Environmental Review

Report
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
• 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
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
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
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)
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.
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 Assessment
 24 CFR Part 58.37 Environmental Impact Statement
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
Categorically Excluded
2
Classes
 58.35(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
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
Environmental Assessment
 Use
current form on DCA Website
 Cite
Authoritative Sources of Info
 See
HUD tool
 Describe
mitigation measure for any identified negative
impacts
 Evaluate
all alternatives
 Certifying
Officer must sign FONSI
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
Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)
 Use
of Preliminary Flood Maps and Advisory Base Flood
Elevations
 Provides 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
Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)

Broadened use of the 5 Step Process for selected actions
 Omits
Steps 2, 3, and 7 of 8 Step Process
 Rehabilitations subject to 5 Step Process
 Improvement that is not a substantial improvement
 Footprint is not significantly increased in floodplain or wetland
 Does 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
Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)
 Codification
 HUD
of Wetland Policy
adopts in regulation the procedures of E.O. 11990
 Primary Source of Data
Fish and Wildlife Service-National Wetlands Inventory map
 Secondary Source of Data
National Resource Conservation Service’s National Soil
Surveys
Any state and local information concerning wetlands
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
Floodplain and Wetland Regulatory Changes (cont.)
 Individual
404 Permits for Wetlands
 Can use individual Section 404 Permits in lieu of performing
the first five steps of the 8 Step Process
 Only
applies to wetlands subject to Section 404 of the Clean Water
Act
 Must submit the USACE Section 404 permit
 Required to follow Steps 6,7, and 8
 Does not apply to USACE process
 Must complete 8 Step Process if project is in a floodplain and a
wetland
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).
Environmental Review Regulations
24 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.
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)
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
 Noise
Justice E.O. (1994)
Control Act (1972)
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
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 DCA
 Exception for Admin and Design Costs
 When
in doubt – contact DCA/CDBG staff!
Do Not Make Choice Limiting Actions!
 Do
not take ANY action until the environmental review
compliance is achieved, including property acquisition
Contacts

Michael Casper
404.679.0594
[email protected]

Pam Truitt
404.679.5240
[email protected]

similar documents