The National Environmental Policy Act is both a planning process and a disclosure process. The complexity of the project, and likewise its environmental consequences, will determine the level of public involvement that may be required in the process. Typically projects that are involved with EO 11988 (Protection of Floodplains), EO 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), preparation of an Environmental Assessment or the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, require that the public be consulted in the decision making process and then notified of the final conclusion. This usually takes place in the form of a public notice.
Below are two samples of public notices. The first is referred to as an "initial" or "scoping" notice which is used in seeking public and agency input into the decision making process. The second is a "final" notice, which informs the public of the agency's decision. For more detailed information on Public Notices, please see 44CFR 9.8 – Public Notice Requirements.
SAMPLES of 2 INITIAL PUBLIC NOTICES are provided below:
Public Notice of the Intent of FEMA to Prepare an Environmental Assessment
The public is hereby notified of the intent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prepare an Environmental Assessment. The Assessment will analyze the effects of alternatives related to the proposed construction of a new carpentry shop and storage facility at the Fraine Barracks, in Bismarck, ND by the North Dakota Army Nation Guard (NDARNG).
Severe flooding occurred throughout North Dakota during the winter of both 1997 and 1998. On April 7, 1997 and again on June 15, 1998, the President of the United States declared a major disaster for large portions of North Dakota. This action allowed FEMA to provide assistance to NDARNG in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster and Emergency Relief Act, Public Law 93-288, as amended.
Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FEMA is required to consider practical alternatives for proposed actions. The draft environmental assessment will consider at least three alternatives. These will include the following:
Alternative No.1, "The No Action Alternative"
The "no action alternative" proposes that there should be no effort to house the carpentry shop and storage facility at Fraine Barracks.
Alternative No.2, "The Addition to an Existing Building Alternative"
This alternative proposes to provision of space for the carpentry shop and storage facilities by constructing an addition, or additions, to existing buildings on the Fraine Barracks Campus.
Alternative No.3, "The New Building Alternative"
This alternative proposes the construction of a new building to house the carpentry shop and storage facilities. The building is proposed to be built north of Building No. __, at the north end of the Fraine Barracks Campus.
The President of the United States has issued Executive Orders (EO) that require federal agencies to focus attention on the environment and on human health when considering a proposed action or the funding of an action. Particular attention is to be paid to Floodplain Management (EO 11988), Wetland Protection (EO 11990) and Environmental Justice (EO 12898). Compliance with the Executive Orders, NEPA, and other environmental laws, will be documented in the draft EA.
During the preparation of the draft EA, FEMA will consult with the four tribal governments in North Dakota, the North Dakota Army National Guard and the North Dakota Department of Emergency Management. In addition, there will be consultation with the North Dakota State Department of Health, the North Dakota Game & Fish Department, the State Historic Society of North Dakota, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other appropriate agencies.
A public comment period related to possible alternatives will remain open for 15 days from the date of this notice. Interested persons may obtain more detailed information about this action by calling (NAME) at (PHONE) between 8:00am and 5:00pm (CST), Monday through Friday. Written comments may be sent to (NAME) at (ADDRESS).
Public Notice of the Intent of FEMA to Fund a Project
Notification is hereby given of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) intent to provide Public Assistance funding for the City of Grand Forks, North Dakota Public School District #1 (GFPSD#1) to construct a new South Middle School. The existing South Middle School, located between Walnut and Cottonwood Streets on 13th Avenue in Grand Forks, was significantly damaged during the declared 1997 major flooding event. Funding will be provided in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93-288, as amended.
Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FEMA is required to review the proposed action and possible alternative solutions to the proposed action. Five alternatives were evaluated in an Environmental Assessment (EA): No-Action, constructing a new facility at 47th Avenue and 20th Street South (proposed action), restoration of the existing facility, demolition and reconstruction at the original site and construction of a new facility at 47th Avenue and Columbia Road. The proposed action alternative was chosen because it:
- Will have no significant adverse impacts on the human environment;
- Will significantly reduce or completely eliminate future flood damages and;
- Will be cost effective
Agencies contacted for comments in the writing of the EA included the: City of Grand Forks (G.F.); City of G.F. Historical Preservation Commission; G.F. Chamber of Commerce; State Historical Society of N.D.; N.D. Department of Health; N.D. Geological Survey; N.D. State Water Commission; N.D. Game and Fish; N.D. Division of Emergency Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services; U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.
The President of the United States has issued Executive Orders (EO) that require federal agencies, when considering an action or finding, to focus attention on the environment and on human health with respect to: Floodplain Management, Executive Order (EO) 11988; Wetlands Protection, EO 11990; and Environmental Justice, EO 12898. Compliance with Executive Orders, other environmental laws, and the NEPA have been documented in an EA. The EA has found that the proposed action alternative will have no significant adverse impact on the human environment. As a result of this finding, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared and, if no comments to the contrary are received, A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be signed after 15 days from the date of this notice. At that time the proposed project as described in the prepared EA may proceed.
Interested persons may submit comments, obtain more detailed information about the action or request a copy of the FONSI by contacting FEMA's Region VIII office, which is located in the Denver Federal Center, P.O. Box 25267, Denver, CO 80225. Requests can be made to Bob Cox, Regional Environmental Officer at (303) 235-4714 or email@example.com.