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Key Components of an EIS Process


A process that involves working with key stakeholders, agencies, and the general public to identify a wide-range of issues (e.g. environmental, engineering, traffic) to be addressed in the EIS.


Purpose and Need

Identifies the problems that the project is intended to address.  Purpose and Need establishes why the agency is proposing the action or project and drives the development of the range of alternatives.

Preliminary Alternatives/Alternatives Analysis

Development of an initial range of alternatives and the evaluation of these alternatives using established criteria.  Alternatives that are not reasonable, feasible, or do not meet the purpose and need are dismissed from further screening and consideration.

Alternatives Screening/Environmental Consequences

Retained alternatives undergo a detailed evaluation for their social and environmental impacts.  Impacts include those that are both beneficial and adverse.

Draft EIS (DEIS)

A draft of the EIS, which identifies the Preferred Alternative, is made available for public review and comment.  This document is submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the lead federal agency for the EIS, for review and approval.


Final EIS (FEIS)

The FEIS addresses substantive public and agency comments on the DEIS.  These substantive comments may lead to revisions to the Preferred Alternative.  The FEIS is submitted to FHWA for review and approval.

Record of Decision

Once the FEIS is approved, FHWA issues a Record of Decision.  This document identifies the official decision on the alternative selected for implementation and marks the completion of the EIS process.

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