Achieving and managing compliance with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires a thorough understanding of the Act’s intent, its regulatory requirements, and professionally accepted methods for effectively addressing the many difficult elements of the regulation. Meeting the procedural requirements of NEPA and understanding how to create defensible documentation requires an informed perspective as well as the tools to avoid pitfalls and time sinks.
Aarcher Institute’s NEPA Navigator™ course is designed to help professionals working on various levels of the NEPA process. This includes people drafting NEPA documentation as well as those tasked with reviewing NEPA documents, such as Federal and state employees, consultants, and private sector managers with activities subject to NEPA. Our 3-day course is intended to provide a sound foundation to the NEPA process and help the attendee gain an understanding of the many and varied ways in which the NEPA process is carried out by various federal agencies as they enact their own NEPA implementing regulations.
Learn How To:
- Determine what level of NEPA document is necessary (e.g. Categorical Exclusion (CX), Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS))
- Identify the Purpose & Need for a proposed action
- Identify and analyze alternatives to the proposed action
- Determine and analyze impacts to environmental resources (e.g. air quality, water and biological resources e, Environmental Justice, etc.)
- Interrelationship between NEPA and other federal laws (i.e. Endangered Species Act, Clean Water act, National Historic Preservation Act, etc.)
- Determine the scope and extent of cumulative impacts
- Develop and technically and legally defensible NEPA document
NEPA compliance is mandatory for any action that is authorized, funded, or carried out by a Federal agency. Whether you are someone who works for a Federal agency or someone who finds themselves in a federal nexus situation wherein NEPA compliance is necessary, this training will help guide you through the process. The NEPA Navigator course is designed to provide the fundamentals of NEPA the law as well as practical implementation of NEPA. We will overview the NEPA process from scoping to final document (Record of Decision (ROD) for an EIS or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an EA). The course includes practical exercises that provide hands on opportunities to develop a Purpose & Need, Project Description for the Proposed Action, Environmental Setting and Environmental Consequences and Cumulative Impacts. This course will also show how other Federal laws are analyzed within a NEPA document.
The course focuses on the three levels of NEPA documents typically required (Categorical Exclusions (CX), Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Impacts Statements (EIS)) supplemented by ongoing discussion and evaluation about how to determine the most appropriate level of NEPA documentation for a given project.
The Aarcher Institute’s NEPA Navigator™ course combines formal training modules, with hands-on and practical exercises, and open discussion of relevant compliance challenges to solidify the foundation you will need to effectively participate in the NEPA process.
Topics covered include:
- NEPA – The Law and its Implementing Regulations
- The Three Levels of NEPA Documentation: CXs, EAs, and EISs
- Conducting Environmental Impact Analyses and Documenting Environmental Consequences
- Tips and Techniques for a Successful NEPA Process
- NEPA Review, Analysis and Documentation
- Relationship to other environmental laws and regulations, including EMS
- Working with NEPA project Stakeholders
- Related Cultural, Historic, Biological, and Socioeconomic Issues and Impacts
Our Continuing Education Matrix provides a summary of current professional certification credits, maintenance points, and CEUs awarded to Institute courses.
Course Agendas are subject to change
Day One 8:15 – 4:15
- NEPA Rules and Requirements
- Categorical Exclusion
- Environmental Assessments
- Environmental Impact Statements (CX, EA, & EIS)
- The Agency-Specific Categorical Exclusion Process
- What is the DOPAA? – The Art of NEPA
- Finding the Purpose (and the Need)
- What are the Five “Ws”? – Defining the Proposed Action and Identifying Alternatives
- Alternatives Development and Screening Criteria
Day Two 8:15 – 4:15
- Questions to Ask Yourself When Identifying Alternatives
- What is Scoping (and why is it so important)?
- Developing a Great DOPAA and Screening Criteria
- The Affected Environment – Using the Scoping Process to Prepare Concise, Analytical NEPA Documents
- Developing the Affected Environment
- Analysis of Environmental Consequences – The Science of NEPA
Day Three 8:15 – 3:00
- Mitigation Measures v. Best Management Practices
- So what about Cumulative Effects?
- What are Decision Documents?
- NEPA Tips and Techniques – Document Reviews, Working with Contractors, Schedules & Timing, and Integrating Decision-Making