Climate Change and NEPA: Incorporating Climate Change into Agency Decisions

This workshop will begin with a brief overview of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), explaining its value as a decision-making tool, and the latest Council on Environmental Quality guidance for addressing greenhouse gas emissions through NEPA (June 2019). We will then discuss opportunities to address climate change in the NEPA process. Discussion questions may include:

  • What data sources could be used in a NEPA analysis?
  • When should the NEPA process address climate change? Scale, project type, opportunities for resilience, anticipated risk to climate change impacts, other triggers?
  • How should a NEPA analysis incorporate climate change? Cumulative impacts, mitigation measures, the impacts analysis for each resource area, other?
  • Can NEPA analyses expand consideration of climate change beyond greenhouse gas emissions to include, for example, flood risk and other disaster risks anticipated to increase as a result of climate change?

Following discussion, participants will work together to incorporate climate change into a NEPA analysis using a fact-based scenario. The outcome of the workshop will be recommendations for incorporating climate change science into NEPA analyses and concepts for tools needed by NEPA practitioners (guidance, data source list, other).

Holly Reuter is an environmental consultant, project manager, and trainer at The Clark Group LLC, an environmental consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Ms. Reuter has 10 years of experience implementing NEPA and other environmental requirements. She specializes in the development of environmental and natural resource compliance strategies, analyses, regulations, policies and procedures. Ms. Reuter also develops guidance, trainings, and outreach and communication materials to implement environmental requirements. Formerly, Ms. Reuter served as a law clerk to the Council on Environmental Quality.

Presenters

  • Holly Reuter, Esq., Project Manager, The Clark Group LLC