The environmental and historic preservation review process is one of the most important initial determinations of the viability of a proposed project. HGA conducts and oversees environmental and historic preservation reviews for HUD- and FEMA-funded projects according to the laws set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. HGA’s environmental experts help our clients to minimize obstacles and work through NEPA and all federal laws to ensure compliance.
Environmental reviews require close coordination across multiple federal, state, and local agencies including working with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). HGA’s environmental review team includes a qualified Historic Preservation Professional. Our team has been at the forefront of coordinating HUD and FEMA environmental and Section 106 reviews into a single process.
HGA’s HUD environmental services:
Our experts use their experience to ensure that our clients follow regulatory permit requirements, advertise public notices on a timely basis, and properly complete all checklists and forms. At the end of the process, we ensure the Environmental Review Record (ERR) is complete. HGA has staff trained and approved to use the HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS). HGA’s CDBG-DR environmental services include:
- Conducting HUD tiered environmental reviews—streamlined environmental review process for single-family homeowner recovery programs
- Writing the project scope and preparing maps, images, and reports as applicable to the scope of work and level of the required review
- Determining the appropriate level of environmental review required:
- Exempt Activities
- Categorical Exclusions Not Subject to §58.5
- Categorical Exclusions Subject to §58.5
- Environmental Assessments (EAs)
- Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)
- Conducting field inspections of the project sites
- Serving as the primary contact for local, state, and federal agencies throughout the Solicitation of Views (SOV) project review process
- Drafting, publishing, and overseeing Requests for Release of Funds Process
- Publish a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
- Publish the Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds (NOI/RROF)
- Submit completed HUD Form 7015.15: Request for Release of Funds (RROF)
- File HUD Form 7015.16: Authority to Use Grant Funds (AUGF)
- Preparing environmental review record (ERR) files to withstand monitoring and audits by HUD
HGA’s FEMA environmental services:
Steps taken to strengthen or rebuild communities after a disaster can have long-term environmental and cultural impacts. FEMA’s Environmental Assessment process ensures compliance with over 30 federal regulations, directives, and legal mandates, and a number of state laws and codes that protect our valuable resources. HGA’s team of grant managers will ensure that environmental and historic preservation considerations are addressed in adherence to these requirements.
HGA has in-depth experience completing FEMA’s Environmental Assessment and Eight-Step Planning Process for Floodplain and Wetland Management as part of hazard mitigation applications or Phase I project deliverables. We ensure that an Environmental Assessment is submitted to FEMA’s Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) Team for review and concurrence prior to the start of construction for all infrastructure and housing projects. FEMA’s Environmental Assessment and Eight-Step Process include the following:
- A clear written description of the entire scope of work including any alternatives that may be under consideration, and any additional work, not funded by FEMA
- Any studies, plans, drawings, sketches, or schematics provided to help understand the entire project
- Photos showing the proposed project area in the context of its surroundings
- Maps to identify project location and area floodplain and wetland locations
- Letters of No Objection (LONOs) from the applicable agencies
- Documented public involvement through public notices, comments, and responses.
- Evaluation of alternative mitigation methods or routes that may apply
- Publishing of a FONSI
If applicable, HGA can conduct a Cultural Resource Survey to identify potential impacts of the project and to implement measures to mitigate identified adverse effects.