Sustainable Fort Novosel
Sustainable Fort Novosel
 : : Environmental & Natural Resources Division, Directorate of Public Works (DPW) : :

MISSION: In order to sustain the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Novosel's training, readiness, and quality of life needs, we will provide the guidance, actions, and customer assistance necessary to comply with all environmental laws and regulations, prevent pollution where possible, protect and conserve vital natural resources, and continually improve our operations.

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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Whenever federal money is spent on a project or a federal decision is implemented that may affect the environment, NEPA and Army Regulation (AR) 200-1 require that the project's environmental effects be analyzed. These considerations must be documented, and most often the project also goes out to the public for comment. The depth of this analysis depends on many things, including but not limited to the significance of the project, its effects on the public, and the degree of environmental impact. 


The NEPA process is used to identify projects that may need to have language incorporated into appropriate contracts. Things to look for in contracts that likely require NEPA review include:

1.  Equipment: 

  • Anything with an internal combustion engine  or that are gas fired (these items generally require an Air Permit)
    •     Generators
    •     Boilers
    •     Diesel fire pumps
  • Items with the potential to increase emissions (such as a paint booth or other surface coating piece of equipment or system)
  • Items that require discharge  to either stormwater system or sanitary sewer, or those that have the potential to discharge oil or pollutants (such as oil water separators)
  • Above ground storage tanks
  • Items that contain a hazardous substance or have the potential to generate a hazardous waste
    •    Sanding equipment
    •    Bead blast equipment
    •    Parts washers
    •    Other solvent tanks

2.  Service contracts:

  • Contracts to provide vehicle or aircraft maintenance
  • Contracts that require the use of hazardous materials
  • Contracts for facility maintenance due to potential of exposure to asbestos, lead based paint, hazardous or universal waste
  • Contracts for food vendors with the potential to generate cooking grease

3.  Construction/renovation contracts (all)

4.  Contracts requiring land disturbance (disturbance over an acre (cumulative) requires a permit from the State of Alabama).  ALL land disturbance requires stormwater best management practices to be installed and for final stabilization to be achieved in order for the project to be considered complete. 

5.  Contracts for pesticide application (includes herbicide, rodenticide, fungicide, etc,)

6.  Contracts for anything that would be installed in a body of water or near the waters edge


Types of NEPA Documentation:

There are essentially three levels of environmental consideration (described below), and each requires a specific type of documentation.

Record of Environmental Consideration (REC):

Used most often at the installation level, this brief Fort Novosel document describes a proposed action and explains why further environmental analysis is not needed. It is used for projects that are exempt from NEPA requirements, have already been addressed in existing documentation, or are categorically excluded. Categorical exclusions (CXs) apply to projects that are routine in nature and have been officially pre-determined to not require more detailed analysis or documentation. (CXs are detailed in Appendix B of 32 CFR 651.) The NEPA Program Manager in the DPW Environmental and Natural Resources Division (255-2080) can discuss requirements with you in more detail. Click at the top of the document to view a completed REC or download a blank REC form.

Environmental Assessement (EA):

EAs are required for proposed actions that have potential for adverse impacts to the environment. An EA is conducted to determine the extent of those impacts and whether or not they are significant. If the impacts are expected, then the EA may include avoidance or mitigation measures to reduce the proposed damage. If the EA cannot describe a "finding of no significant impact" (FONSI) then an EIS needs to be prepared. For example, major construction projects on the installation often require an EA.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):

An EIS is required to ensure that NEPA policies and goals are incorporated early in the project. An EIS is especially appropriate for extensive or potentially controversial projects, or other projects that become environmentally significant when cumulatively added to other activities in an area. The EIS must contain a full, fair, and concise discussion of all environmental impacts relating to a proposed action. An EIS also analyzes several different alternatives to the proposed project that can still meet the project's purpose and need with varying degrees of environmental damage. The decision-maker uses this information to select an action that balances project benefits and minimizes environmental costs. Preparing an EIS can be very time consuming and is often contracted out. Examples of actions requiring an EIS would be a major realignment (brigade or larger), or a significant expansion of a military facility or installation.

The format and required information for these documents is discussed in 32 CFR 651. Other documents associated with NEPA are a Notice of Intent (NOI), Record of Decision (ROD), and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Despite its complexity, the purpose of NEPA is not to generate more paperwork; in fact, it has provisions to reduce it. The NEPA process is intended to help civilian or military leadership make decisions based on an understanding of environmental consequences.

For more information or questions, please contact the NEPA program manager in DPW-ENRD at 255-2080.

Did you know???

ALL contracts and procurement actions are required to be screened PRIOR to execution in accordance with 32 CFR Part 651.10,  Actions requiring environmental analysis.  Most contract and procurement actions will qualify for a CX, although some require a REC. 

The type of contract or procurement action will determine whether or not the action itself will be submitted utilizing the DA Form 4283.  When not required to submit a DA Form 4283, the contract MUST STILL BE REVIEWED by DPW-ENRD prior to submitting to the appropriate contracting office.  This applies to all organizations on Fort Novosel, including tenants, even if Fort Novosel MICC is not your servicing MICC. 

When submitted to DPW-ENRD, the scope of the contract or procurement action will be reviewed and the appropriate NEPA documentation will be provided – this information will include specific requirements that must be included in the contract itself (ie, a contract to install a generator will require a permit prior to installation).   This ensures that all requirements that will change the price or scope of the contract are included PRIOR to the contract being sent out for bid.


Contact Information

NEPA Program Manager
(334) 255-1652
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