What is environmental review?

Environmental review is a major phase of project planning. We take a good hard look at the project alternatives and assess their benefits and impacts. We gather input from the public, agencies and others who have a stake in the project.

The goal of the process is to learn what we need to make an informed decision. It guides us in deciding which alternative to build and how to build it. Which alternatives we review and how we evaluate them is influenced in part by what we hear from the community.

During environmental review, we prepare more detailed designs of the short list of alternatives. We look at how each alternative would affect social, cultural, built and natural resources. We also look at cost, ease of building, ability to survive an earthquake and other factors.

As part of the process, we will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS. This is required by the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

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