A new online mapping tool created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will better inform the public about major projects proposed on federal lands, such as oil and gas pipelines. The interactive web-based tool will provide information about Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) filed with the EPA and other proposed federal actions.
The EPA launched the EIS Mapper on Sept. 5. Users of the tool can click on any state for a list of Environmental Impact Statements, including information about the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of these projects.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider the impacts of proposed actions, as well as any reasonable alternatives as part of their decision-making process. For proposed projects with potentially significant impacts, federal agencies prepare a detailed EIS, which is filed with the EPA and made available for public review and comment. The EPA is required to review and comment on EIS prepared by other federal agencies.
“The EIS Mapper makes it easier for the public to be informed about the environment around them,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, which oversees NEPA compliance. “Major projects and decisions have the potential to affect the environment where you work and live. I encourage everyone to check out the mapper, stay informed and lend your voice.”
The user can click on a state in the map and is provided with comment letters submitted by the EPA on Environmental Impact Statements within the last 60 days. The tool also provides users with the information they need to identify projects with open comment periods, including how to submit comments.