The EIS Process
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required under the National
Environmental Policy Act before the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can issue rights-of-way for the Clark, Lincoln and White Pine Counties Groundwater Development Project (GWD Project). This process also requires public involvement before the federal government makes its decision.
This multi-stage process involves extensive research and public participation.
An EIS must be completed on many projects involving federal action—in
this case, the potential granting of rights-of-way to the Southern Nevada
Water Authority (SNWA) by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The role of this process is to identify any potential environmental impacts
associated with the GWD Project so the BLM can take them into consideration when making
The EIS includes six primary stages, each involving a series of related
activities. The BLM determines the timetable for this process.
Step One - Notice of Intent (completed)
The process begins with a Notice of Intent published in the Federal
Step Two - Scoping Period
During the Scoping Period, BLM
gathers comments related to the EIS. The BLM collects stakeholder comments
at public meetings, as well as gathers comments sent via fax or mail.
BLM held public scoping meetings in late April and early
May 2005, and the public scoping comment period extended through Aug. 1, 2005.
The BLM may hold additional public scoping in summer 2006 to address minor changes to the GWD Project. These changes are based on a January 2006 cooperative agreement between SNWA and the Lincoln County Water District, whereby SNWA will provide capacity in the GWD Project to convey water for Lincoln County.
Step Three - Draft EIS
The BLM prepares a Draft EIS and makes it available to the public. This
document generally includes the following:
- Purpose of and need for action
- Alternatives, including proposed actions
- Affected environment
- Environmental consequences
Step Four - Notice of Availability
The completion of the Draft EIS is announced in the Federal Register
through a Notice of Availability. This notice includes specific information
about the public comment period, including a time frame, locations
of public meetings and information about how comments may be submitted. Public participation associated with the Draft EIS is administered by the BLM.
Step Five - Final EIS
After the public comment period, a Final EIS is prepared. This document
includes descriptions of public comments and indicates how they were
addressed in the Final EIS. A Notice of Availability is posted in the
Federal Register announcing the completion of the Final EIS.
Step Six - Record of Decision
No sooner than 30 days after the Final EIS is published, a Record of
Decision describing the BLM's decision regarding proposed action is
published in the Federal Register.
|Rights-of-Way Application Submitted
|Publish Notice of Intent
|| April 8, 2005
|Public Scoping Period - meetings and public comment
||April - Aug. 1, 2005
|Second Public Scoping Period
|| Anticipated summer 2006
|Draft Environment Impact Statement Review
|Final Environmental Impact Statement Printed
|Notice of Availability Published
|Record of Decision Issued
*To be determined by
the Bureau of Land Management