NPS Director's Order 12: Conservation Planning, Environmental Impact Analysis and Decision Making
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Saratoga National Historical Park, NY6.4 Decision Documents — NEPA after the Decision Document

A. Monitoring

Writing and signing the decision document does not signal the end of the NEPA process, because assumptions are often made that only after-the-fact monitoring can validate. A park may have based its EA and FONSI on actions it will take if monitoring reveals a greater degree of impact than the EA predicts. Monitoring is also important in verifying predictions of impact, or of the effectiveness of mitigation measures in a NEPA document. The park preparing the EA or the EIS is responsible for making sure that impacts are no greater than the document says, and that mitigation measures will work as promised. The ROD or FONSI is, in some respects, a “contract” with the public, committing the agency to implement the mitigation and monitoring included in the project. Therefore, it is important that the agency consider budgetary projections when making this commitment. Any monitoring or mitigation must be spelled out in the ROD or the FONSI.

B. Changes in the selected action

If changes in the selected alternative are made after the FONSI or the ROD has been approved, additional NEPA analysis may be required. These changes may be small ones, such as for design purposes, or on a larger scale. If the changes would result in any changes in environmental impact, you should consider supplementing the EIS, or preparing a new EA or CE.

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