How are Decisions made in the EIS Process?

Our team often is asked about the roles and EIS-related activities of different agencies and entities. Specifically, how they are involved in the airport project and NEPA process. Often, interested parties ask what other agencies besides FAA have authority and decision-making abilities on the NEPA process. We have explained some of these roles in the graphic below, with more details following.To expand the graphic below and see more information, simply hover your cursor over the image.

Roles and decision-making responsibilities of agencies and stakeholders in the Angoon Airport EIS

FAA is the lead agency for the EIS and the Record of Decision. They oversee the preparation of the EIS and approve any Airport Layout Plan selected through the EIS process. The FAA will also recommend approval or disapproval of the ANILCA Title XI application, if the DOT&PF submits one for one of the airport locationsin the Monument–Wilderness Area.

The State of Alaska DOT&PF is the project sponsor. They have requested construction funding and approval of the Airport Layout Plan for their proposed airport location (Airport Alternative 3a) from the FAA. The DOT&PF would own, operate, and maintain any airport constructed as a result of the EIS.

The Forest Service is a “cooperating agency” in the EIS. They will have to either adopt (agree with) the FAA’s EIS and Record of Decision or issue their own Record of Decision. They also have to recommend approval or disapproval of the ANILCA Title XI application if the State of Alaska DOT&PF submits one for one of theairport locations in the Monument–Wilderness Area.

The City of Angoon is a “stakeholder” in the EIS and a landowner. The City provides information about plans for land use, but the City does not have a role in decisions about the selection of an alternative.

The Angoon Community Association is the federally recognized tribal government, and the FAA must consult with ACA. The FAA must consider the ACA’s input about issues related to the airport that might affect tribal members, but the ACA does not have a formal decision-making role in the project.

Kootznoowoo, Inc. is another stakeholder in the EIS process, as well as a landowner. They provide input about how the different airport alternatives would affect the corporation, and they would be involved in land transactions if an alternative on corporation lands was selected. They do not have a decision-making role in the project.

Sequence of decision-making process

Our team often receives questions about how the project actually moves from the first planning studies, through the EIS process, and ends in airport construction. The flow chart below is designed to show you the important steps and milestones in the long process from planning to construction.


Initial Airport Planning Steps

 Reconnaissance StudyIn 2004, the DOT&PF completed a site reconnaissance study that identified their and the community's preferred site for an airport in Angoon. 
 Angoon Airport MasterIn May 2007, a Master Plan was prepared for that site identifying specific facility needs. 
 Plan Review/NominationThe project was reviewed by DOT&PF and nominated to the FAA for approval of the Angoon Airport Master Plan. 
 FAA ReviewFAA has reviewed the Angoon Airport Master Plan. 
 FAA Project FundingFAA has funded the next planning phase: the EIS process. 
 EIS Process Starts 


EIS Process

 Supplemental PlanningFAA is conducting supplemental airport planning to verify and refine the Angoon Airport Master Plan preferred site location and to identify preliminary alternatives. 
 NOI/Public ScopingPublication of the NOI initiates public scoping, which is a time when the public provides input regarding their concerns with the project. This input is used to identify significant environmental issues that will be addressed in the Draft EIS. 
 Draft EIS 
 Public Comment PeriodA Public Comment Period provides an opportunity for public comment on the Draft EIS. 
 Final EISThe Final EIS will disclose all comments received on the Draft EIS and incorporate responses to the substantive comments into the document. 
 Record of DecisionThe Record of Decision discloses the lead agency's decision on which alternative will be implemented, based on the analysis done during the Draft and Final EISs. 
 Permitting and Construction Begin 


Permitting and Construction

 PermittingThe Permitting process and final Airport Design process is begun after the Record of Decision for the EIS is completed. The permitting process includes the application for all pertinent federal, state, and local permits required to implement the project. 
 Airport DesignThe airport design process finalizes all the engineering design required to begin construction. Permitting and airport design can take anywhere from one to two years. 
 ConstructionConstruction will take approximately 2 seasons to complete. 

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