NEPA Training Courses

NEPA Training CoursesThe NEPA Institute:
First, in 2017 Enviro-Limit’s NEPA training courses and seminars still focus on the “NEPA Institute,” which is a three-day, Council on Environmental Quality regulations-based, intensive session integrating everything you need to know to implement properly the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The NEPA Institute is given how, when and where the agency needs it. The NEPA Institute is hands-on and performance-oriented training. Students in Enviro-Limit’s NEPA Institute learn about NEPA’s history, background, substantive and procedural requirements, and implementing process. They will also explore the Council on Environmental Quality regulations in depth in addition to other CEQ guidance, including the 40 Frequently Asked Questions. The NEPA training courses is a 3-day intensive session consists of small group practical exercises, in-class writing, discussions, and instructor presentations. Students will need to bring a laptop to class. Students have the option of sending in advance of the NEPA training course a brief summary of a NEPA process or document problem from their area of practice.
Secondly, in 2017, in addition to the NEPA Institute courses and seminars, Enviro-Limit is offering two new special NEPA training courses: (1) Best Practice Principles for Environmental Assessments (EAs) and (2) Assessing Alternatives for Sustainability.

NEPA Best Practices

(1) Best Practice Principles for Environmental Assessments (BPPs for EAs) Course
This two-day course explains and expands on the NAEP report to CEQ in 2013 concerning Best Practice Principals for Environmental Assessments. The purpose of the course is to fill the gaps that exist in the CEQ regulations, CEQ guidance, and overall NEPA practice concerning EAs. The absence of specific guidance for EAs has created controversy and spawned many court cases focused on plaintiff claims of inadequate EAs, and the need for preparation of EISs.

NEPA Principles for writing EAs

  1. Levels of EA analysis
  2. Purpose and need
  3. Description of proposed action and alternatives
  4. Description of study area and resources
  5. Comparative impacts on resources
  6. Topical outlines in EAs
  7. Page limits for different levels of EAs
  8. Cumulative effects assessment for different levels of EAs
  9. regulatory consultation and coordination
  10. Systematic determination of significance
  11. Mitigation measures and monitoring
  12. Climate change
  13. Adaptive management
  14. Scientific writing
  15. Public involvement

Finally, the course will spend more time explaining seven core BPPs that are in bold above.

NEPA Sustainability Course

(2) Assessing Alternatives for Sustainability Course

This two-day NEPA training course is an overview of the history and concepts of sustainability, how it relates to NEPA, and how it is integrated into decision-making. The course will use the report from the National Research Council, “Sustainability Concepts in Decision-Making, Tools and Approaches for the US Environmental Protection Agency”, the Handbook of Sustainability Assessment, and David Keys’ writing on the subject as the main references for conducting the course. Sustainability, often referred to as sustainable development, is a nebulous concept. Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but one of the most frequently quoted definitions is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

  • the concept of  ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of  ‘limitations’ imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.” [1]

This was an adequate definition of sustainability at the time, but a better one for the twenty-first century will be discussed in the course.

David Keys, CEP/14 Mar 17/(727)510-6021

[1] 1. United Nations, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED): Our Common Future, p. 41. Last accessed January 2, 2016: http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf

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