Environmental Review Process
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider and disclose the environmental impacts of their proposed actions. This federal law promotes better agency decision-making by ensuring that the best available information is provided to agency officials and the public before an agency decides whether and how to undertake a major federal action.
To comply with NEPA, the Service prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze and disclose the potential impacts of the issuance of an Incidental Take Permit and implementation of the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The EA analyzes the potential effects of the proposed federal action (issuance of Incidental Take Permit) and alternatives to the proposed action. The analysis provided in the EA will be used to inform the Service's decision on whether to issue an Incidental Take Permit for the Missouri Department of Conservation HCP.
The draft EA is now available for a 30-day public review (September 15, 2021 to October 15, 2021). After the 30-day public review period for the draft EA, the Service will prepare a final EA that takes into consideration the comments received on the draft EA. The draft EA can be accessed here.
At the close of the EA process, the Service will determine if they can reach a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or if they must prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) due to the potential for significant impacts.