Whenever the Turnpike Enterprise begins a project - anything from adding a tollbooth or interchange, to
constructing an entirely new road - the combined forces of the Environmental Management Office (EMO) are put in action. So, who are these people and
what exactly does this department do? Basically, they manage the environment surrounding the project. While that sounds
simple enough, what it really means is the team has to determine - and ensure compliance with-hundreds of local, state and
federal rules, regulations and permit requirements in order to study, plan, permit and build projects. Some folks think that as a
state agency, the Turnpike Enterprise is exempt from all of those regulations, but the truth is that the Department of
Transportation Turnpike Enterprise has to comply with all of those laws, and as a result, it takes a lot of professionals.
The EMO staff is made up of biologists, chemists, civil engineers, roadway engineers, water resource engineers,
hydrologists, air quality analysts, geologists, ecologists, noise experts, hazardous material specialists, archaeologists,
cultural anthropologists, statisticians, economists, sociologists, foresters, and public involvement professionals. While the EMO staff is busy
surveying streams that may run near a project, or studying how increased traffic may add to the existing noise, what they are
really doing is determining how a Turnpike Enterprise project may affect the lives of nearby residents, businesses,
institutions, as well as, the natural and physical environment. It has been said that toll
attendants may be the motoring public's first contact with the Turnpike Enterprise. On the other side of the coin, homeowners
may have their first contact with a member of the EMO staff at a public workshop where the Turnpike Enterprise is premiering
plans for a new interchange. EMO is also responsible for establishing the respect and credibility with the public
that allows the Turnpike Enterprise to proceed from planning through completion of construction.
So, who are the EMO personnel? They are the public face of the Turnpike Enterprise. Hundreds of millions of dollars in construction
ventures depend on how effective they are in implementing the public involvement program, balancing project needs and affects
on the human and nature environments, and complying with the laws and regulations, and following process.
What is a Project Development and Environment(PD&E) Study