The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted by Congress in 1970 (42 U.S.C.A. §4321-4370d) with the main goal of incorporating a “stop and think” step into the procedural aspect of the federal project review process. The Act requires that all federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions and possible alternatives to those actions during the planning phases.
Under NEPA, the agency making the decision on the action (the Lead Agency) will determine the adequate level of NEPA review required for a specific project. There are three possible levels of review. The simplest level of review is a Categorical Exclusion (CatEx). This level is reserved for proposed actions which have been historically deemed not to cause significant impacts (actions which have been thoroughly evaluated previously and determined not to pose significant effects).
The second tier of review is the Environmental Assessment (EA). This represents a more thorough level of review than a CatEx, and may yield either a finding of no-significant impact (FONSI) or the need for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Finally, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the highest level of environmental review reserved for “major federal actions” which may have “significant effects” on the quality of the “human environment.”
Trinity Consultants’ team of scientists, consultants, and project managers are experienced in developing and managing diverse NEPA projects and compliance activities. Trinity staff assist with all aspects of NEPA compliance including:
- Development of purpose and need
- Alternatives development and evaluation
- Direct and cumulative study area development
- Characterization of the affected environment
- Categorical Exclusion (CX) determinations
- Environmental baseline surveys
- Environmental Assessments (EA) development
- Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) development
- Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) drafting
- Records of Decision (ROD) review
Trinity Consultants’ diverse staff also has related expertise in air quality and noise modeling, ambient monitoring, and technical support. Consequently,, Trinity can assist NEPA project proponents and lead agencies with needed resources that often require additional technical expertise and time.
For assistance with NEPA/EIA, please contact David Strohm at email@example.com or (208) 472-8837.