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Environmental

Every project undertaken with Federal funds, and all activities related to that project, is subject to the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), as well as to the HUD environmental review regulations at 24 C.F.R. Part 58 (for HUD-funded projects) on Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD Environmental Responsibilities.

WHAT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW?

An Environmental Review (ER) is the process of reviewing a CDBG-DR funded project or activity and its potential environmental impacts to determine whether it complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq., and related laws and authorities as authorized in 24 C.F.R. Part 58.

An Environmental Review (ER) is the process of reviewing a CDBG-DR funded project or activity and its potential environmental impacts to determine whether it complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq., and related laws and authorities as authorized in 24 C.F.R. Part 58.

CDBG–DR PROGRAM
ENVIRONMENTAL
REVIEWS

For a list of Environmental assessments
carried out under CDBG-DR & CDBG-MIT funds

WHEN SHOULD YOU COMPLETE AN
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW?

Environmental Reviews should be completed before any funds, regardless of source, are committed to the project. No “choice-limiting actions”* are allowed prior to approval of the Environmental Review. A violation of this requirement may jeopardize Federal funding to the project and disallow all costs that were incurred before the completion of the Environmental Review.

*A choice-limiting action is an activity that has a physical impact, or which limits the choice of alternatives that can be undertaken acquisition, demolition, disposition, rehabilitation, repair, new construction, site preparation, leasing or other activities that commit to future actions. Signing a contract with a vendor or contractor committing funds prior to the approval of the Environmental Review is considered a choice-limiting action. However, signing a contract committing funds contingent upon the approval of the Environmental Review is not considered a choice-limiting action.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS

The review process is used to ensure that the proposed CDBG-DR funded project or activity does not negatively impact the surrounding environment and that the property site itself, if applicable, will not have an adverse environmental or health effect on end users.

DEFINE THE PROJECT

THE PROJECT DESCRIPTION SHOULD:

Include all contemplated actions that are a composite part of the project and aggregated activities. 24 C.F.R. § 58.32

The RE must come together and evaluate, as a single project, all individual activities which are related either on the geographical or functional basis.

Capture the maximum scope of the proposal, not just the activity funded by federal money.

Not be tied directly to budget line items.

DETERMINE LEVEL
OF REVIEW

Using the project description, the RE will validate or determine the level of Environmental Review that is required.

THE FIVE (5) LEVELS OF REVIEW INCLUDE:

24 C.F.R. § 58.34

Categorically Excluded not subject to 24 C.F.R. § 58.5 (CENST)

Categorically Excluded subject to 24 C.F.R. § 58.5 (CEST)

Environmental Assessment (EA)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

PERFORM ENVIRONMENTAL
REVIEW

The compliance requirements for the ERR depend on the type of review. The requirements for different levels of review are outlined in the graphic below.

PUBLIC NOTICE
AND COMMENTS

CEST, EA, and EIS reviews require the RE to inform the public of intent to submit a Request of Release of Funds (RROF, form 7015.15).

*Responsible Entity (RE): A unit of general local government, state, or tribe that assumes federal responsibilities for the Environmental Review process. In this case, PRDOH is the Responsible Entity. As such, PRDOH assumes the authority to complete the ERR and takes legal responsibility for the review.

PUBLIC NOTICE/COMMENT PERIOD

As part of the ER process, the public has the right to comment on the planned projects. If applicable, once the Environmental Review is complete, you will move into the Public Notice/Comment period. CEST (if not converted to Exempt), EA and EIS reviews require the RE to inform the public of intent to submit a Request of Release of Funds (RROF) (form 7015.15). This form consists of three parts: 1) a project description; 2) environmental certification; 3) and recipient of program funds (when not the RE).

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This form is to be used by the Responsible Entity and Recipients when requesting the release of funds, and requesting the authority to use such funds, for HUD programs identified by statutes that provide for the assumption of the environmental review responsibility by units of general local government and States.

The type of notice will determine the required comment period length. It is important for CDBG-DR/MIT programs to account for ER timeframes within their project implementation timelines.

TYPE OF NOTICE LEVEL OF REVIEW LENGTH OF COMMENT PERIOD POSTING REQUIREMENTS
Notice of Intent to Request for Release of Funds and Certification (NOI-RROF/C) CEST, EA, EIS 7 days when published or 10 days when mailing and posting

Publish in a newspaper that covers the “Municipio” in question, OR

Post public notices in areas that are public and fairly highly traveled. Additionally, they may also publish the notice in the Municipio’s website.

Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) EA Only 15 days when published or 18 days when mailing and posting

Publish in a newspaper that covers the “Municipio” in question, OR

Post public notices in areas that are public and fairly highly traveled. Additionally, they may also publish the notice in the Municipio’s website.

Concurrent or combined notices (FONSI/RROF/C) EA Only 15 days when published or 18 days when mailing and posting

Publish in a newspaper that covers the “Municipio” in question, OR

Post public notices in areas that are public and fairly highly traveled. Additionally, they may also publish the notice in the Municipio’s website.

Environmental Review - Overview

Historic Preservation

RELEVANT LAWS AND REGULATIONS

24 C.F.R. Part 58 The guiding regulation for all Environmental Reviewprocedures www.ecfr.gov
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impact of proposed actions early in the planning and decision-making process. Encourages public participation and requires all ERR documents be made available to the public. www.epa.gov
24 C.F.R. § 58.5 “STATUTORY CHECKLIST” Environmental Reviews that require a higher level of review (Categorically Excluded Subject to 58.5, Environmental Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements) must address the requirements of additional laws and authorities listed in 24 C.F.R. 24 § 58.5:
  • Clean Air Act
  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Contamination and Toxic Substances
  • Endangered Species Act
  • E.O. 12898 on Environmental Justice
  • Explosive and Flammable Hazards
  • Farmlands Protection Policy Act
  • E.O. 11988 on Floodplain Management
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Noise Abatement Regulation
  • Sole Source Aquifers
  • E.O. 11990 on Wetlands
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
www.ecfr.gov
Unified Federal Review Encourages enhanced coordination for ERs after a disaster when multiple federal agencies are involved. Enable’s Res to adopt the review of another federal agency as the RE’s record of decision. Subrecipients that are interested in UFR should consult with the PRDOH Environmental and Permits Area to ensure compliance with the process. www.doi.gov
24 C.F.R § 35 (Lead Hazard) All housing units must comply with lead-based paint regulations (24 C.F.R. § 35) All program applicants must receive:
  • A lead hazard information pamphlet
  • A notice of lead hazard evaluation (if applicable)
  • A Notice of lead hazard reduction activity
www.hud.gov
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) (Asbestos Standards) All rehabilitation and demolition projects must follow the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulations and perform an asbestos survey before repair/demolition. Asbestos surveys may be required based on the building type and activity to evaluate for asbestos contamination Asbestos surveyors must be certified by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Puerto Rico JCA. www.federalregister.gov

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(FAQS)