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Improving (NEPA) the National Environmental Policy Act through ISO 14001

Description: Federal application of ISO 14001 and / or the EPA Code of Environmental Management Principles (CEMP) could substantially improve the mitigation and monitoring aspects of the NEPA process. In addition, application of those management systems could also enhance fulfillment of Section 101 goals of NEPA. An ISO 14001 Environmental Management System would provide for a plan to continually address and improve environmental aspects and impacts. The strong feedback and improvement loops in both CEMP and ISO 14001 would help strengthen this weakness of NEPA by providing a mechanism to foster excellent environmental action, not just more dusty paperwork.
Date: February 25, 1999
Creator: Wilkinson, C H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tools for NEPA compliance: Baseline reports and compliance guides

Description: Environmental baseline documents and NEPA compliance guides should be carried in every NEPA implementation ``tool kit``. These two indispensable tools can play a major role in avoiding repeated violations of NEPA requirements that have occurred over the past 26 years. This paper describes these tools, discusses their contents, and explains how they are used to prepare better NEPA documents more cost-effectively. Focus is on experience at Sandia Laboratories (NM).
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Wolff, T.A. & Hansen, R.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Environmental Policy Act compliance guide. Volume II (reference book)

Description: This document (Volume II of the National Environmental Policy Act Compliance Guide) contains current copies of regulations and guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy, the Department of State, and the Environmental Protection Agency, related to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
Date: September 1, 1994
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hanford Site National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) characterization. Revision 10

Description: This document describes the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Hanford Site environment and is numbered to correspond to the chapters where such information is presented in Hanford Site NEPA related documents. The document is intended to provide a consistent description of the Hanford Site environment for the many NEPA documents that are being prepared by contractors. The two chapters in this document (Chapters 4 and 6) are numbered this way to correspond to the chapters where such information is presented in environmental impact statements (EISs) and other Site-related NEPA or CERCLA documentation. Chapter 4.0 (Affected Environment) describes the Hanford Site environment, and includes information on climate and meteorology, geology, hydrology, ecology, cultural, archaeological and historical resources, socioeconomics, and noise. Chapter 6.0 (Statutory and Regulatory Requirements) describes applicable federal and state laws and regulations, DOE directives and permits, and environmental standards directly applicable to the NEPA documents on the Hanford Site.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Neitzel, D.A.; Fosmire, C.J. & Fowler, R.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Re-engineering the Federal planning process: A total Federal planning strategy, integrating NEPA with modern management tools

Description: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 was established by Congress more than a quarter of a century ago, yet there is a surprising lack of specific tools, techniques, and methodologies for effectively implementing these regulatory requirements. Lack of professionally accepted techniques is a principal factor responsible for many inefficiencies. Often, decision makers do not fully appreciate or capitalize on the true potential which NEPA provides as a platform for planning future actions. New approaches and modem management tools must be adopted to fully achieve NEPA`s mandate. A new strategy, referred to as Total Federal Planning, is proposed for unifying large-scale federal planning efforts under a single, systematic, structured, and holistic process. Under this approach, the NEPA planning process provides a unifying framework for integrating all early environmental and nonenvironmental decision-making factors into a single comprehensive planning process. To promote effectiveness and efficiency, modem tools and principles from the disciplines of Value Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Total Quality Management are incorporated. Properly integrated and implemented, these planning tools provide the rigorous, structured, and disciplined framework essential in achieving effective planning. Ultimately, the goal of a Total Federal Planning strategy is to construct a unified and interdisciplinary framework that substantially improves decision-making, while reducing the time, cost, redundancy, and effort necessary to comply with environmental and other planning requirements. At a time when Congress is striving to re-engineer the governmental framework, apparatus, and process, a Total Federal Planning philosophy offers a systematic approach for uniting the disjointed and often convoluted planning process currently used by most federal agencies. Potentially this approach has widespread implications in the way federal planning is approached.
Date: September 5, 1997
Creator: Eccleston, C. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental assessment of facility operations at the U.S. Department of Energy Grand Junction Projects Office, Grand Junction, Colorado

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared a sitewide environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed action to continue and expand present-day activities on the DOE Grand Junction Projects Office (GJPO) facility in Grand Junction, Colorado. Because DOE-GJPO regularly proposes and conducts many different on-site activities, DOE decided to evaluate these activities in one sitewide EA rather than in multiple, activity-specific documents. On the basis of the information and analyses presented in the EA, DOE has determined that the proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required for facility operations, and DOE is issuing this Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
Date: June 1, 1996
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Teaching a new dog old tricks: the synergy of ISO 14000, NEPA, and integrated ES{ampersand}H management

Description: For more than twenty-five years, federal agencies have wrestled with (and even learned from) the planning and decision making processes of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Accordingly, agencies have developed established processes for environmental planning, impact assessment,and environmental-based decision making. Agencies are now faced with an opportunity to align existing environmental planning systems developed under NEPA with those of ISO 14001, the new international standard for environmental management systems. Through experience gained with NEPA, agencies may have an opportunity to assist the private sector through sharing of lessons learned in identification and mitigation of environmental aspects and impacts. However, agencies should also learn from the private sector how integrated environmental management includes integrating environment, safety, and health (ES&H) considerations in such away as to add direct value to the business. In times of continued and increasing federal agency downsizing, the government can streamline ES&H management planning by integrating ES&H values with business goals. The first synergy of NEPA and ISO 14001 is the identification and assessment of environmental impacts. Under IS0 14001,an organization must identify the `environmental aspects of its activities, products or services`. This is similar to the approach taken in NEPA where agencies must evaluate significant environmental impacts of its actions. The second synergy is the reduction and mitigation of the impacts. IS0 14001 requires a commitment to prevention of pollution and the NEPA process integrates pollution prevention with environmental planning. IS0 14001 requires checking and corrective action to monitor and measure progress toward environmental goals. NEPA applies mitigation measures to avoid or mitigate potential impacts. Because agencies have been conducting NEPA impact assessment for more than twenty-five years, this body of impact assessment experience can provide valuable knowledge to the private sector where environmental impact analysis is a new approach for some industries. One of the ...
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Wilkinson, C.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Determining if a change to a proposal requires additional NEPA documentation: the Smithsonian Solution

Description: Proposed actions tend to evolve over time. Once National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation is completed, agencies are at risk that subsequent changes may not be adequately covered or that existing NEPA documentation maybe completely invalidated. Neither NEPA nor its subsequent regulations provide sufficient direction for determining the degree to which a proposed action may change before preparation of new or supplemental documentation is necessary. Yet, decisionmakers are routinely involved in determining if a change to a proposed action departs, to such an extent, from the description presented in the NEPA document that additional documentation is necessary. Experience demonstrates that no two decisionmakers will completely agree, one decisionmaker might believe that a particular change would not require additional documentation, while the other concludes the exact opposite. Lacking definitive direction, decisionmakers and critics alike may point to a universe of potential considerations as the basis for defending their claim that a change in an action does or does not require new or additional NEPA documentation. Assertions are often based on equivocal opinions that can be neither proved nor disproved. Moreover, decisionmakers are frequently placed in an arduous dilemma of justifying a decision, for which there is no generally accepted methodology on which to base the decision. Lack of definitive direction can prolong the decisionmaking process, resulting in project delays. This can also lead to inappropriate levels of NEPA documentation, inconsistencies in decisionmaking, and increased risk of a legal challenge because of insufficient documentation. Clearly, a more systematic and less subjective approach is needed, A tool for streamlining the NEPA process, by reducing this degree of subjectivity, is presented in this paper.
Date: February 23, 1999
Creator: ECCLESTON, C.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance at Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico (SNL/NM)

Description: This report on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance at Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico (SNL/NM) chronicles past and current compliance activities and includes a recommended strategy that can be implemented for continued improvement. This report provides a list of important references. Attachment 1 contains the table of contents for SAND95-1648, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance Guide Sandia National Laboratories (Hansen, 1995). Attachment 2 contains a list of published environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs) prepared by SNL/NM. Attachment 3 contains abstracts of NEPA compliance papers authored by SNL/NM and its contractors.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Wolff, T.A. & Hansen, R.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Making NEPA more effective and economical for the new millennium

Description: This paper focuses on a ten-element strategy for streamlining the NEPA process in order to achieve the Act's objectives while easing the considerable burden on agencies, the public, and the judicial system. In other words, this paper proposes a strategy for making NEPA work better and cost less. How these ten elements are timed and implemented is critical to any successful streamlining. The strategy elements discussed in this paper, in no particular order of priority, are as follows: (1) integrate the NEPA process with other environmental compliance and review procedures; (2) accelerate the decision time for determining the appropriate level of NEPA documentation; (3) conduct early and thorough internal EIS (or EA) scoping before public scoping or other public participation begins; (4) organize and implement public scoping processes that are more participatory than confrontational; (5) maintain an up-to-date compendium of environmental baseline information; (6) prepare more comprehensive, broad-scope umbrella EISs that can be used effectively for tiering; (7) encourage preparation of annotated outlines with detailed guidance that serve as a road map for preparation of each EIS or EA; (8) decrease the length and complexity of highly technical portions of NEPA documents; (9) increase and systematize NEPA compliance outreach, training, and organizational support; and (10) work diligently to influence the preparation of better organized, shorter, and more readable NEPA documents.
Date: March 8, 2000
Creator: HANSEN,ROGER P. & WOLFF,THEODORE A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Assessment for decontamination and dismantlement, Pinellas Plant

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-1092) of the proposed decontamination and dismantlement of the Pinellas Plant in Largo, Florida. Under the Decontamination and Dismantlement EA, the DOE proposes to clean up facilities, structures, and utilities; dismantle specific structures; and mitigate or eliminate any environmental impacts associated with the cleanup, dismantlement, and related activities. Related activities include utilization of specific areas by new tenants prior to full-scale cleanup. Based on the analyses in the EA, the DOE has determined that the proposed action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Therefore, the preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required. This report contains the Environmental Assessment, as well as the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
Date: June 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The decision - identification tree: A new EIS scoping tool

Description: No single methodology has been developed or universally accepted for determining the scope of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Most typically, the scope is determined by first identifying actions and facilities to be analyzed. Yet, agencies sometimes complete an EIS, only to discover that the scope does not adequately address decisions that need to be made. Such discrepancies can often be traced to disconnects between the scoping process and the actual decision making that follows. A new tool, for use in a value engineering setting, provides an effective methodology for improving the EIS scoping process. Application of this tool is not limited to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping efforts. This tool, could in fact, be used to map potential decision points for a range of diverse planning applications and exercises.
Date: April 2, 1997
Creator: Eccleston, C.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applying value engineering and modern assessment tools in managing NEPA: Improving effectiveness of the NEPA scoping and planning process

Description: While the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations focus on describing ''What'' must be done, they provide surprisingly little direction on ''how'' such requirements are to be implemented. Specific implementation of these requirements has largely been left to the discretion of individual agencies. More than a quarter of a century after NEPA's enactment, few rigorous tools, techniques, or methodologies have been developed or widely adopted for implementing the regulatory requirements. In preparing an Environmental Impact Statement, agencies are required to conduct a public scoping process to determine the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts that will be investigated. Determining the proper scope of analysis is an element essential in the successful planning and implementation of future agency actions. Lack of rigorous tools and methodologies can lead to project delays, cost escalation, and increased risk that the scoping process may not adequately capture the scope of decisions that eventually might need to be considered. Recently, selected Value Engineering (VE) techniques were successfully used in managing a prescoping effort. A new strategy is advanced for conducting a pre-scoping/scoping effort that combines NEPA with VE. Consisting of five distinct phases, this approach has potentially wide-spread implications in the way NEPA, and scoping in particular, is practiced.
Date: September 3, 1998
Creator: ECCLESTON, C.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Research and institutional dimensions of environmental justice: Implications for NEPA documentation

Description: Satisfying the environmental justice requirements imposed on the NEPA process is a challenging imperative. Among the challenges for NEPA documentation are: (1) adapting existing disciplinary methodologies that address distributional effects to the dictates of the executive order; (2) determining operational and, perhaps, threshold values for policy directives (e.g., disproportionately high and adverse effects); (3) identifying and involving representatives of minority, Native American, and low-income communities and populations in the NEPA process without jeopardizing their independence and integrity; (4) developing strategies, approaches, and methodologies that are more responsive to the consideration of multiple and cumulative exposures; and (5) developing professional standards for environmental justice assessment that are consistent with the letter and intent of the executive order, protective of the environments of minority, Native American, and low-income populations and communities, and useful to decision makers. This report will address current research and institutional activities associated with these issues, present alternative approaches available for their resolution, and identify the implications of those alternative approaches.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Carnes, S.A. & Wolfe, A.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Source Guide for the Hanford Site September 1999

Description: This document summarizes relevant EAs and EISs by briefly outlining the proposed action of each document and the decision made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) or its predecessor agencies, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the US. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). The summary includes the proposed action alternatives and current status of the proposed action. If a decision officially was stated by the DOE, as in a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or a record of decision (ROD), and the decision was located, a summary is provided. Not all federal decisions, such as FONSIs and RODs, can be found in the Federal Register (FR). For example, although significant large-action FONSIs can be found in the FR, some low-interest FONSIs might have been published elsewhere (i.e., local newspapers).
Date: September 1, 1999
Creator: CUMMINS, G.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind resource characterization results to support the Sandia Wind Farm Feasibility Study : August 2008 through March 2009.

Description: Sandia National Laboratories Wind Technology Department is investigating the feasibility of using local wind resources to meet the requirements of Executive Order 13423 and DOE Order 430.2B. These Orders, along with the DOE TEAM initiative, identify the use of on-site renewable energy projects to meet specified renewable energy goals over the next 3 to 5 years. A temporary 30-meter meteorological tower was used to perform interim monitoring while the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the larger Wind Feasibility Project ensued. This report presents the analysis of the data collected from the 30-meter meteorological tower.
Date: January 1, 2010
Creator: Deola, Regina Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Establishing sitewide risk perspectives due to cumulative impacts from AB, EP, and NEPA hazard analyses

Description: With the end of the Cold War in 1992, the mission for the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (Site) was changed from production of nuclear weapon components to special nuclear materials (SNM) and waste management, accelerated cleanup, reuse and closure of the Site. This change in mission presents new hazards and risk management challenges. With today`s shrinking DOE budget, a balance needs to be achieved between controlling those hazards related to SNM and waste management and interim storage, and those hazards related to accelerated closure of the Site involving deactivation, decontamination, and decommissioning (DD and D) of surplus nuclear facilities. This paper discusses how risk assessments of normal operations and potential accidents have provided insights on the risks of current operations and planned closure activities.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Olinger, S. J. & Foppe, T. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Environmenal Policy Act Contracting Reform Guidance: Phase 1

Description: The NEPA Contracting Quality Improvement Team identified several contracting improvements to reduce the cost and time for the NEPA process. The team`s February 1995 report recommended a series of steps to achieve the improvements, including issuance of contracting guidance. The guidance will be issued in three phases. This Phase I guidance implements the team`s short-term recommendations. It provides model statements of work and a sample schedule of contractor deliverables, establishes a pilot program for evaluating performance of NEPA support contractors, and describes information resources available on the DOE NEPA Web.
Date: August 1, 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The conflict of interest problem in EIS preparation

Description: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that federal agencies prepare environmental impact statements (EISs) on proposals for major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations require that EISs be prepared directly by the lead agency or a contractor it selects. EIS contractors must execute a disclosure statement specifying that they have ``no financial or other interest`` in the outcome of the project. The intent of the ``conflict of interest`` prohibition is to ensure that the EIS is defensible, free of self-serving bias, and credible to the public. Those coming to the federal government for money, permits, or project approvals must not be placed in the position of analyzing the environmental consequences of their own proposals. This paper analyzes the conflict of interest problem faced by government contractors who maintain and operate government-owned or-controlled facilities for which EISs are required. In the US Department of Energy (DOE) system, these are referred to as ``M and O`` contractors. It also examines organizational conflicts presented by current or prospective government contractors who have a financial or other interest in the outcome of a project or program for which an EIS is prepared. In responding to these and related questions, the paper discusses and interprets the CEQ regulations and guidance on EIS preparation conflict of interest as well as leading federal court opinions. It also distinguishes ``preparers`` from ``participants`` in the EIS preparation process.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Hansen, R.P.; Wolff, T.A. & McCold, L.N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental assessment for the A-01 outfall constructed wetlands project at the Savannah River Site

Description: The Department of Energy (DOE) prepared this environmental assessment (EA) to analyze the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed A-01 outfall constructed wetlands project at the Savannah River site (SRS), located near aiken, South Carolina. The proposed action would include the construction and operation of an artificial wetland to treat effluent from the A-01 outfall located in A Area at SRS. The proposed action would reduce the outfall effluent concentrations in order to meet future outfall limits before these go into effect on October 1, 1999. This document was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended; the requirements of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500--1508); and the DOE Regulations for Implementing NEPA (10 CFR Part 1021).
Date: October 1, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Determining when NEPA applies to nonfederal activities

Description: More than a quarter century after enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), unresolved questions still persist regarding its applicability to state and private actions. This is particularly true when such projects are undertaken to support the needs of a federal agency. Proposed below is a paradigm for determining when NEPA applies to state or privately conducted, but federally influenced or inspired, actions. The paradigm employs a set of five sequential tests for determining if a state or privately conducted action is subject to the requirements of NEPA.
Date: July 3, 1996
Creator: Eccleston, C.H., Westinghouse Hanford
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disposition of highly enriched uranium obtained from the Republic of Kazakhstan. Environmental assessment

Description: This EA assesses the potential environmental impacts associated with DOE`s proposal to transport 600 kg of Kazakhstand-origin HEU from Y-12 to a blending site (B&W Lynchburg or NFS Erwin), transport low-enriched UF6 blending stock from a gaseous diffusion plant to GE Wilmington and U oxide blending stock to the blending site, blending the HEU and uranium oxide blending stock to produce LEU in the form of uranyl nitrate, and transport the uranyl nitrate from the blending site to USEC Portsmouth.
Date: May 1, 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Streamlining the process: A strategy for making NEPA work better and cost less

Description: When the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted in 1969, neither Congress nor the Federal Agencies affected anticipated that implementation of the NEPA process would result in the intolerable delays, inefficiencies, duplication of effort, commitments of excessive financial and personnel resources, and bureaucratic gridlock that have become institutionalized. The 1975 Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, which were intended to make the NEPA process more efficient and more useful to decision makers and the public, have either been largely ignored or unintentionally subverted. Agency policy mandates, like those of former Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O`Leary, to ``make NEPA work better and cost less`` have, so far, been disappointingly ineffectual. Federal Agencies have reached the point where almost every constituent of the NEPA process must be subjected to crisis management. This paper focuses on a ten-point strategy for streamlining the NEPA process in order to achieve the Act`s objectives while easing the considerable burden on agencies, the public, and the judicial system. How the ten points are timed and implemented is critical to any successful streamlining.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Hansen, R.P.; Hansen, J.D. & Wolff, T.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department