NEPA Climate Change Analysis and Documentation
Participants will receive a brief introduction to this rapidly-growing area of NEPA analysis. After a brief introduction to climate change science, the workshop will cover both climate change impacts in regard to greenhouse gas emissions as well as taking into account the effects of climate change on projects and the resources a project may impact. Participants will learn to use various methods for analyzing these various impacts, and will be exposed to several case studies and examples of NEPA analyses that address climate change. They will receive an update on recent NEPA climate change and cumulative effects litigation, including helpful guidance on how to prepare a legally-adequate climate change impact analysis in their EAs and EISs.
Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to do the following:
- Understand basic climate change science, especially how it relates to likely impacts that should be addressed in a NEPA analysis
- Understand key NEPA climate change court cases and rulings, and lessons from them on how to prepare legally-sufficient analyses
- Choose the most effective methods and analytical techniques for analyzing climate change impacts
- Explore, discuss, and take away key lessons from NEPA case study documents that incorporate climate change analysis
- Understand various mitigation strategies for addressing climate change impacts
- Create concise, legally defensible EAs and EISs that properly address climate change impacts impacts
We tailor each workshop to meet the needs of the participants. The basic format of the interactive workshop includes the following components:
- Introduction to Climate Change Science in a NEPA Context
Learn the basics on climate change, and which types of projects subject to NEPA analysis are likely to raise issues regarding greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Legal Requirements for Climate Change Analysis
Receive a detailed overview of the key regulatory requirements, as well as a summary of important NEPA court cases and decisions involving climate change impacts.
- Distinguishing between Climate Change Impacts from Project Activities versus Climate Change Impacts onto Projects and Resources
Many projects undergoing NEPA analysis will either directly or indirectly cause greenhouse gas emissions and strategies and techniques for analyzing these will be discussed. Many others will need to address climate change impacts onto projects (such as increased flood potential for a planned coastal highway), or onto resources a project may impact (such as shifting vegetation habitat due to increases in temperature). Strategies and techniques for addressing these impacts will be covered as well.
- Study key NEPA Case Studies Incorporating Climate Change Analysis and Develop Climate Change Analyses for Realistic Scenarios
There are a growing number of NEPA documents that address climate change impacts; several of the best examples will be studied and critiqued in the workshop. In addition, participants will work in teams to develop climate change analyses for realistic hypothetical NEPA projects.
- Develop Mitigation Measures for Climate Change Impacts
Many common mitigation measures used in NEPA documents can be adapted to address climate change impacts. In addition, a number of new, unique measures have been developed to date. These measures will be reviewed and discussed.
Participants for this training should be fairly experienced NEPA practitioners who already have a basic understanding of the NEPA process and key regulatory requirements. These can include NEPA coordinators, technical specialists, interdisciplinary team (IDT) leaders and members, decisionmakers, and reviewers of NEPA documents.
This interactive workshop is designed to build practical analytical and documentation skills. For optimal learning, class size is limited to between 15 and 25 participants.This 2-day workshop consists of a carefully-designed combination of the following:
- 30% Lecture
- 40% Discussion
- 30% Exercises and Case Studies
Participants receive the following:
- Comprehensive workshop manual
- Workshop Resources workbook (includes key regulations, summary of important NEPA court decisions, and case studies from actual EAs and EISs)