or attributes of the resource are substantially diminished. Sec. 771.135 Section 4(f) (49 U.S.C. 303).
Context Sensitive Design (CSD)
Designs that result in a transportation project that reflects community consensus on purpose and need, with project features addressing equally safety, mobility and preservation of scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources. It involves policy judgments in the balancing of competing interests.
Control of Access
The regulation of public access rights to and from properties and public streets crossing highway facilities.
  Full: Connections to a facility provided only via ramps at interchanges. All cross-streets are grade-separated. No private driveway connections allowed. A control of access fence is placed along the entire length of the facility and at a minimum of 1000 feet beyond the ramp intersections on the Y lines (minor facility) at interchanges (if possible).
  
  Limited: Connections to a facility provided only via ramps at interchanges (major crossings) and at-grade intersections (minor crossings and service roads). No private driveway connections allowed. A control of access fence is placed along the entire length of the facility, except at intersections, and at a minimum of 1000 feet beyond the ramp intersections of the Y lines (minor facility) at interchanges (if possible).
  
  Partial: Connections to a facility provided via ramps at interchanges, at-grade intersections, and private driveways. Private driveway connections are normally defined as a maximum of one connection per parcel. One connection is defined as one ingress and one egress point. The use of shared or consolidated connections is highly encouraged. Connections may be restricted or prohibited if alternate access is available through other adjacent public facilities. A control of access fence is placed along the entire length of the facility, except at intersections and driveways, and at a minimum of 1000 feet beyond the ramp terminals on the minor facility at interchanges (if possible).
  
  No Control: Connections to a facility provided via ramps at interchanges, at-grade intersections and private driveways. No physical restrictions, i.e., a control of access fence, exist. Normally, private driveway connections are defined as one connection per parcel. Additional connections may be considered if they are justified and if such connections do not negatively impact traffic operations and public safety.
Cooperating Agency
Cooperating agency means any Federal agency other than a lead agency which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved in a proposal (or a reasonable alternative) for legislation or other major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. (Merger Roles and Responsibilities)
Corridor
A linear geographical area of an existing or proposed transportation facility. In the Merger Process, study corridors are normally 1000' wide for new location projects and 500 feet wide for widening projects.
Corridor/Design Public Hearing
Public hearings provide a forum for an open exchange of views concerning the need for the project, alternate locations, alternate major design features, and the related potential social, economic, and environmental effects. These features most generally can be covered during Conceptual Studies in a combined corridor and design hearing; however, for a difficult or controversial project, it may be expedient to hold separate corridor and design hearings.
Corrugated Metal Pipe (CMP)
A circular metal pipe with corrugations used to convey flow in storm drainage systems or through a roadway embankment.
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
Established under NEPA within the Executive Office of the President, the Council coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. The Council may act as a referee in environmental assessment disputes between Federal agencies.
Cowardin Classification
This is a wetland and deepwater habitat hierarchical system of classification. Wetlands under this system are defined by plants (Hydrophytes), soils (Hydric soils) and frequency of flooding. Under the classification hierarchy there are five major types defined, including Marine, Estuarine, Riverine, Lacustrine and Palustrine. The Marine and Estuarine systems each have two subsystems, Subtidal and Intertidal. The Riverine system has four subsystems, including Tidal, Lower Perennial, Upper Perennial and Intermittent. The Lacustrine system has two subsystems, including Littoral and Limnetic. The Palustrine has no subsystems under this classification.
Creation [Mitigation]
1. The establishment of a wetland or other aquatic resource where one did not formerly exist. (60 Federal Register (FR) 228, pp. 58605-58614, "Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks," 28Nov95; )
  2. The construction of a wetland in an area where wetlands did not exist in the recent past (15A NORTH CAROLINA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE (NCAC) 2H .0506 (h)(4)(A), (B), (C), (D);)
Critical Habitat [under Endangered Species Act]
An ecosystem or part of an ecosystem designated by the FWS needing conservation or other protective measures to ensure the survival and potential recovery of a threatened or endangered species. Critical habitat is required to be designated at the time a species is listed under the ESA unless designation would not be prudent or the critical habitat is not determinable.
Cumulative Impact
The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time (40 CFR 1508.7). NCDOT uses interchangeably with Cumulative Effect. NCDOT will normally use Cumulative Effect in the Merger Process. DWQ considers cumulative impacts to be the combination of cumulative impacts and indirect effects as defined above.
Curb and Gutter
Streets are usually directly connected to stormwater drainage systems by concrete curb and gutter. The function of curb and gutter is to intercept and convey stormwater runoff from the highway or roadway to a drainage structure.
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