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  • Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed in the group area discussions are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Government, the Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration.
Edited: 4/24/2012 8:35 AM

Does getting permit preclude need for EA?

Wondering if you propose an action that requires some state permits, does the fact that you get those permits suggest an environmental assessment is not a requirement and therefore a categorical exclusion would be proper?

I guess I am wondering if there is a general rule to that effect or if the recipt of permits is not the determining factor as to whether an EA is required....

2011-07-27 12:40:47
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:35 AM
Lamar Smith
Based on the wording of your question, I assume that by environmental assessment you mean the NEPA class of action (EA) - documentation and process. Permits associated with an action are not an indication of the type of NEPA documentation and process required, or in other words, does not mean that there are or are not significant impacts associated with the project. Permits come in many forms, some more substantive than others and the issuing Federal agency may require certain documentation for certain types of actions or permits.
8/1/2011 10:19 PM
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:35 AM
You're going to have to provide more information.  "environmental assessment" can be a fairly vague term - are you referring to Federal NEPA, a state version of NEPA, or something else?  Certainly the requirement of "some state permits" is not - in and of itself - sufficient information to determine the Federal NEPA class of action (CE, EA, or EIS).  If Federal NEPA applies (i.e., it is a Federal action or requires Federal approval), the NEPA classification will depend on your action's potential to "significantly" impact (as defined by 40 CFR 1508.27) the human and natural environment.  If FHWA NEPA applies to your action, you should be looking at 23 CFR 771.115 through 127.  The receipt of environmental permits is part of the NEPA process and could be required of any and all NEPA classes of action (especially EISs and EAs).
7/29/2011 2:50 PM
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:35 AM
F. Yates Oppermann
Short answer is no.  Permit requirements are based on their own laws and regulations.  the ability to get a permit (or not) does not have any substantial bearing on the NEPA process and what type of document will be required.
7/29/2011 2:41 PM