Introduction & Purpose of the ERU
An Environmental Review is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970. This legislation was established for the purpose of protecting and enhancing the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people within that environment.
Environmental Review is also required under CEQA and NEPA for Public and Private projects. As defined by the guidelines, CEQA is generally used to inform decision-makers, other governmental agencies, and the public of the environmental impacts of a proposed project; as well as to examine and institute methods of reducing adverse impacts and the consideration of possible alternatives to the proposed project.
Environmental Review records maintained by the Environmental Review Unit staff are subject to audit by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Environmental Officer. Some specific areas of major concern include projects located in potential flood hazard zones, historic preservation analysis, noise level assessment, asbestos, lead paint, storage tanks and toxic wastes (including contaminated sites).
Various City departmental staff responsible for program/project implementations, which involve construction or rehabilitation, are trained in HUDís guidelines for environmental compliance and the process used to prepare findings. Such training is necessary to ensure compliance with CEQA/NEPA Environmental guidelines.
The Environmental Review Unit Process
Individual project monitors or agencies will prepare the City of Los Angeles Project and Expenditure Plan (PEP form) and the Environmental Checklist (Form 101) for their respective projects and loans as soon as the operating division considers the project/loan to be viable. Upon completion, forms are submitted for review.
The Environmental Review Unit coordinates and processes each environmental review document for all projects/loans. Pursuant to legislative requirements under CEQA and NEPA, the Environmental Unit prepares the following:
||Notices of Exemptions
||Exemptions and Categorical Exclusions
||Environmental Assessment (EA)
||Request for Release of Funds
||Mitigated Negative Declarations
||Flood Plain Management Analysis Report
||Notice of Determination
||Historic Preservation & Section 106 Review
||Review of Environmental Impact Reports Prepared by Other Agencies
||Noise Problems (in order to conduct study on area noise and mitigate problems)
||Review of Environmental Impact Statements Prepared by Other Agencies
The Environmental Section will perform site visits to ensure compliance with HUD regulations.
Additionally, the Environmental Section prepares public notices for CEQA and NEPA; attends public meetings on Environmental Legislation; attends seminars on new Environmental Regulations and Legislation; attends Environmental Training Sessions conducted by HUD and other agencies/programs.