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Environmental Planning

Through various environmental programs, environmental planners apply structured, rational approaches to identifying and determining solutions to complex water resource problems. Planning engineers look to solve problems and provide solutions in areas of environmental planning and compliance, ecosystem restoration, flood damage reduction and cultural resources.

The Omaha District prepares biological assessments, environmental impact statements and environmental assessments to determine the potential impacts of civil works, military and environmental restoration projects. The Corps develops plans for fish and wildlife habitats, aquatic weed control, vegetation management and revegetation and wetlands restoration through conducting environmental baseline studies and biological inventories as well as providing technical expertise in wetland design.

Many of these projects fall within the Missouri River Recovery Program.

National Environmental Policy Act - NEPA

The National Environmental Policy Act requires all Federal agencies to assess and consider the environmental impacts of major Federal actions/decisions (e.g. projects, permit decisions, land management decisions). If no significant impacts to the environment or human health and welfare are anticipated as a result of a federal action, then an Environmental Assessment is completed and a Finding of No Significant Impact is used to document findings. When an agency concludes that a proposed Federal action has the potential for causing significant environmental impacts, it is required to prepare a detailed statement about those potential environmental impacts called an Environmental Impact Statement.
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Your role in the NEPA process is very important as your opinions and concerns can help shape factors considered and alternatives developed for a project. The following are examples of how to stay engaged on a planning project:

  • Ask to have your name put on a mailing list to receive newsletters, updates and other project information from the Omaha District.
  • Check your local paper and the Federal Register about the dates, times, and location of public meetings and ways to submit comments for the record.
  • Provide input on Corps-proposed projects, plans, programs and policies. Be sure to do so before the close of the scoping/comment period.
  • Ask a Corps official to attend a meeting of your community orgnization, neighborhood association, school or civic orgnization.

More information on NEPA can be found in the Citizen's Guide to NEPA.

Other Environmental Compliance Requirements

For projects undergoing NEPA analysis, it is common for additional requirements for complying with other federal, state and local regulations. Normally, the Corps of Engineers tries to address the full range of regulations that apply to a project within the NEPA analysis.

The Corps must comply with the following major environmental laws to build and operate various projects:

A complete description of these and other environmental laws, including more detailed compliance procedures, is available in the Planner's Study Aid.