Every project receiving federal funding requires an environmental review to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which seeks to conserve and protect our nation’s natural resources. In addition to NEPA, some federal departments have statutory requirements relating specifically to the environment and the activities within their domain.
Environmental factors to be considered in an environmental review include: historic properties, floodplain management, wetlands protection, water and air quality, endangered species, farmland protection, airport hazards, noise control, explosive and flammable operations, contamination and toxic materials, and environmental justice.
Environmental considerations should be taken into account in the early planning stages of a project; they may play an important role in some decisions as site selection. Once a substantially complete description of project activities has been developed, and the project site is known, the formal work on the environmental review can begin. The staff of the Mid-MO RPC can help move a project along by preparing this required review for local member governments.
There are a number of different levels of environmental review depending on the type and complexity of the project. It is important for project planners to understand the environmental review process at the beginning of the project in order to have a realistic expectation of the time frame involved.
The following is a list of recent environmental reviews prepared by the Mid-MO RPC staff: