Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

ACTION ALERT

You can submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement! The deadline is January 3, 2022.

VIEW THE DRAFT EIS HERE >>

You may submit written comments by any of the following methods.

  • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go online following this link. Click the blue “comment” button on the left side of the webpage.

  • Email comments to: PointBeach-SLRSEIS@nrc.gov

  • Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff.

Download suggested talking points for comments here >>

Download a handout describing tips for writing draft EIS comments here >>

 
What is an EIS?

The environmental impact statement (EIS) is a government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. Environmental impact statements are meant to inform the work and decisions of policymakers and community leaders. (source)

 
What is the connection with an EIS and the Point Beach license renewal application?

In accordance with 10 CFR 51.95(c), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) must prepare an environmental impact statement with the renewal of an operation.

Who writes and creates the EIS?

An EIS might have one or more authors. Federal agencies (this would include the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) typically outsource the writing of an EIS to third party contractors (including lawyers, scientists, engineers) with expertise in their preparation and in relation to the proposed project. As a result, the EIS varies in appearance, as well as length and number of supplemental attachments. (source)

 
What is included in an EIS?

According to the American Bar Association, a typical federal EIS includes the following four sections:

  • Section 1—Introduces the Proposed Action and its Purpose and Need

  • Section 2—Describes the Affected Environment, provides a baseline for understanding the current environmental situation in relation to the Proposed Action.

  • Section 3—Presents a Range of Alternatives to the Proposed Action—this is considered the “heart” of the EIS. There is always a No Action Alternative presented. Understanding how the environment would respond if no action were taken helps to evaluate the Proposed Action and Alternatives.

  • Section 4—Analyzes the environmental impact of each of the Proposed Actions and Range of Alternatives. The analysis include:

    • Impacts to threatened or endangered species

    • Air and water quality impacts

    • Impacts to historical and cultural sites, particularly sites of significance for indigenous peoples

    • Social and economical impacts to local communities, including housing stock, businesses, property values, and considerations of aesthetics and noise expected

    • Cost and schedule analysis for all of the actions and alternatives presented

The EIS may include additional topics not required for every project, including financial plans, environmental mitigation plans, and plans for complying with any additional required federal, state, or local permits.

 
 
What is the proposed action mentioned eariler?

A proposed action is the starting section of an EIS. It is the focus of the EIS. In this case, the EIS proposed action is the subsequent license renewal of the operating licenses for Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2.

What does no action alternative mean?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires agencies to always describe and analyze a “no action” alternative in an EIS. In simple terms, a no action alternative for an existing or ongoing federal project considers what would happen if the federal agency continued to operate and maintain the authorized project with no changes.

Agencies are obligated to evaluate a reasonable range of alternatives in enough detail so that a reader can compare and contrast the environmental effects of the various alternatives to the proposed action. The no action alternative analysis provides a benchmark to allow decision makers and the public to compare the levels of environmental effects of the alternatives. (source)