Environmental presentation for PATW
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Environmental presentation for PATW



The Public Affairs Role in successfully complying with Environmental Regulations.

The Public Affairs Role in successfully complying with Environmental Regulations.



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  • Greetings! By a show of hands, how many PAOs have a relationship with their Environmental Programs Division?As a matter of Army and Air Force policy, public involvement is required or strongly encouraged for all Army and Air Force actions. The requirement for public involvement recognizes that all potentially interested or affected parties will be involved, when practicable, whenever analyzing environmental considerations. This requirement can be met at the very beginning of the process by developing a plan to include all affected parties and implementing the plan with appropriate adjustments as it proceeds.
  • This is one of my favorite quotes, mostly because I said it. But what does it mean? In almost every aspect of environmental programs, it has been the public pushing the military, is some fashion, to get on board with public laws and policies. There was a time in which the military could negatively affect the environment without consequences. Those times are long gone, and it is proving to be extremely expensive to develop a balance between producing war fighters and protecting the environment.
  • So, one might think that I got the wrong photos in this presentation. Years ago, while in college for Journalism, I took a Physics class called Fission, Fusion and Psychosis. The goal of the course was to teach us the dynamics of the Atomic age. I, like many in this room, don’t remember much about our college years, but this is something that stuck with me. These images were shot above ground, obviously, but can anyone tell me something that we really didn’t know at that time about plutonium?
  • What does this photo tell us? It is a picture of the Jet Stream as it crosses over the United States. Now bare with me, I’m coming to my point on the next slide. During this time, we were deep into the war in Europe and Japan. There were relatively no environmental issues that were discussed on the radio, and the relative goal of the US was to win the war, and bring our troops home. So what does the testing of the gadget and the jet stream have in common?
  • So here we go. Now considering that the military had no idea what the effects would be, some, such as my professor in college, have gone so far as to say that the US Military had poisoned their own people. Not something we would most likely get away with today, given the disaster that occurred in Japan recently.
  • We don’t have time to go through all the Environmental Laws and Regulations, but I want to hit on a few topics that should be of interest to PAOs. Some of the topics I’m going to hit
  • This is the policy of the U.S. government, as established by Congress and the President. All Federal agencies are bound by it.Information dissemination to local and installation communities through such means as news releases to local media, announcements to local citizensgroups, and Commander’s letters at each phase or milestone (more frequently if needed) of the project. The dissemination of this information willbe based on the needs and desires of the local communities.
  • - Until NEPA, federal projects and programs had few restraints- TVA and Oak Ridge projects displaced hundreds of families, but were isolated incidents and drew little attention nationally- Interstate Highway Program took place across entire country. Straight line was shortest distance between points. Communities, natural features, historical features were bulldozed with no recourse.- Public revolted, put pressure on Congress.
  • The Act requires that a process be established and followed but it does not dictate the outcomes of the process “Natural” and “Social” are very broad and general terms; can include everything from wetlands to viewscapes and from neighborhoods to archeological digs Compliance with NEPA in considering the requirements of these Acts, EOs, etc., DOES NOT constitute compliance with the Acts. Compliance with the individual Acts DOES NOT necessarily constitute compliance with NEPA (although it can) The proposed action must be presented to the Public and the Public must be given a reasonable chance to review and react to it. Significant public interest in an action can increase the level of NEPA analysis that is needed; i.e., an EA may become an EIS The CEQ established the framework from which the Dept of Army and the ARNG derived their NEPA process and regulations (32 CFR 651)
  • The Act is procedural – it establishes a process – rather than being prescriptive (dictating how certain things are done or requiring certain outcomes and imposing a penalty if they are not). But it is a legal requirement established by the Congress and the President. Any member of the Public may file a complaint and have that complaint taken up by the Court. As an example, the southern bypass around Grand Rapids MI (a 27 mile long freeway) received a complaint that wetlands had not received due consideration during the EIS. Although the project was within days of beginning construction, the Court issued an injunction halting it in its tracks. However, after review of the Administrative Record, the Court determined that the NEPA process had been followed and lifted the injunction within 2 weeks. If, however, the adherence to the NEPA process or the Administrative Record had been inadequate, the injunction would have remained in place until those deficiencies were corrected. The corrections and Court review could have taken months or years and resulted in the loss of funding for the project, which was the intent of the complaint. The FHWA, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, among other agencies, are frequent targets of complaints and court actions. the current practice of NEPA is actually built around the outcome of various litigations over the years
  • There are 3 levels of NEPA CEs or CXs, as the Army and Guard like to call them, are routine actions that have been proven to have non-significant impacts. The process is simplified accordingly. EAs are done when no CX has been established that covers the proposed action or when there is uncertainty as to whether the impacts may be significant . Or when there is doubt that impacts can be mitigated to a non-significant level. EISs are done when it is known, or very probable, that the impacts will be significant or cannot be mitigated to non-significant levels. NOTE that, just because there are impacts, it DOES NOT mean that the action cannot go forward. NEPA requires only that environmental impacts be CONSIDERED
  • Each Environmental manager attempts to categorically exclude a project from NEPA. It is important to remember that just because a project may qualify for a categorical exclusion, does not mean the public doesn’t have a right to know. Furthermore, consultation with appropriate agencies must take place in order to use a categorical exclusion.
  • Again, the EA is a decision document. It is used to determine whether there are significant impacts or not. If not, the EA terminates in *SURPRISE* a Finding of No Significant Impact. If at any time it is determined that there will be a significant impact, an EIS is triggered. NOTE: Significant public interest or controversey regarding an action is sufficient to trigger an EIS.
  • Ballpark estimates. There is no “average” EIS. All are different.
  • - NEPA is applied to Federal Actions. The States, Territories, and District are essentially acting as agents for the National Guard Bureau. It is NGB that is ultimately responsible for the EIS (the Director at NGB signs the ROD as the Federal representative) and EA (the Chief, Environmental Division signs the FNSI as a responsibility delegated by the Director NGB), therefore they have approval authority for these decisions/documents.
  • Now we’ll switch gears to Native American Consultation. If ever the Environmental Program Manager needed your assistance, it is in Native American Consultation, particularly in the area of Risk Communication.As a federal entity, we are required to consult with our American Indian friends on all actions that have the potential to effect tribal resources. Tell story regarding how Wyoming got startedThe fact of the matter is, NAC is tough, particularly for the military because it crosses over that comfort zone and takes individuals out of their element. Public Affairs Officers need to pick the right people to take the lead for your agency, and particularly one with thick skin.
  • How many people have read 3 cups of tea, by Gregg Mortinson? As the story goes, the first cup of tea, you don’t know each other, the second cup, you are friends, and the third, you are family, and willing to die for each other.The similarities between Mortinson’s depiction and that of working with Native Americans is very similar.One key item to remember is that Native American Consultation does not mean “Agree, agree, agree” It means consult, consult, consult. It is up to the agency to ensure that Native American Consultation takes place, but it is not a requirement to agree to all tribal stipulations. There are simple ways to mitigate issues from the tribes…but usually, you need to simply ask how to best go.I encourage every PAO to read their states Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan
  • In 2005 the Army National Guard initiated the Non-Department of Defense Non Operational Defense sites inventory as a nationwide effort to identify former training areas where Guardsmen used munitions for training. This effort focused on training that historically occurred on federal, state, tribal, and privately-owned properties that were never owned by the DoD. The Inventory was an extension of the DoDs responsibility under the Military Munitions Response Program to identify and address former training areas where munitions or constituents from munitions, if present, could be a potential safety hazard and pose a risk to human health or the environment.
  • Environmental Risk Communication is a large part of the Environmental Program Manager’s job. The environmental staff are constantly talking to regulators, public officials and private land owners, so it is absolutely necessary that Public Affairs attempts to ensure your command messages are being used.At this time, we will run a few scenarios that will help give you an idea of the risk involved in the environmental arena.
  • -Some of the responsibilities of Public Affairs practitioners are to assist in the development of a public affairs plan to ensure open communication among the media, the public and the installation. This plan should be developed that provides for periodic interaction with the community.(1) Information dissemination to local and installation communities through such means as news releases to local media, announcements to local citizensgroups, and Commander’s letters at each phase or milestone (more frequently if needed) of the project. The dissemination of this information willbe based on the needs and desires of the local communities.(2) Each phase or milestone (more frequently if needed) of the project will be coordinated with representatives of local, state, tribal, and federalgovernment agencies.(3) Public comments will be invited and two-way communication channels will be kept open through various means as stated above. These two-waychannels will be dynamic in nature, and should be updated regularly to reflect the needs of the local community.(4) Public affairs officers at all levels will be kept informed.Persons and agencies that need to be consulted:Municipal, township, and county elected and appointed officials.(2) Tribal, state, county, and local government officials and administrative personnel whose official duties include responsibility for activities or components of the affected environment related to the proposed Army action.(3) Local and regional administrators of other federal agencies or commissions that may either control resources potentially affected by the proposed action (for example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service); or who may be aware of other actions by different federal agencies whose effects must beconsidered with the proposed Army action (for example, the GSA).(4) Members of existing citizen advisory groups, such as Restoration Advisory Boards and Citizen Advisory Commissions.(5) Members of identifiable population segments within the potentially affected environments, whether or not they have clearly identifiable leaders or an established organization, such as farmers and ranchers, homeowners, small business owners, minority communities and disadvantaged communities, and tribal governments in accordance with White House Memorandum on Government to Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments (April 29, 1994).(6) Members and officials of those identifiable interest groups of local or national scope that may have interest in the environmental effects of the proposed action or activity (for example, hunters and fishermen, IzaakWaltonLeague, Sierra Club, and the Audubon Society).(7) Any person or group that has specifically requested involvement in the specific action or similar actions.

Environmental presentation for PATW Environmental presentation for PATW Presentation Transcript

  • The Public Affairs Role in successfully complying with Environmental Regulations
    LTC Samuel House
    Wyoming Army National Guard
    Community Relations Officer
  • “The United States military would not have environmental problems if it were not for the public.”
    LTC Samuel House
  • July 16, 1945, the Trinity Site explosion of
    “The Gadget.”
    The only surviving color photograph of the Trinity explosion.
    Photo by Jack Aeby
  • The Jet Stream
  • Lung cancer mortality rates among white males, 1950-69
  • Course Goals
    The goal of this class is to emphasize the role Public Affairs plays in the scope of Environmental Programs within your state.
  • Topics
    The National Environmental Policy Act
    Native American Consultation
    Non Defense Owned Non Defense Operated Defense Sites
    Environmental Risk Communication
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
    • Enacted 1969
    • Total of 7 Pages
    • “. . . It is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.
  • The origin of NEPA
    Rise of the environmental protection movement in the 1960s
    Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969
    The Interstate Highway program
  • What does NEPA do?
    It’s a procedural Act
    Requires that the natural and social environments be considered in the Federal decision-making process
    Requires that the Public be informed and given the opportunity to participate in the process
    It established the Council on Environmental Policy (CEQ) which promulgated the NEPA regulations
    Serves as an “umbrella” for all other environmental acts and Executive Orders
  • Penalties for NEPA non-compliance
    There are no penalties in the Act
    A proposed project may be examined by a court and, if it’s determined that the NEPA process has not been adequately followed, the court may enjoin the project until it is.
    This can and does happen – it is a very common tactic used to delay a federal project until the funding is withdrawn.
  • NEPA Process
    Record of Environmental Consideration (REC)
    Categorical Exclusion
    or Exemption?
    Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI)
    Assessment (EA)?
    Record of Decision (ROD)
    Environmental Impact
    Statement (EIS)
    Intent (NOI)
    Levels of NEPA Analysis
    Decision Documents
    Proposed Action
    Steve Stadelman, steve.stadelman@us.army.mil, 703-607-9954
  • Categorical Exclusion
    A category of actions that does not have a significant effect on the human environment
    Every Federal agency must adopt their own list of CXs. They must also identify “extraordinary circumstances” that would preclude their use for a particular project
    The Army has 52 CXs under 32CFR651
    The Air Force has 38 CXs under 32CFR989
    Steve Stadelman, steve.stadelman@us.army.mil, 703-607-9954
  • EA – Environmental Assessment
    Time Frame: ~ 291 days to prepare.
    EA is good as long as proposed action and circumstances don’t change. As a “rule of thumb” it should receive a “hard look” every 5 years or so to determine if substantive changes have occurred.
    Cost: $50 - $100K (ballpark)
    Used: When the effect of the proposed action(s) are not known, are known to be less than significant, or can be mitigated below the level of significant; i.e., when you don’t know whether an EIS is needed:
    • Should be short & concise, telling the story, but not creating a novel
    • An EA can be used as the foundation of an EIS
    Steve Stadelman, steve.stadelman@us.army.mil, 703-607-9954
  • More on EAs
    Can be converted to an EIS at any time
    Provides input for EIS preparation, if an EIS proves necessary
    Decision Documents:
    Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI): Prepared when the EA concludes that there are no significant effects
    Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an EIS: Prepared when the EA concludes that there is the potential for significant effects
    Steve Stadelman, steve.stadelman@us.army.mil, 703-607-9954
  • Environmental Impact Statement
    Time Frame: 3 – 5 years Cost: $1 – 3M
    Used: When a proposed action may or will result in significant impacts
    Significance is determined by taking into account context and intensity of the action
    • A threshold should be established by the analysis
    • Just because an action is significant in one location under a certain set of conditions does not mean the same action will be significant at another location under different conditions (context)
    Steve Stadelman, steve.stadelman@us.army.mil, 703-607-9954
  • NEPA Summary
    • NEPA defines the Public Affairs roles and responsibilities in Federal Actions.
    • NEPA requires the early consideration of environmental impacts for all federal actions.
    • State/Territory Environmental Offices are the subject matter experts and decision makers for NEPA analyses.
    • Above all, we must provide the decision maker with the data necessary to make informed decisions. Remember: the decision maker is ultimately responsible for these actions!
    Steve Stadelman, steve.stadelman@us.army.mil, 703-607-9954
  • Native American Consultation
  • Legal Requirements to Conduct Native American Consultation
    Native American Consultation is required under 36CFR800
    Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
    The DoD American Indian and Alaska Native Policy.
    Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
  • The Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan
    The ICRMP is an SOP on how your agency will comply with all the laws and regulations.
    The concept of the ICRMP is to provide a detailed Public Affairs Plan on how to work with various agencies
  • NAC Summary
    Consulting does not require the agency to agree.
    Consultation should occur early and often once a project is conceived.
    The agency spokesperson must be carefully selected and have authority by the TAG to make decisions for the agency.
  • Non-Department of Defense Owned Non Operational Defense Sites (NDNODS)
  • NDNODS Process
    Initial preliminary assessment inventory was conducted in 2005; however, results were not shared with property owners.
    The Corps of Engineers, working with your Environmental Manager, will attempt to obtain Rights of Entry from current property owners for additional testing
    Once the ROE is obtained, soil samples will be taken and analyzed to determine significance of a site
  • NDNODS Process (Cont.)
    Once all the sites have been appropriately tested, in the nation, a clean-up priority will be established at NGB.
    Based on the priorities NGB will fund the clean-up of these properties in compliance with Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act.
  • NDNODS Summary
    A detailed public affairs plan needs to be developed that addresses potential questions from the public.
    Key messages must be developed prior to public contact.
    Selecting the right people for the “Face” of the Guard is necessary to ensure DoDs goals are met.
  • 10 Minute Break
  • Environmental Risk Communication
    Risk Communication Goals
    Create a communications environment based on trust and credibility
    Produce an informed audience that is involved, interested, reasonable, thoughtful, solution-oriented and collaborative
    Build confidence in your organization’s professionalism, commitment, and expertise
  • Scenario 1
    Civilian Teenagers Injured by 40mm HE Round
    Despite warning signs and a significant public outreach and awareness campaign by Guard officials, two teenagers trespassed onto the impact area of your state’s training site to collect shell casings and in this instance UXO.
    See Handout
  • Scenario 2
    EPA Threatens to Shut Down Training 
    Camp John Smith has been used for military training for almost a century including for Nike missiles and was also used for weapons testing. It has also been used heavily for traditional routine artillery and small arms training. The installation was turned over from the Department of Defense to the state several years ago and DOD agencies and the Coast Guard have a lease with the state through 2027.
    See Handout
  • Public Affairs Responsibilities
    Assist in the development of a public affairs plans
    Provide Guidance on issuing public announcements
    Review and Coordinate planned announcements
    Assist in the issuance of appropriate press releases
    Assist in Public Involvement materials
  • Questions?