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Commenting and Participating in the National Environmental Policy Act Process
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The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to provide meaningful opportunities for public participation in the decision-making process for a proposed project. Opportunities for citizens to get involved in the NEPA process include:
During the scoping period, which begins when an agency publishes a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
During the public comment period for the Draft EIS, which begins when an agency publishes a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS.
Although the formal comment period ended November 13, 2020, comments will be accepted at any time during the Environmental Impact Statement process to ensure their consideration during the preparation of the Draft EIS.
Scoping Comment Period
Scoping is part of the NEPA process during which the proponent agency seeks input from other agencies, organizations, and the public on potentially affected resources, environmental issues to be considered, and the agency’s planned approach to analysis.
The scoping period begins with the publication of the NOI in the Federal Register. The NOI explains how interested individuals and organizations can participate in the scoping process by reviewing project information and providing their comments. Although the scoping period ends with publication of the NOA for the Draft EIS, the public is asked to submit their comments within 45 days of publication of the NOI so the agency can thoroughly consider them when preparing the Draft EIS.
Draft EIS Comment Period
When an agency publishes a Draft EIS, the public has 45 days to comment on the document. The Draft EIS review period begins with publication of the NOA in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Concurrently, notices are published in local newspapers and on agency websites. The NOA and these notices provide details for public hearings on the Draft EIS. The public is invited to review the Draft EIS and submit comments on the analysis at the public hearings or anytime during the 45-day comment period by U.S. mail or email or through the project website. All comments are thoroughly considered by the Air Force.
Final EIS and Record of Decision
When an agency publishes a Final EIS, there is a minimum 30-day waiting period before the agency can make a final decision on the Proposed Action. The EPA publishes the NOA in the Federal Register, announcing the availability of the Final EIS. After the waiting period, the NEPA process ends with the issuance of the Record of Decision, which explains the agency's decision and discusses the agency's plans for any necessary mitigation and monitoring.
Making the Most of Your Scoping Comments
To be involved in the NEPA process, you must be willing to share information with the decision-making agency and other citizens.
Make your comments early so the agency can consider them thoroughly.
Make your comments clear, concise, and relevant to the Proposed Action.
You can participate as an individual; by working with other interested individuals or organizations; or by working through your local, tribal, or state government.
When developing your comments, consider:
What resources are of greatest concern to you and why.
Whether additional resources should be evaluated.
If other alternatives or mitigation measures would reduce or avoid impacts.
If there are other information resources you think should be considered.
Comments that are solution-oriented and provide specific examples are more effective than those that simply support or oppose the proposed project or state that an action will have “significant environmental effects” without describing them.
Commenting is not a form of “voting” on an alternative.
Use the resources provided on the project website to learn about the proposed Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) project and participate in the NEPA process.
During scoping, the public is asked to submit comments within 45 days of publication of the NOI so the agency can thoroughly consider them when preparing the Draft EIS.
Check the project website and watch for newspaper notices, media releases, and direct mailings announcing the availability of the Draft EIS. The public comment period for the Draft EIS will be 45 days.
Submit comments by website, U.S. mail, or email.
If you would like to be notified of GBSD EIS project developments, submit a request by email or U.S. mail and you will be added to the project mailing list.
Your Input Matters
The Air Force welcomes your comments. You can provide them in writing in three ways:
By completing the comment form below
Via the U.S. mail
Via email: email@example.com
Tetra Tech, Inc.
c/o Jennifer Jarvis
ATTN: GBSD Comments
10306 Eaton Place, Suite 340
Fairfax, VA 22030
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