EIS Process

Background

An EIS is a document that provides impartial, comprehensive discussion of a project’s potential significant adverse impacts, reasonable alternatives, and proposed measures to avoid or minimize impacts. An EIS provides decision makers with information to consider in making permitting and approval decisions. It does not constitute a decision or approval on its own.

Scoping

The first step in the development of an EIS is called scoping. During scoping, agencies, tribes, local communities, organizations, and the public may comment on factors to be analyzed and considered in the EIS.

Specifically, the scoping process is intended to collect input on the following topics:

  • Reasonable range of alternatives
  • Potentially affected resources and areas of impact
  • Potential measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate effects of the proposal

During the scoping period, Enterprise Services and its consultants hosted public meetings, both in-person and online, and solicited comments from the public.

Scoping concluded on Nov. 13, 2018. Over the 48-day scoping comment period, the project received more than 900 individual comments from 271 separate submissions. Thanks again, to everyone who participated in meetings and submitted comments.

The Scoping Report, which summarizes comments received, provides an overview of the project and the primary alternatives to be considered, and describes the scoping process was issued on Feb. 1, 2019.

Refining the Project Name

During scoping, Enterprise Services heard feedback regarding the project name and logo. Enterprise Services took the opportunity provided by scoping to listen and respond to feedback and determined a name refinement was needed to ensure the project name more clearly reflects the project area, both present and past.

The refined project name, Capitol Lake – Deschutes Estuary Long-Term Management Project Environmental Impact Statement achieves this objective.

Draft EIS

The Draft EIS will include information about a range of potential alternatives, their potential environmental impacts, and what could be done to avoid or minimize those impacts. The Draft EIS will be released for review and comment by all interested parties. The comment period for the Draft EIS will be similar to scoping, including similar ways to comment and both online and in-person public meetings.

Third-Party Review

Enterprise Services is committed to ensuring the technical analyses informing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are conducted using industry-recognized best practices and include a reasonable level of analysis to allow for the comparison of alternatives. Although not required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Enterprise Services engaged independent third-party experts to objectively review the proposed methodologies for three technical disciplines: water resources, hydrodynamic and sediment transport, and economics. These disciplines were selected based on feedback received during scoping, the complexity of these analyses, and their particular importance to the evaluation of the alternatives. 

These methodologies will be available to the public after the third-party review. Although not typical for during a SEPA process, Enterprise Services is electing to share these methodologies in the interest of transparency. The review of the Water Resources Methodology was recently completed and the methodology is available online. The remaining methodologies are expected to be published in August. For more information please review Enterprise Services’ document describing the third-party review process.

Final EIS

Following the Draft EIS comment period, the project team will compile, review, and consider comments submitted on the Draft EIS. A Final EIS will be prepared and will include a preferred alternative. The Final EIS may be used by agencies to inform decisions for the proposed project.

Enterprise Services has selected an interdisciplinary team of consultants to prepare the EIS. The interdisciplinary team has specialty experience in EIS development and expertise in the disciplines that will be studied.

Project timeline including Phase 1: Planning, Phase 2: Environmental Impact Statement, and Phase 3: Implementation. Public comment periods occur in Late 2018 during scoping and 2020 following release of the Draft EIS.

EIS Milestones