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Environmental Review Process for Responsible Entities

Environmental Review Process for Responsible Entities

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Environmental Review Process for Responsible Entities

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  1. Environmental Review Process for Responsible Entities 24 CFR Part 58

  2. Presenters Danielle Schopp, Office of Environment and EnergyJoe Devlin, Office of General Counsel

  3. Why? • They ensure a quality project by: – Assuring a safe, decent and sanitary environment for people occupying or residing there – Taking impacts on the environment into account – Ensuring the project site is suitable for the activity being proposed • They prevent time delays and cost overruns that might otherwise occur because of unknown environmental conditions

  4. National EnvironmentalPolicy Act 1969 NEPA: Protect, Restore and Enhance the Human Environment

  5. Environmental Study Public Document Ensures that envt’l information is available to the public BEFORE decisions are made and BEFORE actions are taken Helps public officials make decisions with an understanding of environmental consequences NEPA

  6. 24 CFR Part 58 Procedure for REs 24 CFR Part 51 Noise & Hazards 24 CFR Part 55 Floodplains HUD Environmental Regulations

  7. HUD environmental review – Part 58 • Chief Elected Official of the jurisdiction assumes responsibility for environmental review and must sign the Request for Release of Funds and Certification (58.10, 58.13) • Chief Elected Official accepts the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts for the responsible entity for the environmental review (58.13(a))

  8. Historic Preservation Act Floodplain Management & Wetlands Protection: Executive Orders Coastal Zone Management Act Safe Drinking Water Act Endangered Species Act Wild & Scenic Rivers Act Clean Air Act Environmental Justice: Executive Order Aquifers Farmland Protection Act HUD Environmental Criteria & Standards Noise Abatement and Control Near Explosives or Flammable Sites Near Airport Runway Protection Zones Toxic Hazards Laws and Authorities 58.5

  9. Historic Preservation Floodplain & Wetlands Laws and Authorities 58.5

  10. Flood Insurance When do you need it? If project is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area – 100 year FP How much coverage? For loans – outstanding principal balance of the loans For grants – equal to the development or project cost (less estimated land cost, if any) or to the maximum limit of coverage made available by the Act Laws and Authorities 58.6OTHER

  11. Laws and Authorities 58.6 OTHER • Coastal Barriers • Clear Zones

  12. Define the project Aggregate activities Study Alternatives Determine Level of Review Conduct Review Publish or Post When required Request Release of Funds (RROF) Receive Authority To Use Grant Funds Commit Funds and Implement Project Monitor Mitigation Steps

  13. Environmental Review Process and Restrictions • Once applicant applies for HUD assistance, the project becomes “federal” and HUD’s restrictions at §58.22 apply. • §58.22 prohibits recipient and any other partners in the development process from committing or expending HUD or non-HUD funds on the project if the activity would have an adverse environmental impact or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives

  14. Commitment of Funds • Funds are committed when: Sign a legally binding Contract

  15. Choice Limiting Actions • Must oversee actions of sub-recipient • Choice-limiting actions will reduce or eliminate your opportunity to choose alternatives • Examples: property acquisition, leasing, demolition, rehabilitation, construction and site improvements (including site clearance)

  16. Commitment of Funds24 CFR 58.22 • Conditional Commitment • Subject to the ER & any mitigating conditions • See HOME Program Notice 01-11 Section IV Item C • Legally Binding Document • Must prevent construction by 3rd party prior to RROF • Option agreements are allowed

  17. Commitment of Funds Notice to third Party • 24 CFR Part 58.22(a) and (c) • Upon receipt of the Application the State must: • notify applicants in writing • no choice limiting actions • prior to receiving HUD 7015.16

  18. Identify the Project • What is the scope? • What Activities will be included? • What is the location? Get Maps • Planning Area Map • Wetlands Map • Floodplain Map • Historical Districts Map

  19. Identify the Project: Aggregation 24 CFR 58.32 • Local grantees must group together and evaluate, as a single project, all individual activities that are related either geographically, functionally, or are logical parts of a composite of contemplated actions • In projects with multiple or groups of activities, the environmental review must be completed utilizing the highest level of review relative to the groups included in the project

  20. Importance of Early Start • Begin environmental review process as early as possible 58.30(b) • Typical times required to complete range from 1 to 120 days • Allow time for periods of public comment on environmental notices, including Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and the Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds (NOI-RROF)

  21. Level of Review • Full Assessment • Categorically Excluded • Categorically Excluded NOT Subject to 58.5 • Exempt

  22. Exempt Activities24 CFR Part 58.34(a) • Environmental, planning & design costs • Information & financial services • Administrative/management activities • Public services (no physical impact) • Inspections • Purchase of tools/insurance • Technical assistance & training • Temporary assist. for imminent threats • Payment of principal and interest

  23. Categorically Excluded Activities not subject to 58.5- 24 CFR 58.35(b) • Tenant-based Rental assistance • Supportive Services • Operating costs (utilities, supplies) • ED costs (non-construction) • Pre-development costs • Supplemental Assistance

  24. Categorically Excluded subject to 58.524 CFR 58.35(a) • Public Facilities < 20% increase • Projects for accessibility and mobility • Rehab of SF no increase in FP or WL • Minor Rehab of Multi-family (no change in use - < 20% change in density) • Rehab of Nonresidential (no change in use - < 20% change in density) • Acquisition/Disposition no change in use

  25. Environmental Assessment24 CFR Part 58.36 Projects that are not Categorically Excluded or Exempt Require a Full Assessment

  26. Environmental Assessment NEPA portion of the review: • Designed to determine if an EIS is required • Requires analysis of alternatives • Requires early consultation • Broad Interdisciplinary study

  27. Environmental Impact Statement “EIS” 24 CFR Part 37 Completed for: • Findings of Significant Impacts (FOSI) • Large projects (2,500 or more units) • Unless regulations are the only reason

  28. Public Notification • EA: Combined Notice (FONSI and NOI) • CE that “triggers” compliance: NOI/RROF only • CE No Compliance Triggered None • CE Not Subject to 58.5 : None • Exempt: None

  29. Public Comment Periods24 CFR part 58.45 • NOI/FONSI - 15 days from Publication 18 days from Posting • NOI - 7 days from Publication 10 days from Posting • RE must consider comments prior to submitting its RROF to HUD/State • HUD/State Comment Period 15 days January 28, 2009 Certifying Official

  30. Environmental Review Record • Written record of review • Must be available for public inspections • Let the file tell the story – include project description, maps, photographs, studies, correspondence, public notices, etc.

  31. Tiering 24 CFR 58.15 • Why use tiering? - efficiency – review those matters ripe for review and decision in broad review, and evaluate strategy and process for site specific reviews - cost effective – pay for one public notice Example – use tiering for citywide single family rehabilitation program

  32. Tiering – How? • Broad Review - Describe the program - Describe the process or strategy for site- specific review - Evaluate environmental factors Rehab Program – broad review include compliance with many of the related laws at §58.5 – such as Sect. 106 Programmatic Agreement for Historic Preservation.

  33. Tiering – How? Rehab Program – need to identify the process for the site-specific review. For instance, each property needs Floodplain Map, Historic Preservation review, Toxic review Important – file tells the story, including the strategy, process and supporting documentation

  34. Tiering – How? • The FONSI must include summary of the assessment and identify the significant issues to be considered in the site-specific reviews. • For site-specific reviews, subsequent notices are only needed when the Chief Elected Official determines unanticipated impacts or impacts not adequately addressed in prior review

  35. Tiering - Considerations • Always need site-specific review • Consider the intent of NEPA to provide public input – does your broad review and publication adequately describe the project? • Reconsider broad level review when circumstances change, 58.32(d)(2), 58.47

  36. Conclusion - Important Tips • Recognize the additional time that will be required if the project is in the Floodplain or has historic implications • Responsible for ensuring flood insurance is maintained • DON’T SPEND A DIME – until the environmental review is complete and you have received an approved Request for Release of Funds • When in doubt, contact your local environmental officer!

  37. Field Environmental Contacts

  38. Questions Contact Information Danielle Schopp 202.402.4442 or Joe Devlin 202.402.5117 or