DATE: July 21, 2022
TO: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
FROM: Stella Jordan, MPO Staff
This memorandum explains a proposed amendment to the MPOs Public Engagement Plan (PEP), which the MPO board is being requested to vote to release for a 45-day public comment period on July 21, 2022.
The proposed amendment to Chapter 4, Section 4.3, of the PEP aligns the PEP with updates to the public engagement process in the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The current PEP states that all amendments to the UPWP will be released for a 21-day public comment period. A public comment period for UPWP amendments is not required by federal guidelines. The proposed amendment to the PEP, consistent with updated language in the FFY 2023 UPWP, provides the option for the MPO to vote to waive the 21-day public comment period on UPWP amendments, at the recommendation of the UPWP Committee and the discretion of the MPO board.
All UPWP amendments and administrative modifications will still be presented to the MPO board for a vote, and interested parties will have the opportunity to provide feedback on proposed amendments during UPWP Committee and MPO meetings. If the MPO does vote to release an amendment for a 21-day public comment period, public notification will follow the same process used for Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) amendments.
This amendment to the PEP is consistent with federal public participation guidelines and regulations and will provide greater flexibility for the MPO when amending the UPWP.
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.
The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.
A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination.
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