Environmental, social, and energy conservation considerations are integral elements in transportation investments. Beyond the construction and maintenance of transportation projects IDOT is proactive in protecting and preserving the environment and maintaining or improving quality of life for Illinois residents. All transportation projects, involving the use of state and federal funds are required to follow formal procedures designed to protect the natural and social environment, this includes wetlands, plants, animals, air and water quality, archaeological and historic sites, agriculture, and communities.
IDOT strives to reduce or eliminate adverse environmental impacts and as appropriate to identify mitigation or remediation actions to achieve the best possible outcome during project development, design, and construction. Environmental regulations encompass air quality, traffic noise, community impacts such as relocations and access changes, natural resources including protected species and habitats, cultural resources such as pre-historic and historic sites, and land and water contamination issues.
In order to ensure the transportation projects are in compliance with state and federal environmental laws and regulations, IDOT uses special technical expertise to conduct surveys, review and/or prepare portions of environmental documents, and coordinate projects with state and federal resource agencies. IDOT also oversees and coordinates the activities of University of Illinois scientists and specialists located within the Illinois Natural History Survey, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, and the Illinois State Geological Survey who conduct a variety of scientific surveys.