Does Environmental Impact Assessment of a construction project include the investigation stage?
Not all federal actions require a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). If the action may or may not cause a significant impact the agency can first prepare a smaller, shorter investigative document called an Environmental Assessment (EA). The finding of the EA determines whether an EIS is required. If the EA indicates that no significant impact is likely, then the agency can release a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) and carry on with the proposed action. Otherwise, the agency must then conduct a full-scale EIS. Most EAs result in a FONSI. A limited number of federal actions may avoid the EA and EIS requirements under NEPA if they meet the criteria for a categorical exclusion (CATEX). A CATEX is usually permitted when a course of action is identical or very similar to a past course of action and the impacts on the environment from the previous action can be assumed for the proposed action. Additionally, a CATEX can be issued during an emergency situation when time does no