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NEPA: Understanding the Basics

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.

Runtime: 89 minutes
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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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This course was last revised on June 1, 2018.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

  • AICP 1.25 including Law 1.25
     
  • This course has been approved by the American Planning Association for 1.3 hours of CM credit for AICP members. Additionally, this course has been approved for 1.3 hours of Law Credit.
     
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  • This Ondemand program is applicable for professional development hours through the Alaska State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors. Professional development hours: 1.0. *Please check the rules and requirements in your state for compliance.
     
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This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in California (for participatory credit), Kansas, New Jersey or New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

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

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  • Arizona CLE 1.5
     
  • CA MCLE 1.5
     
  • CT CLE 1.5
     
  • HI CLE 1.5
     
  • IL CLE 1.5
     
  • ME CLE 1.5
     
  • MT CLE 1.5
     
  • NJ CLE 1.8
     
  • NV CLE 1.5
     
  • VT CLE 1.5
     
  • WA CLE 1.5
     
  • WV MCLE 1.8
     
The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in California (for participatory credit), Kansas, New Jersey or New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

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

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Why Lorman?

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, climate change policy, technical analysis, policy development, socio-economic and environmental justice analyses, 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 energy and transportation 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.
  • Serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) and the California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP)
  • Ph.D. degree in environmental sociology; M.A. degree in geography and resource management; B.A. degree in environmental studies
  • Can be contacted at 510-879-4508 or michael.smith84@gmail.com
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Product ID: 402954
Published 2018
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