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Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements
PELA professionals have successfully assisted Federal, State, and Local governments, as well as private entities, in the preparation of Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements.
Our past clients for this type of project include:
- State Highway Departments
- Pipeline companies
- Federal Highway Administration
- Hazardous waste facility owners
- Resource development companies
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) introduced new methods to determine how development would impact the surrounding environment and ways to publicize any findings and determinations.
The key to determining what types of documents NEPA requires for a project depends on whether the project is found to “significantly affect the quality of the human environment”.
Initially, an Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared to briefly provide sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should be prepared. The governmental agency reviewing the EA may make a “finding of no significant impact” (also known as a FONSI) therefore, deciding that an EIS is not necessary.
If the reviewing governmental agency determines there is potential “significant impact”, an EIS is required. An EIS is a document showing the potential impact of a Federal action “significantly affecting the quality of the human environment” and providing any alternative plans for project completion.
While NEPA specifically mentions Federal actions, this does not mean private or local government projects are immune from having to provide an EA or EIS. The production of an EA or EIS can be triggered when Federal funds are allocated for a project or when a private project must be approved by regulatory permit.
Also, some State governments may require the production of reports similar to an EA or EIS.