spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Planning Community Toolbox
USACE Castle
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Toolbox Home Link to Planner's Library Link to Project Delivery Link to People Link to Tools Link to Processes Link to Training Link to Search Link to Contact Us spacer
spacer
spacer Description spacer spacer

Red divider graphic

Categories
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic
ball graphic

 
Red divider graphic

  • Corps Guidance
    • Processing Final Environmental Impact Statements for Civil Works Projects
      This memorandum puts into effect immediately the guidance and procedures outlined in the 6 July 2020 Memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)), Processing Final Environmental Impact Statements for Civil Works Projects. requires that any request to seek public comments on a final EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act at 40 C.F.R. 1503.1(b) be submitted for approval by the ASA(CW). In these instances, vertical team coordination should occur prior to the Agency Decision Milestone after public comments on the draft EIS have been consolidated.
    • Procedural Clarification Regarding Environmental Documentation for Project Information Reports
      This memorandum clarifies that, during completion of Project Information Reports (PIRs), District Commanders will consider the probable environmental consequences when determining the recommended alternative for rehabilitation assistance projects and describe proposed NEPA documentation or exclusion, as appropriate. This memorandum provides PIR paragraph templates for various sections of the report.
    • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100: Planning Guidance Notebook
      The Planning Guidance Notebook provides the overall direction by which the Corps of Engineers civil works projects are formulated, evaluated, and selected for overall implementation. ER 1105-2-100, the Planning Guidance Notebook will be superseded by several different pieces of new guidance. This December 2023 version of the ER contains the elements of the Planning Guidance Notebook that are still in effect (Chapter 4 and Appendices C, D, E and G).
    • Engineer Regulation 200-2-2: Procedures for Implementing NEPA
      This regulation provides guidance for implementation of the procedural provisions of the NEPA for the Civil Works Program of the USACE.
    • Engineer Regulation 25-1-98: Publications in the Federal Register
      This regulation prescribes policies, procedures and responsibilities for submitting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) documents to the U.S. Army Publications and Printing Command (USAPPC) for publishing in the Federal Register (FR).
    • Environmental Evaluation and Compliance within the SMART Planning Framework
      Discussion paper highlighting and clarifying opportunities to encourage efficient and thorough environmental evaluation and compliance in support of the SMART Planning framework.
    • Implementation Guidance for Section 1005 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014), Project Acceleration
      Section 1005 WRRDA 2014 (Public Law 113-121) modifies Section 2045 of the WRDA 2007 (33 USC 2348) and in general directs that the Secretary shall develop and implement a coordinated environmental review process for the development of project studies. This guidance applies to all feasibility studies for proposed water resources development projects that will require specific authorization if the feasibility cost share agreement (FCSA) for the study was executed after enactment of WRRDA 2014 (10 June 2014) and for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 USC 4321 et seq.) (NEPA). The guidance also applies to feasibility studies initiated after enactment of WRRDA 2014 but that do not require a FCSA. It may also apply to other project studies initiated after enactment of WRRDA 2014 that require an environmental assessment, categorical exclusion, or other document under NEPA if determined appropriate by the Secretary. The guidance provides timelines and instruction to project delivery teams (PDTs) for engaging with federal, state, and local government agencies and Indian tribes on the environmental review process.
    • SMART Planning Feasibility Study Process Overlaid with Major Environmental Compliance Processes
      One page diagram of the SMART Planning feasibility study process timeline (milestones and phases) overlaid with NEPA, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA), Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), and Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions.
    • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-103: Policy for Conducting Civil Works Planning Studies
      This regulation provides overall direction by which USACE formulates, evaluates, and recommends projects for implementation and other actions to address water resources problems through the Army Civil Works program. The planning process must address the Nation's water resources needs in a systems context and seek to identify innovative alternatives for application across the full range of the USACE programs and authorities. In parallel with the development of these important planning concepts, this regulation is also intended to be useful for those outside of the USACE (or non-federal partners) authorized to develop water resources projects (Title 33, Section 2231 of U.S. Code (33 USC 2231)). ER 1105-2-1103 supersedes ER 1105-2-100, Chapters 1, 2, and 3, dated 22 April 2000.
    • Environmental Evaluation And Compliance Process Diagram
      One page diagram of the SMART Planning feasibility study process timeline (milestones and phases) noting significant environmental evaluation and compliance tasks and products developed during the feasibility study process.
    • SMART Planning Feasibility Studies: A Guide to Coordination and Engagement with the Services
      This guide was developed through a collaboration between the Corps, USFWS and NMFS. The Guide provides an overview of the SMART Planning process and demonstrates how key environmental coordination and compliance activities fit into that process. The Guide highlights opportunities for engagement and coordination at all stages of a planning study, re-emphasizing the need for early coordination.
    • Insight into elevating: Elevating Historic Buildings for Flood Resilience
      Developed by the USACE Technical Center of Expertise for the Preservation of Historic Buildings and Structures, this guide provides visual examples of elevated historic buildings in flood prone areas, considering 4-foot and 10-foot elevations visualizing different ideas, concepts, and appropriate materials for elevating based on architectural style.
    • Delegation of Signature Authority for Federal Register Documents for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
      This memorandum from the Assistant Secretary of the Army Civil Works outlines the delegation of signature authority for regulations, notices, and guidance documents to various USACE entities for publishing in the Federal Register.

  • Federal Guidance and Regulations
    • Federal NEPA Regulations
      The USACE guidance for implementation of the procedural provisions of NEPA for the Civil Works Program (ER 200-2-2) supplements Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations: 40 CFR 1500-1508, which applies to all federal agencies.
    • Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gases
      CEQ has issued interim National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change. CEQ is issuing this guidance as interim guidance so that agencies may make use of it immediately while CEQ seeks public comment on the guidance. CEQ intends to either revise the guidance in response to public comments or finalize the interim guidance.
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NEPA Website
      EPA reviews and comments on EISs prepared by other federal agencies and maintains a national filing system for all EISs. Website also includes directions on how to electronically submit an EIS to EPA's e-NEPA database.
    • Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA Website
      The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) consolidated website for the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) includes legislative language, up-to-date regulations, guidance, and CEQ handbooks and reports. The website provides the most up-to-date information on NEPA implementation including amendments to NEPA from the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 and the Phase 2 NEPA Rule published on 1 May 2024 and effective 1 July 2024. This website also includes information useful for the public and federal agencies.
    • Changes to EPA's Environmental Review Rating Process
      This memorandum issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discontinues EPA's practice of issuing an alphanumeric rating system along with its written comments on draft Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)/309 Program. This change is part of several efforts the NEPA/309 program is undertaking to improve its efficiency and effectiveness consistent with the goals outlines in Executive Order 13807, Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects. EO 13807 has since been revoked by EO 13990.
    • Federal Infrastructure Projects Permitting Dashboard
      The Permitting Dashboard is an online tool for Federal agencies, project developers, and interested members of the public to track the Federal government's environmental review and authorization processes for large or complex infrastructure projects, part of a government-wide effort to improve coordination, transparency, and accountability. USACE feasibility studies that include an EIS and a likely total investment of more than $200M may (but are not required to) be included on the dashboard as "other tracked projects."
    • CEQ NEPA Guidance Documents
      CEQ guidance for agencies implementing NEPA, including Guidance on the Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews (updated in 2023), NEPA review of emergency response actions, and more. To the extent that Council guidance issued prior to September 14, 2020, is in conflict with the updated regulations, the provisions of the updated NEPA regulations in the CFR apply.
    • Digitally Signing Federal Register Submission Documents
      A step by step guide for digitally signing documents submitted to the Federal Register, including how to add an electronic signature to MS Word documents, accepted file types, and how to include multiple signatories.
    • Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Indigenous Knowledge
      The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) have jointly published government-wide guidance and an accompanying implementation memorandum for Federal Agencies on recognizing and including Indigenous Knowledge in Federal research, policy, and decision making. Indigenous Knowledge is a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, innovations, practices, and beliefs developed by Tribes and Indigenous Peoples through interaction and experience with the environment. This policy provides guidance for federal agencies considering and applying Indigenous Knowledge in making decisions with Tribal or Indigenous implications.

  • NEPA, Collaboration, and Public Involvement

  • NEPA, Learn More About NEPA and NEPA Implementation

  • Section 106 and Environmental Impact Statement Flow Chart
      This flow chart provides updated citations and definitions for the integration of NEPA and Section 106 reviews as a supplement to NEPA and NHPA: A Handbook for Integrating NEPA and Section 106.

  • USACE NEPA Decision Document Guidance
    • National Environmental Policy Act Decision Documents Memo
      This ASA(CW) memorandum requires USACE to adopt the use of consistent templates for Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Records of Decision (ROD) NEPA decision documents. Use of the templates will allow for consistent and predictable documentation for projects. Any requested modification of the template FONSI or ROD for a project will be coordinated with the Deputy ASA for Project Planning and Review and staff, with final approval by the ASA(CW), prior to submittal.
    • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusions Survey
      In 2018, USACE compiled information on the use of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) categorical exclusions by the districts, including frequency of use of categorical exclusions and the exclusion categories most frequently used in NEPA compliance for all activities including planning studies, operations and maintenance work, real estate outgrants, and Section 408 reviews.
    • Record of Decision (ROD) Template
      This Word document is the required template to prepare a feasibility study Record of Decision (ROD). HQUSACE Office of Water Policy Review and Office of Counsel need to be consulted on when it is appropriate to deviate from the required template language. Additional language to meet project specific needs may be added.
    • Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) Template
      This Word document is the required template to prepare a feasibility study Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). HQUSACE Office of Water Policy Review and Office of Counsel need to be consulted on when it is appropriate to deviate from the required template language. Additional language to meet project specific needs may be added.
    • SMART Planning Feasibility Studies: A Guide to Coordination and Engagement with the Services
      This guide was developed through a collaboration between the Corps, USFWS and NMFS. The Guide provides an overview of the SMART Planning process and demonstrates how key environmental coordination and compliance activities fit into that process. The Guide highlights opportunities for engagement and coordination at all stages of a planning study, re-emphasizing the need for early coordination.
    • Template for Record of Environmental Consideration, Documentation for Categorical Exclusion (CE) under NEPA  Corps Castle
      This template is for use in development of the Memorandum for Record (MFR) of environmental consideration and documentation for Categorical Exclusion under NEPA.

Webinars

    2023
  • An Introduction to the Net Emissions Analysis Tool (NEAT) (19 October)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Net Emissions Analysis Tool (NEAT). Presenter Jason Emmons (Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Sub-CoP) discussed the quantification of gross and net greenhouse gases (GHG) with their associated social costs, which should be included in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents per the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Interim NEPA Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change. Despite the numerous models available for quantifying emissions, a model is needed that can quantify and integrate air pollutant and GHG emissions from diverse emissions sources to compute the net effects relevant for USACE projects. To this end, the NEAT model was developed to utilize output data from pre-existing air pollutant and GHG emissions models while providing the capability to quantify GHG fluxes from Federal actions such as wetland restoration, flood risk management, and vertical construction. NEAT leverages the benefits of pre-existing models, while innovating new capabilities for quantifying emissions using an expandable tabular methodology that can accommodate additional GHG sources and sinks as needed. NEAT combines results from these sources and sinks to calculate the net emissions for air pollutants and GHG species and their corresponding social costs over a project lifetime. These calculations are essential for project planners in USACE as they quantify net emissions for NEPA purposes.
  • Interim Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change (9 March)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Interim Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change, issued on 9 January 2023. Presenters Jason Emmons (San Francisco District) and Ken Wong (Los Angeles District) from the Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Planning Sub-CoP discussed key details for planners and environmental managers on the new guidance, including how to perform a greenhouse gas analysis starting from base assumptions for scoping to the end goal of incorporating effects analysis into current NEPA studies. The presenters also addressed how to frame inclusion of different topics for all classes of projects enterprise-wide, including baseline effects, no-action alternative emissions, avoided emissions, gross and net alternatives emissions, and social cost of greenhouse gas emissions.

    2021
  • NEPA Modernization and the Public (4 February)
    This webinar continued the discussion on the new CEQ NEPA regulations issued in 2020, with a focus on public involvement. Presented by Jeff Trulick (Office of Water Project Review) and Dr. Kat McCain (RPEDN Environmental Planning Section Chief), the webinar included a discussion with the field to address emerging questions related to public participation, involvement, and comments during the NEPA process.

    2020
  • A SMART Planning Policy Waiver Case Study: When Corps Policy, the Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act Conflict (11 June)
    This webinar provided a look at the specific challenges that were overcome by the vertical team in the Unalaska (Dutch Harbor) navigation study. The Alaska region has unique considerations in related to building infrastructure, with no shortage of protected wildlife that require extensive consultation under several environmental laws. The Dutch Harbor study illustrates where the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Corps planning policy requirements conflict, and how this conflict required the exploration, development, and approval of a policy waiver by the project delivery team. This presentation explored the weighing of risk to schedule, cost, and implementation with USACE legal and policy obligations, and highlighted the coordination and documentation required to support this specific risk-informed decision to defer completion of ESA consultation to the pre-construction engineering and design phase. The webinar was presented by Quana Higgins (NWD-POD Regional Integration Team); Evie Haberer (Environmental Reviewer, Office of Water Project Review); Kate Bliss (POD Regulatory and Environmental Program Manager); and Mike Salyer (Alaska District Environmental Resources Section Chief).
  • Overview of One Federal Decision (E.O. 13807) Requirements for Civil Works Planning Studies (30 April)
    This webinar provided an overview of the now rescinded Executive Order 13807. This webinar still covers relevant topics including the principles of federal coordination and the permitting dashboard, which is still operational for USACE projects. The webinar was presented by Julie Alcon (Environmental Team Lead and Policy Reviewer, HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review).

    2019
  • Working with Cooperating Agencies (22 August)
    This webinar provided an overview of Section 1005 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 and the requirements for involving Cooperating Agencies in a study. Cooperating Agencies are required to be involved in studies per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), but the enactment of Section 1005 of WRRDA 2014 has resulted in further requirements. The webinar discussed tips and tools for working with Cooperating Agencies, courtesy of the Collaboration and Public Participation CX (CPCX) and was presented by Julie Alcon (Environmental Team Lead, Office of Water Project Review [OWPR]), Wes Coleman (Chief, OWPR), Hal Cardwell (CPCX Director at theUSACE Institute for Water Resources), and Seth Cohen (Collaboration and Public Participation CoP lead).

    2017
  • Environmental Resource Significance in Civil Works Planning (2 February)
    Ms. Camie Knollenberg, Plan Formulation Branch Chief, Regional Planning and Environmental Division North, St. Paul District described how the significance of environmental and other resources are determined, and how this information is used in civil works planning. Resource significance drives plan formulation in the aquatic ecosystem restoration mission and drives mitigation planning in other civil works mission areas.

    2016
  • SMART Planning & USACE Feasibility Studies: Guide to Coordination and Engagement with the Services (7 September)
    This webinar provided an overview of the SMART Planning process, and demonstrate how key environmental compliance activities, such as the Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and Magnuson-Stevens Act, are integrated into the process. The webinar provided lessons learned from the Seattle District

    2015
  • Environmental Evaluation & Compliance in SMART Planning: A common understanding for PMs, Planners, and Environmental team members (19 March)
    A webinar presenting a common understanding for PMs, Planners, and Environmental team members on integrating the NEPA and environmental compliance tasks associated with planning milestones in the SMART Planning framework.

    2013
  • SMART Planning and USACE Feasibility Studies: Agency to Agency Coordination (1 August)
    This webinar focused on the ongoing coordination between HQUSACE, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Presenters from all three agencies discussed application of SMART Planning principles and process within the context of their agency mandates.

 Corps Castle Item is restricted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CAC required. Document will open in a new window.