Examples of the environmental categories and

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Unformatted text preview: to those comments. The system engineer should be aware of the following NEPA process elements. Environmental Assessment (EA). An EA is a concise public document that serves to provide sufficient evidence and analyses for determining whether to prepare either an EIS or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The analyses performed should identify the environmental effects of all reasonable alternative methods of achieving the project's goals/objectives so that they may be compared. The alternative of taking no action (i.e., not doing the project) should also be studied. Although there is no requirement that NASA select the alternative having the least environmental impact, there must be sufficient information available to make clear what those impacts would be, and to describe the reasoning behind NASA's preferred selection. The environmental analyses are an integral part of the project's systems engineering process. The EA is the responsibility of the NASA Headquarters Program Associate Administrator (PAA) responsi- NASA Systems Engineering Handbook Integrating Engineering Specialties Into the Systems Engineering Process ble for the proposed project or action. The EA can be carried out at Headquarters or at a NASA field center. Approval of the EA is made by the responsible PAA. Most often, approval of the EA takes the form of a memorandum to the Associate Administrator (AA) for Management Systems and Facilities (Code J) stating either that the project requires an EIS, or that it does not. If an EIS is found to be necessary, a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS is written; if an EIS is found to be unnecessary, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is written instead. Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). A FONSI should briefly present the reasons why the proposed project or action, as presented in the EA, has been judged to have no significant effect on the human environment, and does not therefore require the preparation of an EIS. The FONSI for projects and actions that are national in scope is published in the Federal Register, and is available for public review for a 30-day period. Duri...
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