Environmental Impact Statements: A Comprehensive Guide to Project and Strategic Planning / Edition 1

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One-stop, step-by-step guidance in the "how" of EIS project and strategic planning

This outstanding guide focuses on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) not merely as a document to be prepared, but as a process and framework for the planning of programs and projects. It presents state-of-the-art strategies, tools, techniques, and methodologies for managing EIS projects of any size and emphasizes practical approaches to problems that have traditionally hindered National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance and practice.

This single, comprehensive volume synthesizes and describes all relevant guidance and requirements that the EIS document must satisfy and illustrates relevant requirements with lessons from case law. Employing an incremental, building-block approach to describe the entire EIS planning process in complete detail, this indispensable handbook guides readers through each step of the process and provides:
* Step-by-step guidance on using the Total Federal Planning (TFP) strategy to reduce time and effort and streamline the entire EIS process
* A complete EIS checklist to ensure that every item is accounted for when preparing the statement
* Tools from value engineering theory, TQM, and systems planning for rendering the early decision-making process more efficient and effective

Professionals in government, consulting, and the private sector who seek to master NEPA, beginners and experts alike, will find Environmental Impact Statements to be the most economical, helpful, and complete resource available anywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Using case law as illustrations, Eccleston, an environmental professional who has written two other books on environmental planning and assessment, provides a step-by-step approach to the EIS planning process. He introduces ways to use the Total Federal Planning strategy to reduce time and effort, supplies a checklist to assure all the pieces are in place, and offers tools for making the early decision-making process more efficient. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471358688
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/22/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

CHARLES H. ECCLESTON is the author of The NEPA Planning Process and the upcoming How to Write Effective Environmental Assessments, both from Wiley.

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Objectives of This Book xv
A Word of Caution xv
Audience xvi
Acknowledgments xvii
List of Acronyms xix
Introduction 1
Frogs and Federal Planning 1
Commonly Encountered Planning Problems 4
Traditional NEPA Problems 4
Technical and Cultural Problems 5
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 6
Applying Management Principles and Tools 8
Value Engineering and Value Planning Tools 9
Systems Engineering Principles in Structured Planning 12
Total Quality Management Provides Principles for Optimizing Planning 15
International Principles Governing Impact Assessment 18
Assessment Principles: Sliding Scale, Rule of Reason, and Nomenclature 19
The Sliding Scale Approach 19
Rule of Reason 20
Nomenclature 20
Overview of the NEPA Compliance Process 21
The Three Levels of NEPA Compliance 21
Initiating the NEPA Process 21
Reviewing Existing NEPA Documents 21
Categorically Excluding Actions 22
Is the Action Considered Significant? 22
The Environmental Assessment 22
The Environmental Impact Statement 24
Closing Thoughts 27
Disclaimer 27
Notes 27
Chapter 1 Initiating the EIS Process: An Integrated and Systematic Approach 29
1.1 Initiating the EIS 30
Integrating NEPA Early 30
Requirement for Preparing an EIS 31
NEPA as an Early-Warning Siren 31
The Interdisciplinary Team 32
Kickoff Meeting 34
Coordination Between the EIS and Project Staffs 35
Standardizing Procedures 36
1.2 Pre-scoping Effort 36
Purpose and Need Drive the Scope 37
Identifying Potential Decisions 37
Integrating the EIS with Other Requirements 42
Identifying Interim Actions 43
Identifying Nonfederal Actions 43
Preparing the NOI 45
1.3 Tools for Managing the EIS Process 47
Preparing a Management Action Plan 47
Managing Schedule and Budget 50
Developing a Public Involvement Strategy 50
Scoping Plan 51
The Administrative Record 52
Selecting an EIS Contractor 58
1.4 Compiling Data 60
Data Accuracy 61
Gap Analysis 61
Data Collection 61
Common Types of Data 62
Monitoring 63
Summary 64
Notes 66
Chapter 2 Preparing the EIS: An Integrated and Systematic Approach 69
2.1 Public Scoping Process 70
Purpose of Public Scoping 71
Issuing the Notice of Intent 72
Involving the Public and Dealing with Hostility 73
Public Scoping Meetings 74
Finalizing the Scope 77
Preparing an EIS Implementation Plan 77
2.2 Integrated Interdisciplinary Planning Effort 78
Integrated Planning 79
Interdisciplinary Versus Multidisciplinary 79
Identifying Laws, Permits, and Licenses 80
2.3 Alternatives Synthesis and Assessment Phase 85
Applying a Modified Systems Engineering Approach 86
Input and Functional Requirements Assessment Step 88
Alternatives Identification Step 90
Screening and Evaluation Step 97
Alternatives Synthesis Step 100
Action Identification and Planning Integration Step 101
Optimization Step 103
Alternatives Description Step 104
2.4 The Interdisciplinary Analysis Phase 105
Preparing an Analysis Plan 106
Documenting Assumptions 107
Performing the Environmental Analysis: A Systematic Approach 108
Step 1 Characterize Potentially Affected Environment 109
Step 2 Identify Potential Environmental Disturbances 111
Step 3 Perform Preliminary Investigation and Screening of All Potentially Significant Impacts 112
Step 4 Prepare Detailed Assessment of Potentially Significant Impacts 116
Step 5 Interpret Significance 120
Step 6 Assess Potential Monitoring and Mitigation
Measures 121
Bounding Analyses 122
Programmatic EISs 125
2.5 Preparing the Draft EIS 129
Limiting the Agency's Litigation Risk 129
Incorporation by Reference 130
Finalizing the Draft EIS 130
Circulating the Draft for Public Review 132
Filing the Draft EIS 133
2.6 Preparing and Issuing the Final EIS 135
Managing Comments Resolution 136
Responding to Comments 136
Issuing the Final EIS 138
2.7 The Final Decision and Implementation of the Action 141
Reviewing the Final EIS 141
Reaching a Final Decision 142
Bounded Alternatives 142
Monitoring and Mitigation 143
Summary 145
Notes 146
Chapter 3 The Environmental Impact Statement: Documentation Requirements 149
3.1 The Notice of Intent 150
3.2 General Direction for Preparing the EIS 151
Differences Between the Draft and Final 152
Understandable Yet Rigorous 152
A Full and Fair Discussion 154
Dealing with Incomplete and Unavailable Information 155
Reducing Document Size 156
Documenting Assumptions 157
Direction on Documenting the Analysis 158
How Much Is Enough? The Sufficiency Question 161
CEQ's Recommended EIS Format 165
3.3 The Cover Sheet 165
3.4 Summary and Table of Contents 165
Summary 166
Table of Contents 169
3.5 Purpose and Need Section 169
3.6 Proposed Action and Alternatives Section 170
Alternatives Versus Environmental Consequences 170
Range of Alternatives 170
Requirements for Describing Alternatives 171
Agency's Preferred Alternative 173
Mitigation Measures 174
Checklist for the Alternatives Section 175
3.7 Affected Environment Section 175
Limiting Range of Resources and Level of Detail 176
Describing the Affected Environment 176
3.8 The Environmental Consequences Section 179
General-Purpose Outline 179
Tools and Methodologies 179
General Direction for Describing Impacts 179
Specific Impact Requirements 182
Special Analytical Considerations 190
3.9 List of Preparers and Entities to Whom the EIS Is Sent 194
List of Entities to Whom the EIS Is Sent 195
3.10 Index, Glossary, and Bibliography 195
Index 195
Glossary and List of References 196
3.11 Appendixes 196
Appendixes Versus Incorporation by Reference 197
3.12 The Record of Decision 197
Preparing the ROD 199
Environmentally Preferable Alternative 199
Mitigation and Monitoring Plans 200
References 200
Chapter 4 Implementing the Agency's Decision 205
4.1 Challenging the Agency's Decision 205
Initiating Legal Action 205
The Court's Role 206
Remedy 207
4.2 Mitigation and Postmonitoring 207
Mitigation 207
Monitoring 208
4.3 The SmithsonianSolution: Determining When a Proposed Change Requires Additional NEPA Analysis 208
Basis for the Tool 209
Evaluation Criteria for Assessing Changes 210
The Smithsonian Solution Tool 211
4.4 Integrating NEPA with an ISO 14000 Environmental Management System 213
A New Paradigm 213
Why NEPA and EMS Complement One Another 214
Strategy for Integrating an EMS with NEPA 219
Integrating Life-Cycle Assessment with a NEPA Analysis 223
References 226
Chapter 5 Total Federal Planning: A Unifying Strategy for Integrating Federal Planning 229
5.1 NEPA Provides a Framework for Integrating All Federal Planning 230
NEPA Is Unique 231
5.2 A New Approach to Federal Planning 232
Overview of the Total Federal Planning Process 232
Capitalizing the Planning Function 233
An Interdisciplinary Steering Team 235
Holistic Planning 238
Advantages of TFP 241
5.3 Total Federal Planning: A Detailed General-Purpose Strategy 242
Phase 1 Pre-scoping 244
Phase 2 Formal Scoping 247
Phase 3 Data Development and Alternatives Design 253
Phase 4 Optimization and Data Validation 253
Phase 5 Analysis 254
Phase 6 Quality Control 256
Phase 7 Review and Decisionmaking 258
Phase 8 Auditing, Mitigation, and Monitoring 260
Conclusion 260
References 261
Appendix A Environmental Impact Statement Checklists 265
Table A.1 Cover Sheet 266
Table A.2 Summary 267
Table A.3 Purposed and need for action 268
Table A.4 Description of the proposed action and alternatives 269
Table A.5 Description of the affected environment 272
Table A.6 Environmental effects 274
Table A.7 Overall considerations and incorporation of NEPA values 278
Table A.8 Format, general document quality, user friendliness 279
Table A.9 Other regulatory requirements 281
Table A.10 Procedural considerations 282
Table A.11 Draft EIS considerations 283
Table A.12 Final Eis considerations 284
Table A.13 Water resources and water quality 285
Table A.14 Geology and soils 287
Table A.15 Air quality 288
Table A.16 Wildlife and habitat 289
Table A.17 Human health effects 290
Table A.18 Transportation 292
Table A.19 Waste management and waste minimization 293
Table A.20 Socioeconomic considerations 294
Table A.21 Cultural resources 295
Appendix B Reprint of the CEQ NEPA Regulations 297
Glossary 331
About the Author 339
Index 341
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