Begin the EIS process by setting your page and project schedule goals.
Keep the team informed and hold team members accountable.
Determine page budgets for the entire document and each section of the document, and adhere to them.
Complete as many tasks as possible before the NOI is released.
Create schedule and task “health monitoring” checklists. Monitor progress frequently and regularly. Make course corrections weekly or biweekly (Tip #3).
Minding Your Ps (Pages)
Determine an initial page budget for each section to guide planning (see sample attached). Identify what should stay in, what can become reference materials, and what can be eliminated.
If utilizing a contractor to prepare a NEPA document, incorporate page and schedule requirements into the contract.
Develop a detailed, annotated page budget, with pages allocated by subsection. Factor in tables, figures, maps, and other supporting material.
Establish clear roles, process, and expectations for monitoring document size and content and making course corrections.
Focus the purpose and need statement to the specific project and bureau’s authorities and correspondingly the range of reasonable alternatives (see Tip #6).
Scope out (screen out) content that is not related to significant impacts or essential for an informed decision (see Tip #7). Include the type of analysis and level of detail expected on significant issues.
Design document structure to minimize redundancies and extraneous material.
Minimize explanations, especially where expected impacts are negligible and minor.
Develop a plan to combat the tendency to think that more is better.
Incorporate by reference, and do not repeat the material being incorporated.
Use graphics (maps, figures, tables) in place of text where appropriate (see Tip #8).
Put detailed information, such as unique analysis methodologies, in an appendix or on-line reference document (see Tip #10).
Empower your writers and editors to adhere to page limits. Good writers and technical editors can be worth their weight in gold.
Minding Your Ts (Time)
Establish clear roles, processes, and expectations for monitoring the schedule and making schedule changes and course corrections.
For an EIS, break the schedule into two parts: 1) pre-NOI activities; and 2) the one-year schedule to prepare a Final EIS.
Optimize the one-year period after the NOI is released by identifying and conducting activities that could occur before NOI publication (see sample list attached).
When developing the EIS project schedule, include
critical action dates
reviews, revisions, and approvals
printing and distributing the document
filing the document with USEPA
and timelines for consultations, if applicable
Prepare and maintain a series of project schedules targeted to each of the principal EIS audiences: project management team, writing team, internal bureau and attorney review team, first line SES, and DOI Review Team.
Ensure interim schedule adjustments are agreed upon by key staff and quickly provided to the team and to management.