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First “Step” in Public Involvement
• Scoping is “an early and open process for
determining the scope of issues to be
addressed and for identifying the significant
issues related to a proposed action” [40 CFR §
• A basic concept in NEPA is that “ …public
scrutiny (is) essential to implementing NEPA”
• Establishing a positive dialogue at the scoping
stage can enlist support and reduce conflicts
when an agency requests comments on draft
NEPA reviews

Scoping Can Identify
• important issues to be considered
• appropriate time and space boundaries of
the NEPA review
• areas of uncertainty
• information necessary for decision-making
• significant effects and factors to be
studied in detail.

Informal and Formal Scoping
Informal Scoping – conducted outside
of the formal scoping period
Formal Scoping – conducted during
the announced comment periods
o Begins with NOI for EA/EIS in Federal
o Ends with NOA of draft EA/EIS in Federal

How can we inform & involve the
public besides the Federal Register?
J.Q. Public may not have
access to the Federal
Register. So, how do you let
him, or her, know about your

Methods Used to Include the Public

• Post notices
• Use existing organizations & events
• Open a channel of communication
with key community leaders
• Publish a newsletter
• Hold public meetings

Other Methods to Involve the
• Use an independent mediator/facilitator
(especially if controversial)
• Use existing newsletters & other publications
• Use existing institutions (i.e., school systems)
• Develop an Advisory Committee (rare)
o Federal Advisory Committee Act (Public Law 92463, 5 U.S.C. )