Tip 7: Unleash the Power of Scoping

Key Points

Prepare: Scoping reports can be prepared before a specific action is proposed to help focus on likely issues.

Examine: The ultimate task in scoping is to focus the analysis in the EIS on significant issues and eliminate from detailed consideration those issues that are insignificant or irrelevant.

Focus: Scoping begins with many topics of concern. Not all topics are issues, and not all issues are significant issues. Effective scoping ends with focus and emphasis on significant issues.

Proceed: Significant issues are related to:

  • a reasoned choice between alternatives
  • significant or potentially significant effects
  • effects involving a high level of environmental controversy or dispute

Four Steps to Rigorously Scope an EIS

  1. Collect the universe of issues raised during scoping, whether internal or external.
  2. Sort the issues into similar themes or “categories of actions.” Use the scoping checklist to identify non-significant themes.
  3. Provide a brief explanation in the EIS or decision record indicating the reasons why issues eliminated from further analysis (scoped out) were determined to be not significant.
  4. If significant or potentially significant, confirm the issue has not been adequately addressed by prior environmental review. If already addressed, provide a brief explanation in the EIS or decision record.

Sample Scoping Checklist​



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