Section 4(f) and 6(f) evaluation guidance

Section 4(f)

Under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Act of 1966, projects that receive funding from or require approval by an agency of the U.S. DOT must minimize impacts to public park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites. Project teams work with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to evaluate and mitigate potential highway impacts on these environmental assets.

Before you start

Visit the FHWA Environmental Toolkit website for background, fundamental definitions, and requirements of Section 4(f). The FHWA tutorial and Section 4(f) Policy Paper are particularly useful. 

The level of “use” of a Section 4(f) resource will determine the type of evaluation and documentation required. Use these documents for Section 4(f) determination and evaluation.

If a Discipline Report is needed, use the Section 4(f) (pdf 57 kb) Discipline Report checklist for general guidance during your review. See the Preparing quality environmental documents webpage for more discipline report guidance.

If a Section 4(f) property is acquired with Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants, a 6(f) evaluation will likely be required.

Section 6(f)

Section 6(f) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act protects land acquired or improved with LWCF grants. Parcels purchased with LWCF require additional work to convert the land to a transportation use. 

Before you start

Visit the FHWA Section 4(f) Tutorial Related Statutes webpage for an overview of the key differences and similarities between Section 4(f) and Section 6(f) evaluations.

Evaluating

Use these essential documents for Section 6(f) determination and evaluation. 

  • Chapter 457: Section 4(f) Evaluation and Chapter 455: Land Use and Tranpsortation of our Environmental Manual describes requirements for conducting Section 6(f) Analysis. 
  • If your project must convert Section 6(f) recreational land to a transportation purpose, follow the Recreational Land Conversion procedure (pdf 85 kb).

If a Discipline Report is needed, use the Section 6(f) (pdf 35 kb) Discipline Report checklist for general guidance during your review. See the Preparing quality environmental documents webpage for more discipline report guidance.