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NEPA Environmental Procedure Pam Truitt, Grants Management Consultant September 4, 2014

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NEPA Environmental Procedure. September 4, 2014. Pam Truitt, Grants Management Consultant. Why Environmental Review?. Avoid or mitigate impacts that may harm residents Avoid litigation that could halt a project on environmental grounds - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: NEPA Environmental Procedure

NEPA Environmental Procedure

Pam Truitt, Grants Management Consultant September 4, 2014

Page 2: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Why Environmental Review?

• Avoid or mitigate impacts that may harm residents

• Avoid litigation that could halt a project on environmental grounds

• Avoid monitoring findings and/or loss of CDBG financial assistance to your project

• REQUIRED – by Federal Law & Regulation under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and NEPA related laws

Page 3: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Certifying Officer

The Chief Elected Official (CEO) of the jurisdiction assumes responsibility for environmental review

CEO must sign the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and the Request for Release of Funds/Certification

CEO accepts the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts as the responsible entity in environmental matters for this certification

Page 4: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Steps in the Environmental Review Process

Create the Environmental Review Record Must be Available to Public

Determine the Level of Environmental Review Required

Complete Environmental Assessment and Compliance with related Laws

Publish Required Notices According to Level of Review

Page 5: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Steps in the Environmental Review Process (cont.)

DCA issues Release of Funds Letter “Removing Environmental Conditions”

Maintain Documentation of Compliance (Including Mitigation) in the Environmental Review Record (ERR)

Page 6: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Process for Environmental Notices

Publish Concurrent Notice (FONSI-NOI/RROF FONSI: 15 day local comment period No Earlier then 16th day, submit public notice (proof

of publication) and Request for Release of Funds and Certification (RROF/C) to DCA/OCD.

Notice allows for an additional 15 days for public objection of RROF to DCA. This begins when DCA receives the RROF.

Page 7: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Levels of Environmental Review

Four levels of review:24 CFR Part 58.34(a) Exempt 24 CFR Part 58.35 Categorically Excluded

Categorical exclusions SUBJECT to laws and authorities at 24 CFR Part 58.5

Categorical exclusions NOT subject to laws and authorities at 24 CFR Part 58.5

24 CFR Part 58.36 Environmental Assessment24 CFR Part 58.37 Environmental Impact

Statement

Page 8: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Exempt Activities

Activities which are deemed not to affect the human and/or physical environment (i.e. environmental studies, planning, or administrative activities)

No publication requirements

Document finding in the environmental review record and proceed with project

Page 9: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Categorically Excluded

2 Classes58.35(a) – activities SUBJECT TO other federal

laws or authorities

58.35(b) – activities NOT SUBJECT TO other federal laws or authorities

May Convert to Exempt

Page 10: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment is required if project activities are not determined to be Exempt or Categorically Excluded

Most CDBG funded projects require an Environmental Assessment

Page 11: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Environmental Assessment

Use current form on DCA WebsiteCite Authoritative Sources of Info

See HUD tool

Describe mitigation measure for any identified negative impacts

Evaluate all alternativesCertifying Officer must sign FONSI

Page 12: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes

Prohibition on construction of new structures and facilities in Coastal High Hazard Areas (V Zones) Structure Examples

Walled or roofed buildings, including mobile homes and gas or liquid storage tanks

Infrastructure Examples Roads, bridges, and utility lines

Page 13: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)

Use of Preliminary Flood Maps and Advisory Base Flood ElevationsProvides greater consistency with floodplain

management activities across HUD and FEMA programs

Require the use of FEMA preliminary flood maps and advisory base flood elevations, where available

Other Federal, state, or local data may be used as “best available information” IF FEMA information is unavailable or insufficiently detailed

Page 14: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)

Broadened use of the 5 Step Process for selected actionsOmits Steps 2, 3, and 7 of 8 Step ProcessRehabilitations subject to 5 Step Process

Improvement that is not a substantial improvementFootprint is not significantly increased in floodplain or

wetlandDoes not result in 20 percent increase in number of

dwellings units or in average peak number of customers and employees

Does not convert a nonresidential to a residential land use

Page 15: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)

Codification of Wetland PolicyHUD adopts in regulation the procedures of E.O.

11990Primary Source of Data

Fish and Wildlife Service-National Wetlands Inventory map

Secondary Source of DataNational Resource Conservation Service’s National Soil Surveys

Any state and local information concerning wetlands

Page 16: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)

Codification of Wetland Policy Cont.Wetlands subject to E.O. 11990 requires the 8

Step Process

Adoption of executive order reviews performed by HUD or another responsible entity May adopt previous floodplain review process

performed by another responsible entity or HUD

Page 17: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)

Individual 404 Permits for WetlandsCan use individual Section 404 Permits in lieu of

performing the first five steps of the 8 Step ProcessOnly applies to wetlands subject to Section 404 of the

Clean Water ActMust submit the USACE Section 404 permit Required to follow Steps 6,7, and 8Does not apply to USACE process

Must complete 8 Step Process if project is in a floodplain and a wetland

Page 18: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Statutory & Regulatory Structure

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508).

HUD Regulations (24 CFR Part 58).NEPA-Related Laws and Authorities (List at 24 CFR

58.5).

Page 19: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Environmental Review Regulations24 CFR Part 58

HUD’s regulation allows local units of government to perform NEPA responsibilities and assume the responsibilities of HUD.

Regulation titled “Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD Environmental Responsibilities”

Covered in Chapter 2 of the Recipients’ Manual

Compliance is a General condition of all CDBG Awards.

Page 20: NEPA Environmental Procedure

NEPA-Related Laws/Authorities (10)

National Historic Preservation Act (1966) Floodplain Management & Wetlands Protection:

Executive Orders (1977) Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 Safe Drinking Water Act (1974) Endangered Species Act (1973) Wild & Scenic Rivers Act (1968)

Page 21: NEPA Environmental Procedure

NEPA-Related Laws/Authorities

Clean Air Act (1970)Farmland Protection Policy Act (1981)HUD Environmental Criteria & Standards

Noise Abatement and Control Near Explosives or Flammable Sites Near Airport Runway Protection Zones Near Toxic Hazards

Environmental Justice E.O. (1994)Noise Control Act (1972)

Page 22: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Importance of Early Start

Begin environmental review process as soon as possible.

Typical times required to complete review range from 1 to 120 days.

Must be completed by someone competent to do review

Page 23: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Important Tips

Change of scope in project might require additional review.

DON’T SPEND A DIME – until your ER is complete and you have received Release of Funds from DCAException for Admin and Design Costs

When in doubt – contact DCA/CDBG staff!

Page 24: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Do Not Make Choice Limiting Actions!

Do not take ANY action until the environmental review compliance is achieved, including property acquisition

Page 25: NEPA Environmental Procedure

Contacts

Michael Casper

404.679.0594

[email protected]

Pam Truitt

404.679.5240

[email protected]