The City sponsored Environmental Impact Report (EIR) training sessions were provided for the community and City advisory boards to offer guidance on how to review and effectively comment on a Draft EIR. The training sessions were designed to address the specific needs of each group. The videos from these sessions and the presentation materials are available using the links provided below.
The following tips for preparing effective EIR comments are also provided for your use:
The purpose of the EIR is to:
● Address the physical changes to the environment that would occur should any or all of the project
components be approved by the city.
● Determine the significance of those environmental changes
● Identify feasible measures to mitigate any significant environmental impacts
● Evaluate feasible alternatives that could avoid or mitigate significant impacts
Comments on the Draft EIR should focus on the completeness and adequacy of the Draft EIR, whether the EIR accomplishes the purposes noted above, and what environmental information and analysis is still needed.
- In general, comments tend to be most effective when they:
- Are specific in referencing the analysis, conclusion or mitigation measure the comment is directed at, citing the specific pages or sections of the Draft EIR being referenced.
- Explain the basis or rationale for the conclusions and assertions in the comment.
- Are phrased in a way that will elicit a response that is useful. For example if a “yes/no” question is asked, the tendency will be for a “yes/no” response with minimal explanation. If a comment asks why the Draft EIR reaches a particular conclusion, the response may direct the reader to the section of the draft EIR which explains the methodology and analysis, whereas a comment providing a rationale as to why the Draft EIR should have reached a different conclusion will end to receive a more direct response.
- Comments related to the project being “good” or “bad" or whether a particular plan, scenario, or alternative should or should not be approved do not necessarily raise substantive environmental issues and tend to be acknowledged as part of the environmental documentation record without further response.
- Comments regarding what is or is not included in the environmental baseline tend to be most effective when they discuss how the issue of concern could affect the outcome of the analyses provided in the EIR.
- Comments regarding methodologies used in the EIR to analyze environmental impacts tend to be most effective when they identify specific concerns regarding the methodologies and why those methodologies may or may not be appropriate.
- Comments regarding conclusions as to the significance of impacts tend to be most effective when they address why the commenter believes the EIR’s conclusions may be valid or not.
- Comments regarding mitigation measures tend to be most effective when they focus on why the commenter believes the mitigation measures may or may not be adequate and provide clear reasoning as to what additional, mitigation measures the commenter believes should be imposed.
- Comments regarding project alternatives tend to be most effective when they focus on whether an adequate range of alternatives was presented in the EIR, whether additional alternatives should be evaluated and why and whether the evaluations presented in the alternatives section accurately evaluated the likely environmental outcomes of each alternative.