(FS) and an Alternative Evaluation Report (AER)?

Report
What is a Feasibility Study (FS)
and an Alternative Evaluation
Report (AER)?
ENVIRONMENTAL UPDATE MEETING
NOVEMBER 20, 2014
HEATHER MCCOLEMAN
OES MAJOR PROJECT COORDINATOR
EMAIL QUESTIONS TO: [email protected]
Background
New Project Development Process (PDP) launched in 2012
Goal was to provide flexibility to streamline project development
Common sense approach to save time, save money
Out with the Old
In with the New
PDP Components
Old PDP
New PDP
Who owns it?
Office of
Production
Office of
Environmental
Services (OES)
Project Types?
Minimal, Minor,
Major
Paths 1 - 5
P&N, CAS, PE
Study, AFA,
PAVR
P&N, FS, AER
Deliverables (Studies)?
Common misunderstandings
within the PDP?
AER being developed without first doing a FS.
AER being submitted on Non-Complex Path 3 projects.
CE 3 and CE 4 documents being submitted to OES without previously
submitting the FS and AER.
FS and AER being submitted that do not match the current alternative
being designed. Studies are being submitted to fulfill the scope but are
not being used as a tool to identify or document the decision on the
preferred alternative.
Questions Need Answered
What is the difference between a Feasibility Study (FS) and an
Alternative Evaluation Report (AER)?
How is the report supposed to be used in decision-making?
Who must comment on/approve the report?
What authority does the Project Manager possess?
Clarification Required!
Clarify process
Clarify content
Clarify roles and responsibilities
OES worked with Lawhon & Associates, Inc. to develop Guidance (not
yet complete)
The FS and AER in
Decision-making
CLARIFY THE PROCESS
Clarify the Process
The development and approval of the FS and AER occur during the
Preliminary Engineering phase of the PDP.
The purpose of the FS and AER is to identify a Preferred Alternative (PA).
Once a PA is identified, the project moves into Environmental
Engineering.
Clarify the Process
What Information is Necessary to Identify the Preferred
Alternative?
◦ Description – What will the project involve?
◦ Method – How will we build it?
◦ Footprint – What are the necessary project limits?
Clarify the Process
A=Description
B=Method
C=Footprint
Path 3
Preferred Alternative Identified
Path 1
Path 2*
Project Initiation
A, B, C
A, B, C
Feasibility Study
Alternative Evaluation Report
*Most Path 2 projects will not require a FS
Path 4
Path 5
A, B
A, B
A, B
C
B, C
B, C
Noncomplex
Complex
A, B, C
Clarify the Process: Path 3
When scoping the FS, some components of Task 2.3, AER
Design of the PDP Task List (SAFe system) may be necessary
to assist in identifying the PA.
Include those tasks in the scope to be completed as part of
the FS.
Including these tasks DOES NOT mean that an AER is
required or that the FS is skipped and only an AER is
completed.
Clarify the Process: Complex
Path 3, Path 4 and Path 5
FS scoped with the intent to narrow the range of alternatives prior to
proceeding to AER
Critical that PM seek out and consider advice from subject matter
experts before making a decision on approach
The FS and AER in
Decision-making
CLARIFY THE CONTENT
Clarify the Content
General principle: Focus the discussion on what matters to the
selection of the Preferred Alternative
Sample Outlines provided in the guidance
◦ The FS and AER Table of Contents provided in the PDP Manual will be
modified or removed
Use ‘ready-friendly’ text and format
The guidance provides examples of reader friendly documentation
Clarify the Content
Introduction – explain what the report includes and why
Purpose and Need Summary – adequate to support the need for the
project and the range of alternatives
Summarize key topics – which issues are important to the decisionmaking process
◦ Incorporate stand-alone studies by reference
Clarify the Content
Comparison of Alternatives – Purpose and Need and other key issues
Provide a Conclusion
◦ Do not present “recommendations”
◦ Do not present from consultant’s point of view
◦ PDP Manual is being updated to reflect these same ideas
The FS and AER in
Decision-making
CLARIFY ROLES
Clarify Roles
Preferred Alternative decision formally documented in the approval of
the FS or AER
◦ Project Manager approves FS when Environmental approvals occur at the
District
◦ Office of Environmental Services approves FS and AER when Environmental
approvals occur at OES
PM has obligation to respond to review comments prior to approving
the FS/AER or submitting the FS/AER for approval
Clarify Roles
Project Manager may not have decision-making authority, but is
responsible for seeing that a decision is made
PM cannot overrule subject matter experts that have oversight and/or
approval authority
◦ Examples: Interchange Modification Study, Pavement Selection
Clarify Roles
Project Manager should take an active role in scoping a project with a FS
or AER
Strategic part of decision-making process
◦ Consult with subject matter experts
◦ Make conscious choices on what Tasks to include and not to include –
document why
Consider the questions the FS or AER should answer
◦ What information is needed to choose the preferred alternative? To set the
footprint?
Summary
A FS is always done prior to an AER
An AER will only be done on some Complex Path 3, Path 4
and Path 5 projects
The FS and AER will provide the mechanism for selecting the
PA
The FS and AER will be approved by the District PM or OES
depending upon environmental document approval
Guidance should be available by the end of the year
PDP Manual being revised to reflect the changes per the
guidance

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