Tip 4: Engage Your Extended Team

Key Points

  • Engage your extended EIS Project Team early and often.
  • Share a simplified Project Management Plan and major milestone schedule with the EIS Project Team early and whenever revised.
  • Keep the EIS Project Team informed about relevant changes in the proposed action or schedule. 

Engage SOL, OEPC, DOI Review Team, and SES Reviewer

  • Long before the NOI is released, establish early communication with your extended EIS Project Team (SOL, OEPC, DOI Review Team, SES reviewer, contractors, cooperating agencies, consulting agencies, and applicants).
  • Address expectations around pertinent topics and the document review process and cycles.
  • Address legal and policy issues as early as possible.
  • Identify the first SES reviewer with line authority over the proposed action and who is ultimately responsible for the EIS process.
  • Discuss with specificity where and how the NEPA process and document will be streamlined per S.O. 3355.

Engage Contractors

  • Start engaging potential contractors long before the NOI is published with the Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Statement of Work (SOW).
  • The RFP/RFQ and SOW should clearly present the time and page limitations, descriptions of the tasks and subtasks, performance expectations, roles and responsibilities, standards for deliverables, and critical due dates.
  • Build into the schedule a reasonable amount of time for document review and revision, including expected review times for bureau management, SOL, and DOI, if needed.

Engage Cooperating Agencies

  • Long before the NOI is released, establish planning with cooperating agencies that have jurisdiction by law or special expertise.
  • Use the NOI to invite other potential cooperating agencies.
  • Discuss with specificity where and how the NEPA process and document will be streamlined per S.O. 3355.

Engage Consulting Agencies

  • Initiate informal consultations as soon as the proposed action and mitigation measures are defined enough to do so.
  • Review the mandated procedural steps and timeframes for each required consultation and reflect them in the NEPA planning process, if possible.
  • If the consultation process timeline cannot be accommodated within the NEPA timeline, the two processes may need to be decoupled, and consultations may need to be started earlier.
  • Consider programmatic consultations, which should not delay the NEPA process. Programmatic consultations can expedite subsequent proposal-specific consultations or eliminate the need for further consultation; both possibilities would help streamline the process.

Engage Applicants

  • Engage applicants before an application is submitted to ensure the project submission is complete and accurate.
  • To ensure applications are complete and to expedite review processes, provide applicants clear direction on the information or studies that will be required and when they will be required.
  • Provide informal pre-application review and feedback on the completeness and correctness of the environmental information in the draft project description and supporting documentation.
  • Use applicant-submitted environmental information to reduce paperwork and potential delays.
  • Discuss specifically where and how the NEPA process and document will be streamlined per S.O. 3355.


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