A report that documents the information required to evaluate the environmental impact of a project. Such a report informs decision-makers and the public of the reasonable alternatives which would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance the quality of the environment.
An EIS is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for larger or controversial transportation projects receiving federal transportation funds. North Carolina's State Environmental Policy Act has similar requirements. An EIS presents the purpose for the proposed improvements, a description of alternative improvements considered and evaluated, a description of existing conditions, a description of the environmental consequences of the alternatives being evaluated, and documentation of the study's stakeholder involvement program. Community, cultural resource, and natural resource impacts and means for reducing the effects of those impacts are considered. A Draft EIS is prepared first and released for stakeholder comment. After revising the content of the DEIS based on stakeholder comment, a Final EIS is prepared. If substantial new issues need to be addressed based on stakeholder comment, a Supplemental Draft EIS is often prepared.
A document required by many federal, state and local environmental land use laws containing an analysis of the impact that a proposed change may have on the environment of a specific geographic region. It examines a wide variety of physical, social and economic conditions that would be affected by the proposed development. The analysis covers effects that cannot be avoided, alternatives to the proposed change, short-term versus long-term uses and long-term productivity, irreversible commitments of resources and the benefits to be derived from the proposed change.