Examples of CEDS EIS Critiques

Charlottesville VA Highway EIS

New Hampshire I-93

Transmission Line Wetland Impacts

How CEDS Can Help

Keeping Routing Studies Honest

Some of the Issues We Can Help You Win
(Anywhere in the USA)

Air Pollution & Sprawl

Annexation

Aquatic Resource Protection

Attorneys
Finding the Best for your Case

Boating-Marinas

Brook Trout & Watershed Development

Convenience Stores, Gas & Service Stations

Crime

Cut-Thru Traffic

Environmental Impact Statements

Environmental Justice

Environmental Site Design

Equitable Solutions

ESP: Exposed Soil = Pollution

Fire & Rural Growth

Flooding

Funding the Good Fight

Golf Course Preservation

Golf Courses & Water Quality

Growth Management
Comprehensive Plans, Master Plans & Quality of Life Growth Management

Historic Resource Threats

Landfills
Transfer Stations, Incinerators, Recycling, Composting, Sewage Sludge & Other Waste Facilities

Land Preservation

Light Trespass

Making Pollution Laws Work

Mining

Neighborhood Quality of Life

Noise

Nuisances

Politically Oriented Advocacy

Property Value

Scenic View Preservation

Schools & Growth

Smart Legal Strategies

Special Exceptions & Conditional Uses

Strategy Analysis
For Protecting Your Neighborhood & Environment

Traffic

Transmission Lines

Watershed Audit

Zoning & Rezoning

 


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Using Environmental Impact Statements to Preserve & Enhance Quality of Life

For help using an environmental impact statement to protect your neighborhood and environment anywhere in the USA contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 (call-text) or Help@ceds.org for an initial no-cost discussion of strategy options.

Through our network of PhDs and other professionals, CEDS can help you ensure that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) fairly assesses all options for carrying out a project in a way that minimizes impacts to you, your neighbors and the environment.  And we can usually do this at a far lower cost than most others would charge.  Because CEDS specializes in helping those concerned about projects, we are more skilled at identifying options for protecting those living in impact zones.

CEDS believes that all projects should preserve quality of life for both existing and future residents.  Whenever possible, a project should also be designed to enhance quality of life.

A good Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will achieve both goals by meeting the following three criteria:

The research needed to fulfill these three criteria should be carried out in an open process where the public is provided with ample, independent background information and extensive opportunities to fully participate.  Of course, the alternative selected should be that which has the most positive quality of life impact while coming closest to achieving the purposes of the project.

Over the last 30 years, we've reviewed many EIS's and, frankly, it is rare that we see one that meets the description presented above.  All too frequently, the EIS fails to present all reasonable alternatives and the evaluation of impacts is less than thorough. 

To see examples of common EIS deficiencies, click on the two EIS Critiques at the top of the column to the left.   Both critiques were for highway projects.  And both focused on a limited number of the many impacts which should have been covered.  Yet both illustrate how the EIS preparers failed to perform a thorough evaluation of project impacts.

A longer list of quality of life issues can be found on the CEDS Project Evaluation Checklist.  The checklist covers 18 quality of life issues and provides several evaluation factors for each issue.  More detail on these and other issues, along with a detailed description of evaluation factors, can be found in the free CEDS book How To Win Land Development Issues.

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How CEDS Can Help

Following are some of the ways we can help with your questions regarding EIS's.

  1. If you think an EIS should be prepared for a project, but the applicant or regulators disagree, then give us a call at 410-654-3021.  We can help you determine if local, state, or federal laws require an EIS or, if not, whether the political process might allow you to win an EIS for a project.

  2. If you are concerned that an EIS has failed to meet the three criteria presented above, then give us a call.  In some cases we can take a quick, no-cost look at an EIS and give you an informal opinion on how well the document meets the three criteria given above.

  3. We could prepare a critique of a portion or all of the EIS similar to the two posted to the right.  The cost of a critique generally begins around $750.  The more impacts you ask us to address, the higher the cost.  Usually we can complete a critique within two- to four-weeks.

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Keeping Routing Studies Honest

How do you ensure that a EIS siting study fairly analyzes all reasonable alignments to identify the best option? 

Well, the first step is to understand how an analysis can be manipulated to select the route the applicant prefers vs. that which is best for the rest of us.  With this understanding you can determine if the analysis was honest.  And if not prove it to decision-makers.

CEDS has created the Siting Game for your use in understanding how siting factors and other analysis variables can be manipulated to make one route appear preferable.  The Excel-based Siting Game is posted at: ceds.org/SitingGame.xlxs. 

The Game uses a proposed transmission line to illustrate analysis bias.  It uses 17 siting factors common to transmission line proposals and begins with values assigned to six candidate routes.  When you have a moment try altering the siting factor values to see how easily one of the six candidate routes can be made to appear preferable to the other five. 

To learn more about how these analyses work and how to keep them honest, see the Siting Game Excel worksheet labeled How the Siting Game Works

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