ACRP Study Topic 11-01/4-06
TOPIC 4-06, THE ROLE OF THE AIRPORT SPONSOR IN AIRPORT PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS UNDER THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) AND STATE MINI-NEPA LAWS
Responsibility for compliance with NEPA rests with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, as the project proponent, the airport sponsor plays a significant role, for example, in identifying and defining the proposed action.
This paper will explore the legal issues presented in fulfilling requirements under NEPA, related federal environmental laws, and analogous state mini-NEPA statutes in selected jurisdictions. For example, the paper should explore the extent and means by which an airport sponsor desiring to reach its goals may be considered.
The paper should (1) summarize criteria typically used to define purpose and need and screen and evaluate the feasibility of alternatives, including federal statutory mission and objective factors such as safety and operational efficiency; (2) discuss the relationship between the amount of information the airport should submit and the type of NEPA action anticipated (e.g., categorical exclusions vs environmental impact statements); (3) include practical advice and strategies for addressing typical issues such as exchange of draft environmental documents after the ruling in US Department of Interior v Klamath Water Users Protective Ass’n, 532 US 1 (2001).