Nebraska Revised Statute 39-1306.03

Chapter 39 Section 1306.03

39-1306.03.

United States Department of Transportation; department assume responsibilities; agreements authorized; waiver of immunity; department; powers and duties.

(1) The department may assume, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 326, all or part of the responsibilities of the United States Department of Transportation:

(a) For determining whether federal-aid design and construction projects are categorically excluded from requirements for environmental assessments or environmental impact statements; and

(b) For environmental review, consultation, or other related actions required under any federal law applicable to activities that are classified as categorical exclusions.

(2) The department may assume, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327, all or part of the responsibilities of the United States Department of Transportation:

(a)(i) With respect to one or more highway projects within the state, under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; and

(ii) For environmental review, consultation, or other action required under any federal environmental law pertaining to the review or approval of a specific project; and

(b) With respect to one or more railroad, public transportation, or multimodal projects within the state under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.

(3) The department may enter into one or more agreements with the United States Secretary of Transportation, including memoranda of understanding, in furtherance of the assumption by the department of duties under 23 U.S.C. 326 and 327.

(4) The State of Nebraska hereby waives its immunity from civil liability, including immunity from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, and consents to the jurisdiction of the federal courts solely for the compliance, discharge, or enforcement of responsibilities assumed by the department pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 326 and 327, in accordance with the same procedural and substantive requirements applicable to a suit against a federal agency. This waiver of immunity shall only be valid if:

(a) The department executes a memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of Transportation accepting the jurisdiction of the federal courts as required by 23 U.S.C. 326(c) and 327(c);

(b) The act or omission that is the subject of the lawsuit arises out of compliance, discharge, or enforcement of responsibilities assumed by the department pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 326 and 327; and

(c) The memorandum of understanding is in effect when the act or omission that is the subject of the federal lawsuit occurred.

(5) The department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to implement this section and may adopt relevant federal environmental standards as the standards for the department.

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