Environmental Review

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
• 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
Certifying Officer
 The
Chief Elected Official (CEO) of the jurisdiction
assumes responsibility for environmental review
must sign the Finding of No Significant Impact
(FONSI) and the Request for Release of
accepts the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts as the
responsible entity in environmental matters for this
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
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
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
 58.35(a) – activities SUBJECT TO other federal laws or
 58.35(b)
– activities NOT SUBJECT TO other federal laws or
 May
Convert to Exempt
Environmental Assessment
 Environmental
Assessment is required if project activities
are not determined to be Exempt or Categorically
 Most
CDBG funded projects require an Environmental
Environmental Assessment
 Use
current form on DCA Website
 Cite
Authoritative Sources of Info
 See
HUD tool
 Describe
mitigation measure for any identified negative
 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
 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
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
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
 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
Statutory & Regulatory Structure
 National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing
regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR
Parts 1500-1508).
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)
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.
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
Michael Casper
[email protected]
Pam Truitt
[email protected]

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