DOE Selects Contractor Team for EIS (Environmental Impact Study)

24 Aug

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected an integrated team of professionals from three environmental consulting firms to prepare the DOE Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing the Northern Pass Presidential Permit application. This integrated team is composed of SE Group , Ecology & Environment, and Lucinda Low Swartz

A description of the Northern Pass NEPA contractor team is now posted on the EIS website, along with the Memorandum of Understanding and disclosure statements concerning preparation of the EIS.

Here’s what we’ve found:

SE Group |

For more than 30 years, SEG has been engaged in preparing and managing hundreds of NEPA analyses for various federal agencies across the United States. A major component and achievement of each of those efforts has been the rigorous preparation of objective scientific analyses and documentation in a clearly written EIS. SEG’s NEPA work has been in relation to projects that are, almost without exception, conducted in sensitive environments and engage multiple federal and state agency jurisdictions. SEG employs a team of seasoned NEPA practitioners who are dedicated to managing complex and controversial NEPA processes. Throughout the course of SEG’s extensive NEPA process management experience, we have developed specialized tools that allow us to effectively manage large-scale NEPA documents. SEG brings extensive project management experience as well as progressive process management tools to the SEG Team. SEG maintains an office in Burlington Vermont and is domiciled in New Hampshire.

Ecology & Environment |

Ecology & Environment, Inc. augments the SEG Team by bringing comprehensive experience in transmission project siting and permitting, incorporating over 40 years of linear energy project experience. E & E employs

over 1,100 scientists and engineers in over 85 disciplines, providing the necessary specialists related to electric transmission and resource areas specific to the siting and routing of major energy infrastructure projects. E & E will provide the specialists needed to analyze and report on this complex project. E & E has provided detailed analysis from numerous diverse subject matter experts who have success in working collaboratively to produce a scientifically robust document in a coordinated and efficient manner. E & E has worked for the DOE and other federal agencies on a number of controversial transmission projects. E & E has prepared baseline studies, and impact assessments for thousands of NEPA documents including DOE’s third-party EIS for the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) HVDC transmission project in Delaware and Maryland. For the MAPP project, E &E currently has specialists in over a dozen resource areas writing the Draft EIS after a thorough review of the applicant’s data gaps. The data gap review occurred quickly, ahead of DOE’s schedule, and is moving the project forward in a manner that ensures that all resource areas are addressed.

Lucinda Low Swartz |
Lucy Swartz will provide strategic NEPA review and compliance input. Ms. Swartz is an environmental consultant who specializes in all aspects of compliance with NEPA. She has over 30 years of experience in environmental law and regulation, focusing primarily on NEPA compliance issues. She is also well-versed in the requirements of the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, particularly with regard to the integration of those statutes with the requirements of NEPA. Ms. Swartz has served as NEPA program/project manager for large environmental consulting firms, leading teams in the preparation of EISs for federal agencies and in the preparation of NEPA-related environmental reports for private industry. She formerly served as the Deputy General Counsel at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), providing authoritative NEPA guidance to federal agencies. Ms. Swartz has worked closely with DOE, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assist those agencies in the development of NEPA-implementing regulations and with NEPA compliance issues for particular projects. She has been involved in several DOE Presidential Permit EISs.

Collectively, this team builds upon each member’s strengths to provide the experience and capabilities necessary to successfully manage the process, conduct the analyses, and support the preparation of DOE’s Northern Pass EIS. SEG will lead the project, as well as also conduct certain resource analyses and will be responsible for document production, including technical editing. Additionally, SEG will lead the stakeholder and public engagement portions of the project. E & E brings extensive electric transmission project experience to the team and will be responsible for the majority of the resource data evaluation and additional data collection, as necessary. Lucy Swartz will provide NEPA compliance oversight and strategic DOE specific NEPA compliance guidance to the SEG Team and the Northern Pass EIS process. Additionally, Lucy Swartz will provide quality assurance reviews of all documents prior to the submission of deliverable work products to the DOE.

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