NEPA Process: Scoping

Native ElderActive public participation early in the NEPA process is critical to making sure that your community’s voice is heard.

The first meetings that the agencies will host on a proposed project will be called Scoping meetings; these meetings are held to discuss the following critical elements of the NEPA environmental study process.

  • The extent of the geographic area that needs to be studied to make sure that all potential impacts are identified and considered
  • The subjects that could be impacted and therefore should be studied, for example, fish, wildlife, air quality, etc.
  • The extent of the scientific data collection that should be undertaken and by whom
  • How traditional knowledge will be collected and on what topics to fully inform the environmental study process
  • Determining whether or not there are alternative development methods that should be considered – other than the proposed development method presented by the potential developer
 Cabin by the lake photo Salmon fillets in the smokehouse


Finally, this is the time when your community should communicate to the agencies leading the NEPA process how the study information needs to be presented at future meetings so that the issues can be readily understood by your community.

If cross cultural communication tools like photographs, maps, and translators are important, this is the time to make sure that the agencies understand and begin to provide them as an integral part of the public involvement process.