Overview of NEPA process
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is the basic national charter for the protection of the environment. NEPA requires that a detailed analysis be prepared if any federal agency is undertaking a major federal action, which may be through federal funding or issuance of a federal permit such as an Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Wetlands Permit. The detailed analysis is used to assess how a major infrastructure improvement project will affect both the natural and human environment, and to ensure that the chosen alternative has the least amount of environmental impact.
During the NEPA process, an extensive environmental review will take place in order to complete a rigorous analysis of the project study area and to examine reasonable alternatives for the improvements. The environmental review will incorporate steps taken to avoid, minimize or mitigate environmental impacts for the preferred alternative and to ensure public participation is incorporated into the decision-making process.
Other Planned Analysis & Studies
Numerous type of analysis and technical studies are required during the NEPA process in order to better understand any potential environmental impacts, determine the alternative with the least environmental impacts, and take steps to avoid, minimize or mitigate environmental impacts. These studies include:
- Air Quality
- Archaeological and Historical Resources
- Businesses and Residences
- Churches, Schools, and Parks
- Endangered Species
- Hazardous Materials
- Land-use and New/Planned Developments
- State and Federal Lands
- Wetlands and Streams