EIR Review Assignment

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  • 1. ESP 179- Winter 2013Environmental Impact Report Review AssignmentDUE: February 12 h , 3:10pmPurposeThe purpose of this exercise is for you to go through an actual Environmental ImpactReport (EIR) and experience first-hand the challenges of gleaning useful informationfrom its pages and analyze the impact assessment methodologies and mitigationstrategies presented in the EIR.Assignment:Start by seeing what EIRs are out for “public circulation” in your home County, City,Town, or even Yolo County. Start by conducting a general web search or by using theCEQAmap Database (http://ceqamap.com/). If you decide to use CEQAMap, click the“Search CEQA Database” link in the upper right hand corner and enter key wordssuch as the name of your home-town or type of project your interested in such as:“commercial”, “solar”, “landfill” and see what comes up. Look at the search resultsand decide which EIR you want to review. The EIR should be no older than 2009.After you have selected your EIR, start by systematically reviewing the projectdescription, as you will have to understand the “project” to understand the impactanalysis contained in the EIR. Take detailed notes of the project description, as it willhelp you when reviewing the environmental settings, methodology discussions,impact discussions, etc.Please use the following questions to help you during your review the EIR: 1) Does the Lead Agency have a “special” CEQA checklist? Or are they using the Appendix G checklist. a. Does the EIR use all the checklist questions? b. Are there other questions in the analysis not in Appendix G? 2) What other “Responsible Agencies”, Trustee Agencies”, or “Commenting Agencies” have interest in the project. 3) What entitlements or approvals are required for the project (Conditional Use Permit, General Plan Amendment, Zone Change, etc)? 4) What type of EIR is it? Program, Project, Master, Supplemental, Subsequent? 5) What were the project objectives? Do they make sense? Are they tailored to be too specific? Are there too many of them? 6) Did the EIR include an Alternatives Analysis? a. What alternatives were analyzed? b. What was the environmentally superior alternative? 7) Did the EIR have any Cumulatively Considerable Impacts? a. If so, what were they? b. Why? 8) Did the EIR have any significant unavoidable impacts? a. If so, what were they?
  • 2. b. Why? 9) The body of your paper should focus on the impact discussions and methods used. Provide a detailed discussion in your paper of the impact assessment methodology for at least three (3) resource areas, such as Air, Noise, Traffic, Land Use, etc. a. Provide your opinion of the analysis. i. Did the analysis accurately address all direct and indirect impacts to the resources you’re evaluating? ii. Was it Qualitative or Quantitative? b. Did the General Plan Policies come into play for determining thresholds for the EIR (Noise, Land Use Consistency, Energy, etc) ? c. Was there any State or Federal Agency that had influence on the impact assessment methodology (i.e. DWR, RWQCB, FEMA, CDFG) ? d. Summarize the mitigation measures. i. Who would be responsible for ensuring implementation? ii. Did the mitigation measures reference any other documents, studies, or reports?After reviewing the EIR prepare a paper of no more than 5 double-spaced pages thatincludes a summary evaluation, background information on the EIR that you picked(type of EIR, date, URL, etc.), and key points from your assessment the EIR. End witha couple of sentences summing up your experience. What do you think of the EIR asa tool for informing decision makers and if you agree with the conclusions reached.Papers are due before class on February 12, at 3:10pm in hard copy form; noelectronic submittals.