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IV. DISTRIBUTION OF EAs AND FONSIs
A. Environmental Assessment
After clearance by FHWA, EAs must be made available for public inspection at the HA and FHWA Division offices (23 CFR 771.119(d)). Although only a notice of availability of the EA is required, the HA is encouraged to distribute a copy of the document with the notice to Federal, State, and local government agencies likely to have an interest in the undertaking and to the State intergovernmental review contacts. The HA should also distribute the EA to any Federal, State, or local agency known to have interest or special expertise (e.g., EPA for wetlands, water quality, air, noise, etc.) in those areas addressed in the EA which have or may have had potential for significant impact. The possible impacts and the agencies involved should be identified following the early coordination process. Where an individual permit would be required from the Corps of Engineers (COE) (i.e., Section 404 or Section 10) or from the Coast Guard (CG) (i.e., Section 9), a copy of the EA should be distributed to the involved agency in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)/Corps of Engineers Memorandum of Agreement or the FHWA/U.S. Coast Guard Memorandum of Understanding, respectively. Any internal FHWA distribution will be determined by the Division Office on a case-by-case basis.
B. Finding of No Significant Impact
Formal distribution of a FONSI is not required. The HA must send a notice of availability of the FONSI to Federal, State, and local government agencies likely to have an interest in the undertaking and the State intergovernmental review contacts (23 CFR 771.121(b)). However, it is encouraged that agencies which commented on the EA (or requested to be informed) be advised of the project decision and the disposition of their comments and be provided a copy of the FONSI. This fosters good lines of communication and enhances interagency coordination.
V. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) — FORMAT AND CONTENT
A. Cover Sheet
Each EIS should have a cover sheet containing the following information:
Route, Termini, City or County, and State
Submitted Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 4332 (2) (c)
(and where applicable, 49 U.S.C. 303) by the
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
State Highway Agency
(as applicable, any other joint lead agency)
(Include List Here, as applicable)
The following persons may be contacted for additional information concerning this document:
A one-paragraph abstract of the statement.
Comments on this draft EIS are due by __________(date) and should be sent to (name and address).
The top left-hand corner of the cover sheet of all draft final and supplemental EISs contains an identification number. The following is an example:
FHWA – name of Federal agency
The EIS should be printed on 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper with any foldout sheets folded to that size. The wider sheets should be 8 1/2 inches high and should open to the right with the title or identification on the right. The standard size is needed for administrative recordkeeping.
The summary should include:
C. Table of Contents
For consistency with CEQ regulations, the following standard format should be used:
D. Purpose of and Need for Action
Identify and describe the proposed action and the transportation problem(s) or other needs which it is intended to address (40 CFR 1502.13). This section should clearly demonstrate that a "need" exists and should define the "need" in terms understandable to the general public. This discussion should clearly describe the problems which the proposed action is to correct. It will form the basis for the "no action" discussion in the "Alternatives" section, and assist with the identification of reasonable alternatives and the selection of the preferred alternative. Charts, tables, maps, and other illustrations (e.g., typical cross-section, photographs, etc.) are encouraged as useful presentation techniques.
The following is a list of items which may assist in the explanation of the need for the proposed action. It is by no means all-inclusive or applicable in every situation and is intended only as a guide.
This section of the draft EIS must discuss a range of alternatives, including all "reasonable alternatives" under consideration and those "other alternatives" which were eliminated from detailed study (23 CFR 771.123(c)). The section should begin with a concise discussion of how and why the "reasonable alternatives" were selected for detailed study and explain why "other alternatives" were eliminated. The following range of alternatives should be considered when determining reasonable alternatives:
Development of more detailed design for some aspects (e.g., Section 4(f), COE or CG permits, noise, wetlands, etc.) of one or more alternatives may be necessary during preparation of the draft and final EIS in order to evaluate impacts or mitigation measures or to address issues raised by other agencies or the public. However, care should be taken to avoid unnecessarily specifying features which preclude cost-effective final design options.
All reasonable alternatives under consideration (including the no-build) need to be developed to a comparable level of detail in the draft EIS so that their comparative merits may be evaluated (40 CFR 1502.14(b) and (d)). In those situations where the HA has officially identified a "preferred" alternative based on its early coordination and environmental studies, the HA should so indicate in the draft EIS. In these instances, the draft EIS should include a statement indicating that the final selection of an alternative will not be made until the alternatives' impacts and comments on the draft EIS and from the public hearing (if held) have been fully evaluated. Where a preferred alternative has not been identified, the draft EIS should state that all reasonable alternatives are under consideration and that a decision will be made after the alternatives' impacts and comments on the draft EIS and from the public hearing (if held) have been fully evaluated.
The final EIS must identify the preferred alternative and should discuss the basis for its selection (23 CFR 771.125(a)(1)). The discussion should provide the information and rationale identified in Section VIII (Record of Decision), paragraph (B). If the preferred alternative is modified after the draft EIS, the final EIS should clearly identify the changes and discuss the reasons why any new impacts are not significant.
F. Affected Environment
This section provides a concise description of the existing social, economic, and environmental setting for the area affected by all alternatives presented in the EIS. Where possible, the description should be a single description for the general project area rather than a separate one for each alternative. The general population served and/or affected (city, county, etc.) by the proposed action should be identified by race, color, national origin, and age. Demographic data should be obtained from available secondary sources (e.g., census data, planning reports) unless more detailed information is necessary to address specific concerns. All socially, economically, and environmentally sensitive locations or features in the proposed project impact area (e.g., neighborhoods, elderly/minority/ ethnic groups, parks, hazardous material sites, historic resources, wetlands, etc.), should be identified on exhibits and briefly described in the text. However, it may be desirable to exclude from environmental documents the specific location of archeological sites to prevent vandalism.
To reduce paperwork and eliminate extraneous background material, the discussion should be limited to data, information, issues, and values which will have a bearing on possible impacts, mitigation measures, and on the selection of an alternative. Data and analyses should be commensurate with the importance of the impact, with the less important material summarized or referenced rather than be reproduced. Photographs, illustrations, and other graphics should be used with the text to give a clear understanding of the area and the important issues. Other Federal activities which contribute to the significance of the proposed action's impacts should be described.
This section should also briefly describe the scope and status of the planning processes for the local jurisdictions and the project area. Maps of any adopted land use and transportation plans for these jurisdictions and the project area would be helpful in relating the proposed project to the planning processes.
G. Environmental Consequences
This section includes the probable beneficial and adverse social, economic, and environmental effects of alternatives under consideration and describes the measures proposed to mitigate adverse impacts. The information should have sufficient scientific and analytical substance to provide a basis for evaluating the comparative merits of the alternatives. The discussion of the proposed project impacts should not use the term significant in describing the level of impacts. There is no benefit to be gained from its use. If the term significant is used, however, it should be consistent with the CEQ definition and be supported by factual information.
There are two principal ways of preparing this section. One is to discuss the impacts and mitigation measures separately for each alternative with the alternatives as headings. The second (which is advantageous where there are few alternatives or where impacts are similar for the various alternatives) is to present this section with the impacts as the headings. Where appropriate, a sub-section should be included which discusses the general impacts and mitigation measures that are the same for the various alternatives under consideration. This would reduce or eliminate repetition under each of the alternative discussions. Charts, tables, maps, and other graphics illustrating comparisons between the alternatives (e.g., costs, residential displacements, noise impacts, etc.) are useful as a presentation technique.
When preparing the final EIS, the impacts and mitigation measures of the alternatives, particularly the preferred alternative, may need to be discussed in more detail to elaborate on information, firm-up commitments, or address issues raised following the draft EIS. The final EIS should also identify any new impacts (and their significance) resulting from modification of or identification of substantive new circumstances or information regarding the preferred alternative following the draft EIS circulation. Note: Where new significant impacts are identified a supplemental draft EIS is required (40 CFR 1502.9(c)).
The following information should be included in both the draft and final EIS for each reasonable alternative:
1. Land Use Impacts
This discussion should identify the current development trends and the State and/or local government plans and policies on land use and growth in the area which will be impacted by the proposed project.
These plans and policies are normally reflected in the area's comprehensive development plan, and include land use, transportation, public facilities, housing, community services, and other areas.
The land use discussion should assess the consistency of the alternatives with the comprehensive development plans adopted for the area and (if applicable) other plans used in the development of the transportation plan required by Section 134. The secondary social, economic, and environmental impacts of any substantial, foreseeable, induced development should be presented for each alternative, including adverse effects on existing communities. Where possible, the distinction between planned and unplanned growth should be identified.
2. Farmland Impacts
Farmland includes 1) prime, 2) unique, 3) other than prime or unique that is of statewide importance, and 4) other than prime or unique that is of local importance.
The draft EIS should summarize the results of early consultation with the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) and, as appropriate, State and local agriculture agencies where any of the four specified types of farmland could be directly or indirectly impacted by any alternative under consideration. Where farmland would be impacted, the draft EIS should contain a map showing the location of all farmlands in the project impact area, discuss the impacts of the various alternatives and identify measures to avoid or reduce the impacts. Form AD 1006 (Farmland Conversion Impact Rating) should be processed, as appropriate, and a copy included in the draft EIS. Where the Land Evaluation and Site Assessment score (from Form AD 1006) is 160 points or greater, the draft EIS should discuss alternatives to avoid farmland impacts.
If avoidance is not possible, measures to minimize or reduce the impacts should be evaluated and, where appropriate, included in the proposed action.
3. Social Impacts
Where there are foreseeable impacts, the draft EIS should discuss the following items for each alternative commensurate with the level of impacts and to the extent they are distinguishable:
4. Relocation Impacts
The relocation information should be summarized in sufficient detail to adequately explain the relocation situation including anticipated problems and proposed solutions. Project relocation documents from which information is summarized should be referenced in the draft EIS. Secondary sources of information such as census, economic reports, and contact with community leaders, supplemented by visual inspections (and, as appropriate, contact with local officials) may be used to obtain the data for this analysis. Where a proposed project will result in displacements, the following information regarding households and businesses should be discussed for each alternative under consideration commensurate with the level of impacts and to the extent they are likely to occur:
5. Economic Impacts
Where there are foreseeable economic impacts, the draft EIS should discuss the following for each alternative commensurate with the level of impacts:
6. Joint Development
Where appropriate, the draft EIS should identify and discuss those joint development measures which will preserve or enhance an affected community's social, economic, environmental, and visual values. This discussion may be presented separately or combined with the land use and/or social impacts presentations. The benefits to be derived, those who will benefit (communities, social groups, etc.), and the entities responsible for maintaining the measures should be identified.
7. Considerations Relating to Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Where current pedestrian or bicycle facilities or indications of use are identified, the draft EIS should discuss the current and anticipated use of the facilities, the potential impacts of the affected alternatives, and proposed measures, if any, to avoid or reduce adverse impacts to the facility(ies) and its users. Where new facilities are proposed as a part of the proposed highway project, the EIS should include sufficient information to explain the basis for providing the facilities (e.g., proposed bicycle facility is a link in the local plan or sidewalks will reduce project access impact to the community). The final EIS should identify those facilities to be included in the preferred alternative. Where the preferred alternative would sever an existing major route for non-motorized transportation traffic, the proposed project needs to provide a reasonably alternative route or demonstrate that such a route exists (23 U.S.C. 109(n)). To the fullest extent possible, this needs to be described in the final EIS.
8. Air Quality Impacts
The draft EIS should contain a brief discussion of the transportation-related air quality concerns in the project area and a summary of the project- related carbon monoxide (CO) analysis if such analysis is performed. The following information should be presented, as appropriate.
9. Noise Impacts
The draft EIS should contain a summary of the noise analysis including the following for each alternative under detailed study:
10. Water Quality Impacts
The draft EIS should include summaries of analyses and consultations with the State and/or local agency responsible for water quality. Coordination with the EPA under the Federal Clean Water Act may also provide assistance in this area. The discussion should include sufficient information to describe the ambient conditions of streams and water bodies which are likely to be impacted and identify the potential impacts of each alternative and proposed mitigation measures. Under normal circumstances, existing data may be used to describe ambient conditions. The inclusion of water quality data spanning several years is encouraged to reflect trends.
The draft EIS should also identify any locations where roadway runoff or other nonpoint source pollution may have an adverse impact on sensitive water resources such as water supply reservoirs, ground water recharge areas, and high quality streams. The 1981 FHWA research report entitled "Constituents of Highway Runoff," the 1985 report entitled "Management Practices for Mitigation of Highway Stormwater Runoff Pollution," and the 1987 report entitled "Effects of Highway Runoff on Receiving Waters" contain procedures for estimating pollutant loading from highway runoff and would be helpful in determining the level of potential impacts and appropriate mitigative measures. The draft EIS should identify the potential impacts of each alternative and proposed mitigation measures.
Where an area designated as principal or sole-source aquifer under Section 1424(e) of the Safe Drinking Water Act may be impacted by a proposed project, early coordination with EPA will assist in identifying potential impacts. The EPA will furnish information on whether any of the alternatives affect the aquifer. This coordination should also identify any potential impacts to the critical aquifer protection area (CAPA), if designated, within affected sole-source aquifers. If none of the alternatives affect the aquifer, the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act are satisfied. If an alternative is selected which affects the aquifer, a design must be developed to assure, to the satisfaction of EPA, that it will not contaminate the aquifer (40 CFR 149). The draft EIS should document coordination with EPA and identify its position on the impacts of the various alternatives. The final EIS should show that EPA's concerns on the preferred alternative have been resolved.
Wellhead protection areas were authorized by the 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. Each State will develop State wellhead protection plans with final approval by EPA. When a proposed project encroaches on a wellhead protection area, the draft EIS should identify the area, the potential impact of each alternative and proposed mitigation measures. Coordination with the State agency responsible for the protection plan will aid in identifying the areas, impacts and mitigation. If the preferred alternative impacts these areas, the final EIS should document that it complies with the approved State wellhead protection plan.
If a facility such as a safety rest area is proposed and it will have a point source discharge, a Section 402 permit will be required for point source discharge (40 CFR 122). The draft EIS should discuss potential adverse impacts resulting from such proposed facilities and identify proposed mitigation measures. The need for a Section 402 permit and Section 401 water quality certification should be identified in the draft EIS.
For proposed actions requiring a Section 404 or Section 10 (Corps of Engineers) permit, the draft EIS should identify by alternative the general location of each dredge or fill activity, discuss the potential adverse impacts, identify proposed mitigation measures (if not addressed elsewhere in the draft EIS), and include evidence of coordination with the Corps of Engineers (in accordance with the U.S. DOT/Corps of Engineers Memorandum of Agreement) and appropriate Federal, State and local resource agencies, and State and local water quality agencies. Where the preferred alternative requires an individual Section 404 or Section 10 permit, the final EIS should identify for each permit activity the approximate quantities of dredge or fill material, general construction grades and proposed mitigation measures.
For proposed actions requiring Section 9 (U.S. Coast Guard bridge) permits, the draft EIS should identify by alternative the location of the permit activity, potential impacts to navigation and the environment (if not addressed elsewhere in the document), proposed mitigation measures and evidence coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard (in accordance with the FHWA/U.S. Coast Guard Memorandum of Understanding). Where the preferred alternative requires a Section 9 permit, the final EIS should identify for each permit activity the proposed horizontal and vertical navigational clearances and include an exhibit showing the various dimensions.
For all permit activities the final EIS should include evidence that every reasonable effort has been made to resolve the issues raised by other agencies regarding the permit activities. If important issues remain unresolved, the final EIS must identify those issues, the positions of the respective agencies on the issues and the consultations and other efforts made to resolve them (23 CFR 771.125(a)).
12. Wetland Impacts
When an alternative will impact wetlands the draft EIS should (1) identify the type, quality, and function of wetlands involved, (2) describe the impacts to the wetlands, (3) evaluate alternatives which would avoid these wetlands, and (4) identify practicable measures to minimize harm to the wetlands. Wetlands should be identified by using the definition of 33 CFR 328.3(b) (issued on November 13, 1986) which requires the presence of hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils and wetland hydrology. Exhibits showing wetlands in the project impact area in relation to the alternatives, should be provided.
In evaluating the impact of the proposed project on wetlands, the following two items should be addressed: (1) the importance of the impacted wetland(s) and (2) the severity of this impact. Merely listing the number of acres taken by the various alternatives of a highway proposal does not provide sufficient information upon which to determine the degree of impact on the wetland ecosystem. The wetlands analysis should be sufficiently detailed to provide an understanding of these two elements.
In evaluating the importance of the wetlands, the analysis should consider such factors as: (1) the primary functions of the wetlands (e.g., flood control, wildlife habitat, ground water recharge, etc.), (2) the relative importance of these functions to the total wetland resource of the area, and (3) other factors such as uniqueness that may contribute to the wetlands importance.
In determining the wetland impact, the analysis should show the project's effects on the stability and quality of the wetland(s). This analysis should consider the short- and long-term effects on the wetlands and the importance of any loss such as: (1) flood control capacity, (2) shore line anchorage potential, (3) water pollution abatement capacity, and (4) fish and wildlife habitat value. The methodology developed by FHWA and described in reports numbered FHWA-IP-82-23 and FHWA IP-82-24, "A Method for Wetland Functional Assessment Volumes I and II," is recommended for use in conducting this analysis. Knowing the importance of the wetlands involved and the degree of the impact, the HA and FHWA will be in a better position to determine the mitigation efforts necessary to minimize harm to these wetlands. Mitigation measures which should be considered include preservation and improvement of existing wetlands and creation of new wetlands (consistent with 23 CFR 777).
If the preferred alternative is located in wetlands, to the fullest extent possible, the final EIS needs to contain the finding required by Executive Order 11990 that there are no practicable alternatives to construction in wetlands. Where the finding is included, approval of the final EIS will document compliance with the Executive Order 11990 requirements (23 CFR 771.125(a)(1)). The finding should be included in a separate subsection entitled "Only Practicable Alternative Finding" and should be supported by the following information:
13. Water Body Modification and Wildlife Impacts
For each alternative under detailed study the draft EIS should contain exhibits and discussions identifying the location and extent of water body modifications (e.g., impoundment, relocation, channel deepening, filling, etc.). The use of the stream or body of water for recreation, water supply, or other purposes should be identified. Impacts to fish and wildlife resulting from the loss degradation, or modification of aquatic or terrestrial habitat should also be discussed. The results of coordination with appropriate Federal, State and local agencies should be documented in the draft EIS. For example, coordination with FWS under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958.
14. Floodplain Impacts
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) maps or, if NFIP maps are not available, information developed by the highway agency should be used to determine whether an alternative will encroach on the base (100-year) floodplain. The location hydraulic studies required by 23 CFR 650, Subpart A, must include a discussion of the following items commensurate with the level of risk or environmental impact, for each alternative which encroaches on base floodplains or would support base floodplain development.
If the preferred alternative includes a floodplain encroachment having significant impacts, the final EIS must include a finding that it is the only practicable alternative as required by 23 CFR 650, Subpart A. The finding should refer to Executive Order 11988 and 23 CFR 650, Subpart A. It should be included in a separate subsection entitled "Only Practicable Alternative Finding" and must be supported by the following information.
15. Wild and Scenic Rivers
If the proposed action could have foreseeable adverse effects on a river on the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System or a river under study for designation to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, the draft EIS should identify early coordination undertaken with the agency responsible for managing the listed or study river (i.e., National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), or Forest Service (FS)). For each alternative under consideration, the EIS should identify the potential adverse effects on the natural, cultural, and recreational values of the listed or study river. Adverse effects include alteration of the free-flowing nature of the river, alteration of the setting or deterioration of water quality. If it is determined that any of the alternatives could foreclose options to designate a study river under the Act, or adversely affect those qualities of a listed river for which it was designated, to the fullest extent possible, the draft EIS needs to reflect consultation with the managing agency on avoiding or mitigating the impacts (23 CFR 771.123(c)). The final EIS should identify measures that will be included in the preferred alternative to avoid or mitigate such impacts.
Publicly owned waters of designated wild and scenic rivers are protected by Section 4(f). Additionally, public lands adjacent to a Wild and Scenic River may be subject to Section 4(f) protection. An examination of any adopted or proposed management plan for a listed river should be helpful in making the determination on applicability of Section 4(f). For each alternative that takes such land, coordination with the agency responsible for managing the river (either NPS, FWS, BLM, or FS) will provide information on the management plan, specific affected land uses, and any necessary Section 4(f) coordination.
16. Coastal Barriers
The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) establishes certain coastal areas to be protected by prohibiting the expenditure of Federal funds for new and expanded facilities within designated coastal barrier units. When a proposed project impacts a coastal barrier unit, the draft EIS should: include a map showing the relationship of each alternative to the unit(s); identify direct and indirect impacts to the unit(s), quantifying and describing the impacts as appropriate; discuss the results of early coordination with FWS, identifying any issues raised and how they were addressed, and; identify any alternative which (if selected) would require an exception under the Act. Any issues identified or exceptions required for the preferred alternative should be resolved prior to its selection. This resolution should be documented in the final EIS.
17. Coastal Zone Impacts
Where the proposed action is within, or is likely to affect land or water uses within the area covered by a State Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) approved by the Department of Commerce, the draft EIS should briefly describe the portion of the affected CZMP plan, identify the potential impacts, and include evidence of coordination with the State Coastal Zone Management agency or appropriate local agency. The final EIS should include the State Coastal Zone Management agency's determination on consistency with the State CZMP plan. (In some States, an agency will make a consistency determination only after the final EIS is approved, but will provide a preliminary indication before the final EIS that the project is "not inconsistent" or "appears to be consistent" with the plan.) (For direct Federal actions, the final EIS should include the lead agency's consistency determination and agreement by the State CZM agency.) If the preferred alternative is inconsistent with the State's approved CZMP, it can be Federally funded only if the Secretary of Commerce makes a finding that the proposed action is consistent with the purpose or objectives of the CZM Act or is necessary in the interest of national security. To the fullest extent possible, such a finding needs to be included in the final EIS. If the finding is denied, the action is not eligible for Federal funding unless modified in such a manner to remove the inconsistency finding. The final EIS should document such results.
18. Threatened or Endangered Species
The HA must obtain information from the FWS of the DOI and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the Department of Commerce to determine the presence or absence of listed and proposed threatened or endangered species and designated and proposed critical habitat in the proposed project area (50 CFR 402.12(c)). The information may be (1) a published geographical list of such species or critical habitat; (2) a project-specific notification of a list of such species or critical habitat; or (3) substantiated information from other credible sources. Where the information is obtained from a published geographical list the reasons why this would satisfy the coordination with DOI should be explained. If there are no species or critical habitat in the proposed project area, the Endangered Species Act requirements have been met. The results of this coordination should be included in the draft EIS.
When a proposed species or a proposed critical habitat may be present in the proposed project area, an evaluation or, if appropriate, a biological assessment is made on the potential impacts to identify whether any such species or critical habitat are likely to be adversely affected by the project. Informal consultation with FWS and/or NMFS should be undertaken during the evaluation. The draft EIS should include exhibits showing the location of the species or habitat, summarize the evaluation and potential impacts, identify proposed mitigation measures, and evidence coordination with FWS and/or NMFS. If the project is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat, the HA in consultation with the FHWA must confer with FWS and/or NMFS to attempt to resolve potential conflicts by avoiding, minimizing, or reducing the project impacts (50 CFR 402.10(a)). If the preferred alternative is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat, a conference with FWS and/or NMFS must be held to assist in identifying and resolving potential conflicts. To the fullest extent possible, the final EIS needs to summarize the results of the conference and identify reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid the jeopardy to such proposed species or critical habitat. If no alternatives exist, the final EIS should explain the reasons why and identify any proposed mitigation measures to minimize adverse effects.
When a listed species or a designated critical habitat may be present in the proposed project area, a biological assessment must be prepared to identify any such species or habitat which are likely to be adversely affected by the proposed project (50 CFR 402.12). Informal consultation should be undertaken or, if desirable, a conference held with FWS and/or NMFS during preparation of the biological assessment. The draft EIS should summarize the following data from the biological assessment:
If the results of the biological assessment or consultation with FWS and/or NMFS show that the preferred alternative is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat, to the fullest extent possible, the final EIS needs to contain: (l) a summary of the biological assessment (see data above for draft EIS); (2) a summary of the steps taken, including alternatives or measures evaluated and conferences and consultations held, to resolve the project's conflicts with the listed species or critical habitat; (3) a copy of the biological opinion; (4) a request for an exemption from the Endangered Species Act; (5) the results of the exemption request; and (6) a statement that (if the exemption is denied) the action is not eligible for Federal funding.
19. Historic and Archeological Preservation
The draft EIS should contain a discussion demonstrating that historic and archeological resources have been identified and evaluated in accordance with the requirements of 36 CFR 800.4 for each alternative under consideration. The information and level of effort needed to identify and evaluate historic and archeological resources will vary from project to project as determined by the FHWA after considering existing information, the views of the SHPO and the Secretary of Interior's "Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation." The information for newly identified historic resources should be sufficient to determine their significance and eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. The information for archeological resources should be sufficient to identify whether each warrants preservation in place or whether it is important chiefly because of what can be learned by data recovery and has minimal value for preservation in place. Where archeological resources are not a major factor in the selection of a preferred alternative, the determination of eligibility for the National Register of newly identified archeological resources may be deferred until after circulation of the draft EIS.
The draft EIS discussion should briefly summarize the methodologies used in identifying historic and archeological resources. Because Section 4(f) of the DOT Act applies to the use of historic resources on or eligible for the National Register and to archeological resources on or eligible for the National Register and which warrant preservation in place, the draft EIS should describe the historical resources listed in or eligible for the National Register and identify any archeological resources that warrant preservation in place. The draft EIS should summarize the impacts of each alternative on and proposed mitigation measures for each resource. The document should evidence coordination with the SHPO on the significance of newly identified historic and archeological resources, the eligibility of historic resources for the National Register, and the effects of each alternative on both listed and eligible historic resources. Where the draft EIS discusses eligibility for the National Register of archeological resources, the coordination with the SHPO on eligibility and effect should address both historic and archeological resources.
The draft EIS can serve as a vehicle for affording the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) an opportunity to comment pursuant to Section 106 requirements if the document contains the necessary information required by 36 CFR 800.8. The draft EIS transmittal letter to the ACHP should specifically request its comments pursuant to 36 CFR 800.6.
To the fullest extent possible, the final EIS needs to demonstrate that all the requirements of 36 CFR 800 have been met. If the preferred alternative has no effect on historic or archeological resources on or eligible for the National Register, the final EIS should indicate coordination with and agreement by the SHPO. If the preferred alternative has an effect on a resource on or eligible for the National Register, the final EIS should contain (a) a determination of no adverse effect concurred in by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, (b) an executed memorandum of agreement (MOA), or (c) in the case of a rare situation where FHWA is unable to conclude the MOA, a copy of comments transmitted from the ACHP to the FHWA and the FHWA response to those comments.
The proposed use of land from an historic resource on or eligible for the National Register will normally require an evaluation and approval under Section 4(f) of the DOT Act. Section 4(f) also applies to all archeological sites on or eligible for the National Register and which warrant preservation in place. (See Section IX for information on Section 4(f) evaluation.)
20. Hazardous Waste Sites
Hazardous waste sites are regulated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). During early planning, the location of permitted and nonregulated hazardous waste sites should be identified. Early coordination with the appropriate Regional Office of the EPA and the appropriate State agency will aid in identifying known or potential hazardous waste sites. If known or potential waste sites are identified, the locations should be clearly marked on a map showing their relationship to the alternatives under consideration. If a known or potential hazardous waste site is affected by an alternative, information about the site, the potential involvement, impacts and public health concerns of the affected alternative(s), and the proposed mitigation measures to eliminate or minimize impacts or public health concerns should be discussed in the draft EIS.
If the preferred alternative impacts a known or potential hazardous waste site, the final EIS should address and resolve the issues raised by the public and government agencies.
21. Visual Impacts
The draft EIS should state whether the project alternatives have a potential for visual quality impacts. When this potential exists, the draft EIS should identify the impacts to the existing visual resource, the relationship of the impacts to potential viewers of and from the project, as well as measures to avoid, minimize, or reduce the adverse impacts. When there is potential for visual quality impacts, the draft EIS should explain the consideration given to design quality, art, and architecture in the project planning. These values may be particularly important for facilities located in visually sensitive urban or rural settings. When a proposed project will include features associated with design quality, art or architecture, the draft EIS should be circulated to officially designated State and local arts councils and, as appropriate, other organizations with an interest in design, art, and architecture. The final EIS should identify any proposed mitigation for the preferred alternative.
Except for large scale projects, a detailed energy analysis including computations of BTU requirements, etc., is not needed. For most projects, the draft EIS should discuss in general terms the construction and operational energy requirements and conservation potential of various alternatives under consideration. The discussion should be reasonable and supportable. It might recognize that the energy requirements of various construction alternatives are similar and are generally greater than the energy requirements of the no-build alternative. Additionally, the discussion could point out that the post-construction, operational energy requirements of the facility should be less with the build alternative as opposed to the no-build alternative. In such a situation, one might conclude that the savings in operational energy requirements would more than offset construction energy requirements and thus, in the long term, result in a net savings in energy usage.
For large-scale projects with potentially substantial energy impacts, the draft EIS should discuss the major direct and/or indirect energy impacts and conservation potential of each alternative. Direct energy impacts refer to the energy consumed by vehicles using the facility. Indirect impacts include construction energy and such items as the effects of any changes in automobile usage. The alternative's relationship and consistency with a State and/or regional energy plan, if one exists, should also be indicated.
The final EIS should identify any energy conservation measures that will be implemented as a part of the preferred alternative. Measures to conserve energy include the use of high-occupancy vehicle incentives and measures to improve traffic flow.
23. Construction Impacts
The draft EIS should discuss the potential adverse impacts (particularly air, noise, water, traffic congestion, detours, safety, visual, etc.) associated with construction of each alternative and identify appropriate mitigation measures. Also, where the impacts of obtaining borrow or disposal of waste material are important issues, they should be discussed in the draft EIS along with any proposed measures to minimize these impacts. The final EIS should identify any proposed mitigation for the preferred alternative.
24. The Relationship Between Local Short-term Uses of Man's Environment and the Maintenance and Enhancement of Long-term Productivity
The EIS should discuss in general terms the proposed action's relationship of local short-term impacts and use of resources, and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. This general discussion might recognize that the build alternatives would have similar impacts. The discussion should point out that transportation improvements are based on State and/or local comprehensive planning which consider(s) the need for present and future traffic requirements within the context of present and future land use development. In such a situation, one might then conclude that the local short-term impacts and use of resources by the proposed action is consistent with the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity for the local area, State, etc.
25. Any Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitments of Resources Which Would be Involved in the Proposed Action
The EIS should discuss in general terms the proposed action's irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources. This general discussion might recognize that the build alternatives would require a similar commitment of natural, physical, human, and fiscal resources. An example of such discussion would be as follows:
"Implementation of the proposed action involves a commitment of a range of natural, physical, human, and fiscal resources. Land used in the construction of the proposed facility is considered an irreversible commitment during the time period that the land is used for a highway facility. However, if a greater need arises for use of the land or if the highway facility is no longer needed, the land can be converted to another use. At present, there is no reason to believe such a conversion will ever be necessary or desirable.
Considerable amounts of fossil fuels, labor, and highway construction materials such as cement, aggregate, and bituminous material are expended. Additionally, large amounts of labor and natural resources are used in the fabrication and preparation of construction materials. These materials are generally not retrievable. However, they are not in short supply and their use will not have an adverse effect upon continued availability of these resources. Any construction will also require a substantial one-time expenditure of both State and Federal funds which are not retrievable.
The commitment of these resources is based on the concept that residents in the immediate area, State, and region will benefit by the improved quality of the transportation system. These benefits will consist of improved accessibility and safety, savings in time, and greater availability of quality services which are anticipated to outweigh the commitment of these resources."
H. List of Preparers
This section should include lists of:
I. List of Agencies, Organizations, and Persons to Whom Copies of the Statement are Sent:
EIS: List all entities from which comments are being requested (40
J. Comments and Coordination
The index should include important subjects and areas of major impacts so that a reviewer need not read the entire EIS to btain information on a specific subject or impact.
The EIS should briefly explain or summarize methodologies and results of technical analyses and research. Lengthy technical discussions should be contained in a technical report. Material prepared as appendices to the EIS should:
VI. OPTIONS FOR PREPARING FINAL EISs
The CEQ regulations place heavy emphasis on reducing paperwork, avoiding unnecessary work, and producing documents which are useful to decisionmakers and to the public. With these objectives in mind, three different approaches to preparing final EISs are presented below. The first two approaches can be employed on any project. The third approach is restricted to the conditions specified by CEQ (40 CFR 1503.4(c)).
A. Traditional Approach
Under this approach, the final EIS incorporates the draft EIS (essentially in its entirety) with changes made as appropriate throughout the document to reflect the selection of an alternative, modifications to the project, updated information on the affected environment, changes in the assessment of impacts, the selection of mitigation measures, wetland and floodplain findings, the results of coordination, comments received on the draft EIS and responses to these comments, etc. Since so much information is carried over from the draft to the final, important changes are sometimes difficult for the reader to identify. Nevertheless, this is the approach most familiar to participants in the NEPA process.
B. Condensed Final EIS
This approach avoids repetition of material from the draft EIS by incorporating, by reference, the draft EIS. The final EIS is, thus, a much shorter document than under the traditional approach; however, it should afford the reader a complete overview of the project and its impacts on the human environment.
The crux of this approach is to briefly reference and summarize information from the draft EIS which has not changed and to focus the final EIS discussion on changes in the project, its setting, impacts, technical analysis, and mitigation that have occurred since the draft EIS was circulated. In addition, the condensed final EIS must identify the preferred alternative, explain the basis for its selection, describe coordination efforts, and include agency and public comments, responses to these comments, and any required findings or determinations (40 CFR 1502.14(e) and 23 CFR 771.125(a)).
The format of the final EIS should parallel the draft EIS. Each major section of the final EIS should briefly summarize the important information contained in the corresponding section of the draft, reference the section of the draft that provides more detailed information, and discuss any noteworthy changes that have occurred since the draft was circulated.
At the time that the final is circulated, an additional copy of the draft EIS need not be provided to those parties that received a copy of the draft EIS when it was circulated. Nevertheless, if, due to the passage of time or other reasons, it is likely that they will have disposed of their original copy of the draft EIS, then a copy of the draft EIS should be provided with the final. In any case, sufficient copies of the draft EIS should be on hand to satisfy requests for additional copies. Both the draft EIS and the condensed final EIS should be filed with EPA under a single final EIS cover sheet.
C. Abbreviated Version of Final EIS
The CEQ regulation (40 CFR 1503.4(c)) provides the opportunity to expedite the final EIS preparation where the only changes needed in the document are minor and consist of factual corrections and/or an explanation of why the comments received on the draft EIS do not warrant further response. In using this approach, care should be exercised to assure that the draft EIS contains sufficient information to make the findings in (2) below and that the number of errata sheets used to make required changes is small and that these errata sheets together with the draft EIS constitute a readable, understandable, full disclosure document. The final EIS should consist of the draft EIS and an attachment containing the following:
Only the attachment need be provided to parties who received a copy of the draft EIS, unless it is likely that they will have disposed of their original copy, in which case both the draft EIS and the attachment should be provided (40 CFR 1503.4(c)). Both the draft EIS and the attachment must be filed with EPA under a single final EIS cover sheet(40 CFR 1503.4(c)).
VII. DISTRIBUTION OF EISs AND SECTION 4(f) EVALUATIONS
A. Environmental Impact Statement
Note: DOI Headquarters will make distribution within its Department. While not required, advance distribution to DOI field offices may be helpful to expedite their review.
B. Section 4(f) Evaluation
If the Section 4(f) evaluation is included in a draft EIS, the DOI Headquarters does not need additional copies of the draft or final EIS/Section 4(f) evaluation. If the Section 4(f) evaluation is processed separately or as part of an EA, the DOI should receive seven copies of the draft Section 4(f) evaluation for coordination and seven copies of the final Section 4(f) evaluation for information. In addition to coordination with DOI, draft Section 4(f) evaluations must be coordinated with the officials having jurisdiction over the Section 4(f) property and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) where these agencies have an interest in or jurisdiction over the affected Section 4(f) resource (23 CFR 771.135(i)). The point of coordination for HUD is the appropriate Regional Office and for USDA, the Forest Supervisor of the affected National Forest. One copy should be provided to the officials with jurisdiction and two copies should be submitted to HUD and USDA when coordination is required.
VIII. RECORD OF DECISION — FORMAT AND CONTENT
The Record of Decision (ROD) will explain the reasons for the project decision, summarize any mitigation measures that will be incorporated in the project, and document any required Section 4(f) approval. While cross-referencing and incorporation by reference of the final EIS (or final EIS supplement) and other documents are appropriate, the ROD must explain the basis for the project decision as completely as possible, based on the information contained in the EIS (40 CFR 1502.2). A draft ROD should be prepared by the HA and submitted to the Division Office with the final EIS. The following key items need to be addressed in the ROD:
Identify the selected alternative. Reference to the final EIS (or final EIS supplement) may be used to reduce detail and repetition.
B. Alternatives Considered.
This information can be most clearly organized by briefly describing each alternative and explaining the balancing of values which formed the basis for the decision. This discussion must identify the environmentally preferred alternative(s) (i.e., the alternative(s) that causes the least damage to the biological and physical environment) (40 CFR 1505.2(b)). Where the selected alternative is other than the environmentally preferable alternative, the ROD should clearly state the reasons for not selecting the environmentally preferred alternative. If lands protected by Section 4(f) were a factor in the selection of the preferred alternative, the ROD should explain how the Section 4(f) lands influenced the selection.
The values (social, economic, environmental, cost-effectiveness, safety, traffic, service, community planning, etc.) which were important factors in the decisionmaking process should be clearly identified along with the reasons some values were considered more important than others. The Federal-aid highway program mandate to provide safe and efficient transportation in the context of all other Federal requirements and the beneficial impacts of the proposed transportation improvements should be included in this balancing. While any decision represents a balancing of the values, the ROD should reflect the manner in which these values were considered in arriving at the decision.
C. Section 4(f).
Summarize the basis for any Section 4(f) approval when applicable (23 CFR 771.127(a)). The discussion should include the key information supporting such approval. Where appropriate, this information may be included in the alternatives discussion above and referenced in this paragraph to reduce repetition.
D. Measures to Minimize Harm.
Describe the specific measures adopted to minimize environmental harm and identify those standard measures (e.g., erosion control, appropriate for the proposed action). State whether all practicable measures to minimize environmental harm have been incorporated into the decision and, if not, why they were not (40 CFR 1505.2(c)).
E. Monitoring or Enforcement Program.
Describe any monitoring or enforcement program which has been adopted for specific mitigation measures, as outlined in the final EIS.
F. Comments on Final EIS.
All substantive comments received on the final EIS should be identified and given appropriate responses. Other comments should be summarized and responses provided where appropriate.
For record keeping purposes, a copy of the signed ROD should be provided to the Washington Headquarters (HEV-11). For a ROD approved by the Division Office, copies should be sent to both the Washington Headquarters and the Regional Office.
IX. SECTION 4(f) EVALUATIONS--FORMAT AND CONTENT
A Section 4(f) evaluation must be prepared for each location within a proposed project before the use of Section 4(f) land is approved (23 CFR 771.135(a)). For projects processed with an EIS or an EA/FONSI, the individual Section 4(f) evaluation should be included as a separate section of the document, and for projects processed as categorical exclusions, as a separate Section 4(f) evaluation document. Pertinent information from various sections of the EIS or EA/FONSI may be summarized in the Section 4(f) evaluation to reduce repetition. Where an issue on constructive use Section 4(f) arises and FHWA decides that Section 4(f) does not apply, the environmental document should contain sufficient analysis and information to demonstrate that the resource(s) is not substantially impaired.
The use of Section 4(f) land may involve concurrent requirements of other Federal agencies. Examples include consistency determinations for the use of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, compatibility determinations for the use of land in the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Park System, determinations of direct and adverse effects for Wild and Scenic Rivers, and approval of land conversions under Section 6(f) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. The mitigation plan developed for the project should include measures which would satisfy the various requirements. For example, Section 6(f) directs the Department of the Interior (National Park Service) to assure that replacement lands of equal value, location, and usefulness are provided as conditions to approval of land conversions. Therefore, where a Section 6(f) land conversion is proposed for a highway project, replacement land will be necessary. Regardless of the mitigation proposed, the draft and final Section 4(f) evaluations should discuss the results of coordination with the public official having jurisdiction over the Section 4(f) land and document the National Park Service's position on the Section 6(f) land transfer, respectively.
A. Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation
The following format and content are suggested. The listed information should be included in the Section 4(f) evaluation, as applicable.
Note: The conclusion that there are no feasible and prudent alternatives is not normally addressed at the draft Section 4(f) evaluation stage. Such conclusion is made only after the draft Section 4(f) evaluation has been circulated and coordinated and any identified issues adequately evaluated.
B. Final Section 4(f) Evaluation
When the preferred alternative uses Section 4(f) land, the final Section 4(f) evaluation must contain (23 CFR 771.135(i) and (j)):
OTHER AGENCY STATEMENTS
A. Draft EIS Reevaluation
If an acceptable final EIS is not received by FHWA within 3 years from the date of the draft EIS circulation, then a written evaluation is required to determine whether there have been changes in the project or its surroundings or new information which would require a supplement to the draft EIS or a new draft EIS (23 CFR 771.129(a)). The written evaluation should be prepared by the HA in consultation with FHWA and should address all current environmental requirements. The entire project should be revisited to assess any changes that have occurred and their effect on the adequacy of the draft EIS.
There is no required format for the written evaluation. It should focus on the changes in the project, its surroundings and impacts, and any new issues identified since the draft EIS. Field reviews, additional studies (as necessary), and coordination (as appropriate) with other agencies should be undertaken and the results included in the written evaluation. If, after reviewing the written evaluation, the FHWA concludes that a supplemental EIS or a new draft EIS is not required, the decision should be appropriately documented. Since the next major step in the project development process is preparation of a final EIS, the final EIS may document the decision. A statement to this fact, the conclusions reached, and supporting information should be briefly summarized in the Summary Section of the final EIS.
B. Final EIS Reevaluation
There are two types of reevaluations required for a final EIS: consultation and written evaluation (23 CFR 771.129(b) and (c)). For the first, consultation, the final EIS is reevaluated prior to proceeding with major project approval (e.g., right-of-way acquisition, final design, and plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E)) to determine whether the final EIS is still valid. The level of analysis and documentation, if any, should be agreed upon by the FHWA and HA. The analysis and documentation should focus on and be commensurate with the changes in the project and its surroundings, potential for controversy, and length of time since the last environmental action. For example, when the consultation occurs shortly after final EIS approval, an analysis usually should not be necessary. However, when it occurs nearly 3 years after final EIS approval, but before a written evaluation is required, the level of analysis should be similar to what normally would be undertaken for a written evaluation. Although written documentation is left to the discretion of the Division Administrator, it is suggested that each consultation be appropriately documented in order to have a record to show the requirement was met.
The second type of reevaluation is a written evaluation. It is required if the HA has not taken additional major steps to advance the project (i.e., has not received from FHWA authority to undertake final design, authority to acquire a significant portion of the right-of-way, or approval of the PS&E) within any 3-year time period after approval of the final EIS, the final supplemental EIS, or the last major FHWA approval action. The written evaluation should be prepared by the HA in consultation with FHWAand should address all current environmental requirements. The entire project should be revisited to assess any changes that have occurred and their effect on the adequacy of the final EIS.
There is no required format for the written evaluation. It should focus on the changes in the project, its surroundings and impacts, and any new issues identified since the final EIS was approved. Field reviews, additional environmental studies (as necessary), and coordination with other agencies should be undertaken (as appropriate to address any new impacts or issues) and the results included in the written evaluation. The FHWA Division Office is the action office for the written evaluation. If it is determined that a supplemental EIS is not needed, the project files should be documented appropriately. In those rare cases where an EA is prepared to serve as the written evaluation, the files should clearly document whether new significant impacts were identified during the reevaluation process.
XII. SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS (EISs)
Whenever there are changes, new information, or further developments on a project which result in significant environmental impacts not identified in the most recently distributed version of the draft or final EIS, a supplemental EIS is necessary (40 CFR 1502.9(c)). If it is determined that the changes or new information do not result in new or different significant environmental impacts, the FHWA Division Administrator should document the determination. (After final EIS approval, this documentation could take the form of notation to the files; for a draft EIS, this documentation could be a discussion in the final EIS.)
A. Format and Content of a Supplemental EIS
There is no required format for a supplemental EIS. The supplemental EIS should provide sufficient information to briefly describe the proposed action, the reason(s) why a supplement is being prepared, and the status of the previous draft or final EIS. The supplemental EIS needs to address only those changes or new information that are the basis for preparing the supplement and were not addressed in the previous EIS (23 CFR 771.130(a)). Reference to and summarizing the previous EIS is preferable to repeating unchanged, but still valid, portions of the original document. For example, some items such as affected environment, alternatives, or impacts which are unchanged may be briefly summarized and referenced. New environmental requirements which became effective after the previous EIS was prepared need to be addressed in the supplemental EIS to the extent they apply to the portion of the project being evaluated and are relevant to the subject of the supplement (23 CFR 771.130(a)). Additionally, to provide an up-to-date status of compliance with NEPA, it is recommended that the supplement summarize the results of any reevaluations that have been performed for portions of or the entire proposed action. By this inclusion, the supplement will reflect an up-to-date consideration of the proposed action and its effects on the human environment. When a previous EIS is referenced, the supplemental EIS transmittal letter should indicate that copies of the original (draft or final) EIS are available and will be provided to all requesting parties.
B. Distribution of a Supplemental EIS
A supplemental EIS will be reviewed and distributed in the same manner as a draft and final EIS (23 CFR 771.130(d)). (See Section VII for additional information.)
Two appendices are included as follows:
Appendix A: Environmental Laws, Authority, and Related Statutes and Orders
Appendix B: Preparation and Processing of Notices of Intent.
FHWA TECHNICAL ADVISORY T 6640.8A
October 30, 1987
ATTACHMENT – APPENDIX A
42 United States Code (U.S.C.) 4321 et seq., National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.
23 U.S.C. 138 and 49 U.S.C. 303, Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Act of 1966.
23 U.S.C. 109(h), (i), and (j) standards.
23 U.S.C. 128, Public Hearings.
23 U.S.C. 315, Rules, Regulations, and Recommendations.
23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 771, Environmental Impact and Related Procedures.
40 CFR 1500 et seq., Council on Environmental Quality, Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.
49 CFR 1.48(b), DOT Delegations of Authority to the Federal Highway Administration.
DOT Order 5610.1c, Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts, September 18, 1979, and subsequent revisions.
RELATED STATUTES AND ORDERS: The following is a list of major statutes and orders on the preparation of environmental documents.
7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq., Farmland Protection Policy Act of 1981.
16 U.S.C. 461 et seq., Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act; and 23 U.S.C. 305.
16 U.S.C. 470f, Sections 106, 110(d), and 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
16 U.S.C. 662, Section 2 of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.
16 U.S.C. 1452, 1456, Sections 303 and 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.
16 U.S.C. 1271 et. seq., Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
16 U.S.C. 1536, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., Clean Water Act of 1977.
33 U.S.C 1241 et seq., Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
42 U.S.C. 300(f) et seq., Safe Drinking Water Act.
42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq., Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970.
42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970.
42 U.S.C. 4901 et seq., Noise Control Act of 1972.
42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq., Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.
42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., Clean Air Act.
42 U.S.C. 2000d-d4, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
43 U.S.C. Coastal Barriers Resources Act of 1982.
Executive Order 11514, Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality, as amended by Executive Order 11991, dated May 24, 1977.
Executive Order 11593, Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment, dated May 13, 1971, implemented by DOT Order 5650.1, dated, November 20, 1972.
Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, dated May 24, 1977, implemented by DOT Order 5650.2, dated April 23, 1979.
Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands, dated May 24, 1977, implemented by DOT Order 5660.1A, dated August 24, 1978.
FHWA TECHNICAL ADVISORY T 6640.8A
October 30, 1987
ATTACHMENT – APPENDIX B
Preparation and Processing of Notices of Intent
The CEQ regulations and Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 771, Environmental Impact and Related Procedures, require the Administration to publish a notice of intent in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after the decision is made to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and before the scoping process (40 CFR 1501.7). A notice of intent will also be published when a decision is made to supplement a final EIS, but will not be necessary when preparing a supplement to a draft EIS (23 CFR 771.130(d)). The responsibility for preparing notices of intent has been delegated to Regional Federal Highway Administrators and subsequently redelegated to Division Administrators. The notice should be sent directly to the Federal Register at the address provided in Attachment 1 and a copy provided to the Project Development Branch (HEV-11), Office of Environmental Policy, and the appropriate Region Office.
In cases where a notice of intent is published in the Federal Register and a decision is made not to prepare the draft EIS or, when the draft EIS has been prepared, a decision is made not to prepare a final EIS, a revised notice of intent should be published in the Federal Register advising of the decision and the reasons for not preparing the EIS. This applies to future and current actions being processed.
Notices of intent should be prepared and processed in strict conformance with the guidelines in Attachment 1 in order to ensure acceptance for publication by the Office of the Federal Register. A sample of each notice of intent for preparation of an EIS and a supplemental EIS is provided as Attachment 2.
The Project Development Branch (HEV-11) will serve as the Federal Register contact point for notice of intent. All inquiries should be directed to that office.
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARATION AND PROCESSING OF NOTICES OF INTENT
For a supplement to a final EIS: the scoping process is not required for a supplement; however, scoping should be discussed to the extent anticipated for the development of the supplement;
In drafting this section —
* use plain English
* avoid technical terms and jargon
* always refer to the proposed action or proposed project (e.g., the proposed action would . . .)
*identify all abbreviations
*list FHWA first when other agencies (State or local) are listed as being involved in the preparation of the EIS
S A M P L E 1
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Highway Administration
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: WASHINGTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of Intent.
SUMMARY: The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that an environmental impact statement will be prepared for a proposed highway project in Washington County, Washington.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James West, District Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Market Street, State Capital, Washington 98507, Telephone: (206) 222-2222.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FHWA, in cooperation with the Washington Department of Transportation and the Washington County Highway Department, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal to improve U.S. Route 10 (U.S. 10) in Washington County, Washington. The proposed improvement would involve the reconstruction of the existing U.S. 10 between the towns of Eastern and Western for a distance of about 20 miles.
Improvements to the corridor are considered necessary to provide for the existing and projected traffic demand. Also, included in this proposal is the replacement of the existing East End Bridge and a new interchange with Washington Highway 20 (W.H. 20) west of Eastern. Alternatives under consideration include (1) taking no action; (2) using alternate travel modes; (3) widening the existing two-lane highway to four lanes; and (4) constructing a four-lane, limited access highway on new location. Incorporated into and studied with the various build alternatives will be design variations of grade and alignment.
Letters describing the proposed action and soliciting comments will be sent to appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, and to private organizations and citizens who have previously expressed or are known to have interest in this proposal. A series of public meetings will be held in Eastern and Western between May and June 1985. In addition, a public hearing will be held. Public notice will be given of the time and place of the meetings and hearing. The draft EIS will be available for public and agency review and comment prior to the public hearing. No formal scoping meeting is planned at this time.
To ensure that the full range of issues related to this proposed action are addressed and all significant issues identified, comments, and suggestions are invited from all interested parties. Comments or questions concerning this proposed action and the EIS should be directed to the FHWA at the address provided above.
(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.)
on: March 26, 1985.
John Doe, Division Administrator
S A M P L E 2
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Highway Administration
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: WASHINGTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of Intent.
SUMMARY: The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that a supplement to a final environmental impact statement will be prepared for a proposed highway project in Washington County, Washington.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James West, District Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Market Street, State Capital, Washington 98507, Telephone: (206) 222-2222.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FHWA, in cooperation with the Washington Department of Transportation and the Washington County Highway Department, will prepare a supplement to the final environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal to improve U.S. Route 10 (U.S. 10) in Washington County, Washington. The original EIS for the improvements (FHWA-WA-EIS-85-06-F) was approved on December 21, 1985. The proposed improvements to U.S. 10 provide a divided four-lane, limited access highway on new location between the towns of Western and Eastern for a distance of about 20 miles. Improvements to the corridor are considered necessary to provide for existing and projected traffic demand.
The location and preliminary design of the western 15 miles portion of the proposed facility, from Western to U.S. 20, have been approved. However, substantial changes in the local street system and land use development in Eastern have reduced the suitability of the approved location east of U.S. 20. The portion of the proposed facility east of U.S. 20 is now to be restudied to determine if a new route location and connection to I-90 would be appropriate.
Alternatives under consideration include (1) taking no action and terminating the facility at U.S. 20; (2) constructing a four-lane, limited access highway on the approved location; (3) widening the existing two-lane U.S. 10 to four lanes with a connection to U.S. 20; and (4) constructing a four-lane, limited access highway on new location and connecting to I-90. Incorporated into and studied with the various build alternatives will be design variations of grade and alignment.
Letters describing the proposed action and soliciting comments will be sent to appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, and to private organizations and citizens who have previously expressed or are known to have interest in this proposal. A public meeting will be held in Eastern in August 1987. In addition, a public hearing will be held. Public notice will be given of the time and place of the meeting and hearing. The draft supplemental EIS will be available for public and agency review and comment prior to the public hearing. No formal scoping meeting will be held.
To ensure that the full range of issues related to this proposed action are addressed and all significant issues identified, comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties. Comments or questions concerning this proposed action and the EIS should be directed to the FHWA at the address provided above. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Research, Planning, and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.)
on: April 23, 1987.