Best Practices for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Management

July 2001 (Updated January 2002)


Examples of Best Practices

One example of a successful community outreach effort is the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Several years ago after encountering serious community controversy as a result of increases in noise due to additional aircraft operations and airport expansion, the airport management developed a continuing community outreach program. This program is expanded at those times when development or other activities (Part 150 updates) are being considered, but there is also a continuing day-to-day effort to keep the airport's neighbors informed and involved.

Sound examples of good document management are St Louis, Cleveland and the proposed South Suburban airport near Chicago, Illinois. In each of these cases, large volumes of printed material have been received. In each case, it is possible to retrieve specific pages with little effort. This success is due to a deliberate effort on the part of FAA and consultants to develop management schemes for the flow of information.

The importance to laying the groundwork for a successful environmental process cannot be overemphasized. There has too often been a reluctance on the part of state and federal agencies to participate fully in scoping. In the recent projects at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, FAA, consultant and sponsor took extra care to insure early participation by federal and state agencies. The result was to produce a much more issue-focused document in each case because the important issues were identified early in the process as envisioned by the CEQ Regulations.

Great Lakes Region (AGL) reports that they have been holding quarterly meetings with U.S. EPA. In addition to fostering cooperation between the two agencies, having a structured coordination process allows for adequate preparation to occur on the part of both agencies. As a result of a recent meeting, agreement was reached on the allocation of resources and procedures to evaluate scope, purpose and need, and alternatives for the upcoming Gary/Chicago Airport DEIS.

Southwest Region (ASW) has developed a formal system to insure that airport EIS projects are adequately staffed by the various divisions within the region. The region has established a Noise and Environment Policy Panel (NEPP). The NEPP serves as a clearinghouse for the review and comment of all interdivisional EAs, EISs, and Part 150s. Individual NEPP members have developed good knowledge of each others' divisional needs and issues, speeding up the resolution of potential conflicts.

As environmental documentation continues to increase in volume and complexity, methods need to be developed to insure that EIS's and other environmental documents are distributed as widely as needed, while reducing document bulk. Although it probably isn't practical to think of the "paperless EIS", there are some efforts that may be undertaken. The recently issued Los Angeles Master Plan/Draft EIS/EIR was available on compact disk which allowed wide dissemination of the document at a much lower cost than otherwise could have been accomplished. Likewise, several recent airport environmental actions have been accompanied by the written material, or a significant part of it such as the Executive Summary, uploaded to a site on the World Wide Web.

Last updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2022