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  • June 1
  • 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

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NEPA: Understanding the Basics

June 1

Get practical advice so you can prepare useful and legally compliant NEPA documents and avoid common mistakes.

Since 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act has been the cornerstone for environmental protection in the United States. To implement NEPA, federal agencies must prepare environmental impact statements or environmental assessments to study the impacts of their proposed actions. Unfortunately, some federal agencies, their consultants and affected citizens do not fully understand the regulations, legal interpretations and practices for properly complying with NEPA. Thus, there are many mistakes in implementing the law. This topic will identify some of the most common mistakes made under NEPA and reveal the best ways to avoid them. You will get practical advice for preparing useful and legally sufficient NEPA documents. This information is critical for federal agency staff, consultants working for federal agencies and others interested in the NEPA process.

Learning Objectives

- You will be able to review what will happen if you fail to properly document decisions.

- You will be able to explain mistakes with environmental assessments and findings of no significant impact.

- You will be able to identify mistakes with environmental impact statements.

- You will be able to review failure to maintain a complete administrative record.

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Agenda

Misunderstanding NEPA's Legal and Political Framework
  • Forgetting Why NEPA Was Necessary
  • Misunderstanding the Overall NEPA Process
  • Doing Too Much or Too Little
  • Failure to Assess Risks of Noncompliance
Mistakes Using Categorical Exclusions
  • Misuse of Exclusions
  • Overlooking Extraordinary Circumstances
  • Failure to Properly Document Decisions
Mistakes With Environmental Assessments and Findings of No Significant Impact
  • Segmenting a Project Into Pieces to Avoid Preparing an EIS
  • Deciding Not to Prepare an EIS Before Preparing an EA
  • Conclusions in FONSI Not Supported by Analysis in EA
  • Failure to Use the Context and Intensity Criteria in an EA
  • Too Much Applicant Control Over EA Preparation
  • Inadequate and Deferred Mitigation
Mistakes With Environmental Impact Statements
  • Using Improper Baseline for Evaluating Impacts
  • Inadequate Range of Alternatives
  • Inadequate Cumulative Impact Analysis
  • Failure to Evaluate Induced Growth
  • Insufficient Impact Analysis: Bad Data, Old Data and No Data
Procedural Errors
  • Insufficient Public Involvement
  • Inadequate Agency Coordination and Integration
  • Failure to Maintain a Complete Administrative Record
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Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

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This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

Audio & Reference Manual

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

Who should attend?

This live webinar is designed for attorneys, engineers, environmental professionals, project managers, presidents, vice presidents, architects, developers, contractors, subcontractors, government officials, planners, public works professionals, land use officials and real estate professionals.

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Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

Michael D. Smith, Ph.D.

Michael D. Smith, Ph.D.

ENERCON

  • Principal for ENERCON in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Nationally recognized expert in NEPA compliance and environmental policy with more than 20 years of experience in project and program management, technical analysis, policy development, and training/education for a wide range of public and private sector clients
  • Managed and provided compliance review for some of the nation's largest, most complex, and highly controversial projects, including for major infrastructure projects, approval of genetically engineered plants, commercial space transportation operations, and approval of new fuel economy standards for all vehicles operated in the U.S.
  • Currently provides training and strategic advice for NEPA and related environmental compliance requirements for public and private sector clients as a faculty member at the Duke Environmental Leadership Program at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, as a faculty member at the NEPA Certificate Program at the Department of Environment and Society, Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, and as a senior consultant at The Shipley Group
  • Ph.D. degree in sociology, Utah State University; M.A. degree in geography, University of Wyoming; B.A. degree in environmental studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Can be contacted at 571-830-0854 or [email protected]
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Product ID: 402954
Published 2016, 2018
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