What is NEPA Scoping?
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is our basic national charter for the protection and restoration of the environment. NEPA includes a requirement to prepare a detailed statement, either an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact, or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and Record of Decision.
For the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), an EIS will be prepared. As part of the preparation of the EIS, NEPA requires that there be an early and open process for determining the scope of the issues to be addressed by a study. This process is commonly known as “NEPA scoping,” during which an agency will solicit your input.
During NEPA scoping, the Chicago District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) sought input on GLMRIS from affected federal agencies, Native American tribes, state agencies, local governments and non-governmental organizations, stakeholders, and the general public. Using input obtained during the scoping period, USACE will refine GLMRIS to focus on significant issues, as well as eliminate issues that are not significant from further detailed study. Pursuant to NEPA, USACE will ensure the EIS is available to the public before decisions are made and actions are taken.
Significant issues associated with GLMRIS may include, but are not limited to:
- Significant natural resources such as ecosystems and threatened and endangered species;
- Commercial and recreational fisheries;
- Current recreational uses of the lakes and waterways;
- ANS effects on water users;
- Effects of potential ANS controls on current lake and waterway uses such as flood risk management, commercial and recreational navigation, recreation, water supply, hydropower and conveyance of effluent from wastewater treatment plants and other industries; and
- Statutory and legal responsibilities relative to the lakes and waterways.
Comments on issues that you consider significant or not significant are important contributions to scoping process.
For More Information
For more information on public participation in the NEPA process, please consult the following publication:
A Citizen's Guide to the NEPA: Having Your Voice Heard (932 KB)