"Board" means the technical college system board.
"CEQ" means the council on environmental quality.
"DEIS" means draft environmental impact statement which is a preliminary format of the final environmental impact statement.
"District" means a technical college district established under ch. 38, Stats.
"EA" or "environmental assessment" means a brief but comprehensive analysis of a proposed Type II action to determine its environmental impact; to study, develop and describe alternatives; and to determine whether the proposed action constitutes a major action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment or involving unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources.
"EIS" or "environmental impact statement" means a written report prepared pursuant to s. 1.11
, Stats., in accordance with the CEQ guidelines, which contains an analysis of anticipated impacts of a proposed action upon the human environment, and alternatives to the proposed action. The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is a preliminary format of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS).
"FEIS" means final environmental impact statement.
"Finding of no significant impact" means a completed environmental assessment which indicates that the proposed action is not a major action which will significantly affect the quality of the human environment and that no EIS is required.
"Human environment" means all conditions and influences, natural and artificial, which surround and affect all organisms, including people.
"Major action" means an action which will significantly affect the quality of the human environment.
"NEPA" means the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. s. 4321, et. seq.).
"Resources" includes land, water, air, energy forms, plant life and wildlife, aesthetic, social, economic, historical and archeological factors, and labor and materials used in the proposed action.
"Scoping" means an early process for identifying the anticipated range of issues to be addressed by an EIS, the extent to which the identified issues will be addressed, and the significant issues as seen by the public.
"Significant effects" means the considerable and important impacts, beneficial or adverse, of actions on the quality of the human environment.
"WEPA" means the Wisconsin Environment Policy Act, s. 1.11
TCS 12.02 History
Cr. Register, April, 1987, No. 376
, eff. 5-1-87; correction in (3) and (6) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6., Stats., Register, June, 1994, No. 462
Board action type list.
The board shall review its proposed action and determine what impact the proposed action will have on the quality of the human environment. The board has reviewed its actions and has categorized these actions into 3 types as specified in Table TCS 12.03. Table TCS 12.03 shall be used to determine the category of the proposed action and the type of environmental analysis that is required.
(1) Type I action.
If it is determined from Table TCS 12.03 that the proposed action is a type I action, an EIS shall be prepared. These are major board actions which would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.
(2) Type II action.
If it is determined from Table TCS 12.03 that the proposed action is a type II action, an EA will be prepared. These actions have the potential to cause significant environmental effects and may involve unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources.
If the EA discloses that the proposed action is a major action that will significantly affect the quality of the human environment, an EIS shall be prepared.
If the board finds in the EA that the proposed action is not a major action that will significantly affect the quality of the human environment, the EA shall be filed in the office of the WEPA coordinator as a finding of no significant impact and shall be provided to interested parties upon request.
(3) Type III action.
A type III action normally does not have the potential to cause significant environmental effects and normally does not involve unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources, and, unless the board determines otherwise, these actions will not require an EA or EIS.
(4) Other actions.
Every action other than those specified in subs. (1)
shall be evaluated for determination of the type of action.
TCS 12.03 History
Cr. Register, April, 1987, No. 376
, eff. 5-1-87; corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, June, 1994, No. 462
Preparation of an environmental assessment. TCS 12.04(1)(1)
To determine whether a Type II action is major and significantly affects the quality of the natural and physical environment of human beings, and to describe the alternatives to the action, the board shall conduct an EA and shall prepare a reviewable record in the form of a concise report. The preparation shall be done as early as possible in the planning process, but, in any event, before contracts are let if the action involves construction by a district. The report shall include:
A brief description of the proposed action, the purpose of the action, the need for the action, and maps, graphs and other materials where appropriate.
A brief description of those factors in the human environment affected by the proposed action.
A brief evaluation of the most significant primary and secondary environmental effects that would result if the proposal is implemented.
A brief study developing and describing reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, including the alternative of no action, and a brief evaluation of the significant environmental effects that are different from the anticipated impacts of the proposed action.
A listing of other agencies or groups contacted and the comments of, and other pertinent information from, the agencies and groups.
An evaluation section which contains brief discussions of the specific factors in this paragraph. If the proposed action will lead to any of these results, the need to prepare an EIS is increased.
Conflicts with official agency plans or local, regional, state or national policy.
(2) Generic EA.
Where proposed actions are likely to be repeated on a recurring basis or where they have relevant similarities such as common timing, impacts, alternatives, methods of implementation, or subject matter, a generic EA may be prepared. The board shall, when addressing a single action already covered by a generic EA, consider the relevance of the generic EA to the specific action.
TCS 12.04(3)(a)(a) Content.
The board shall develop a notice for EA as prepared under this section. The notice shall state that the EA has been prepared and is available for review and shall include the following information:
The name of the proposed action and an identification of the district where the proposed action will occur.
The name of a contact person within the board who can supply copies of the EA and can answer questions about it.
The latest date on which the board will accept and consider comments before making a final decision on the need for an EIS.
The board shall send copies of the notice to all individuals, agencies, and organizations that have requested notification of the EA or of all EA's and, in the case of a project in a particular area of the state, to the news media in the vicinity of the project.
(4) Public comment and input.
Following the deadline for receipt of public comment on the EA, appropriate board staff shall review the EA, consider all public comments, make modifications as judged necessary, and approve the EA which shall include a finding either of no significant impact or of the need for an EIS.
If a finding is made in the EA of no significant impact, no EIS shall be required, the environmental review is complete and the original EA shall then be filed in the office of the WEPA coordinator as a finding of no significant impact.
If a finding is made in the EA that an EIS is required for a proposed Type II action, the board shall proceed with the preparation of an EIS under ss. TCS 12.05
The board's finding on the need for an EIS becomes final upon signing by the state director or designee.
Except for the EIS evaluation section as described in sub. (1) (g)
, any part of an EA may be prepared by a district proposing an action.
TCS 12.04 History
Cr. Register, April, 1987, No. 376
, eff. 5-1-87; correction in (5) (b) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, June, 1994, No. 462
As soon as possible after the decision to prepare an EIS, the district, in actions where the district is the proponent of an action, or the board, in all other actions, shall notify and inform the public and affected agencies that an EIS will be prepared and that scoping is beginning.
The scoping process shall include, to the extent possible, affected federal, state and local agencies, the board, the proponent of the action, and other interested persons. The process may consist of meetings, hearings, workshops, surveys, questionnaires, or other appropriate methods or activities, and may be integrated with other public participation requirements.
The scoping process shall be used to accomplish all of the following:
Determine the scope and the significant issues to be analyzed in depth in the EIS.
Identify and eliminate from detailed study the issues which are not significant or which have been covered by prior environmental review. This will narrow the discussion of these issues in the EIS to a brief presentation of why they will not have a significant effect on the human environment or a reference to their coverage elsewhere.
Set a time for document preparation and opportunities for public involvement.
TCS 12.05 History
Cr. Register, April, 1987, No. 376
, eff. 5-1-87.
When an EIS is required, a DEIS and an FEIS shall be prepared by the board, by the district or by a consultant under contract with the board or a district. The board shall supervise and exercise final review of any EIS prepared by a district or a consultant. The DEIS shall emphasize significant environmental issues identified during the scoping process. The FEIS shall be based in part upon comments received on the DEIS and on information received from other sources. An EIS shall provide analysis of the environmental and economic implications of a proposed action contemplated by a district that need board approval. An EIS shall include the following:
A summary of the scoping process used and the major issues identified for detailed analysis in the EIS.
A description of the proposed action and of the affected environment including the history and background of the proposed action, location, type of facility, major dimensions, engineering design criteria, general types of materials be used, time schedules, maps and diagrams deemed relevant, sources of funding, permits and approvals required, and other pertinent information which will adequately allow an assessment of the potential environmental impact by persons who want to make comments.
An evaluation shall be made of the probable environmental consequences, both positive and negative, of the proposed action as it relates to the physical and chemical, biological, social and cultural, and economic environments. Secondary as well as primary consequences to the environment shall be included whenever possible. The discussion shall include adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented. The EIS shall include impacts which have catastrophic consequences, even if their probability of occurrence is low, provided that the analysis of the impacts is supported by credible scientific evidence, is not based on pure conjecture, and is within the rule of reason.
The evaluation of the physical and chemical environment shall include consideration of the action's effects upon air quality and climate, surface and ground water quality and quantity, noise, geological structure, topography, minerals and soils, thermal effects, unique land forms and water bodies, and flood and erosion hazards.
The evaluation of the biological environment shall include consideration of the action's effect upon plant life, animal life, fish and wildlife habitat, ecological relationships, endangered species, migrations, unique plant and animal associations, human health, and hazardous and toxic materials.
The evaluation of the social and cultural environment shall include consideration of the action's effect upon historic and archeological sites, parks and recreation areas, local institutions and community service, existing and future land uses, community description, housing patterns, neighborhood compatibility, displacement of families, businesses and farms, aesthetics, potential for shared use of facilities or programs, ethnic, religious or other groups, change in population patterns, emergency services, educational facilities and local ordinances.
An evaluation of the economic environment which shall include consideration of the action's effect upon tax base, property values, employment, community and personal income, business activities and climate, manufacturing, mining and industry, agriculture, transportation, public utilities, energy resources, and government services and costs.
An evaluation of significant irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources that would be involved in the proposed action if implemented, including a statement identifying the extent to which the proposed action irreversibly curtails the range of potential uses of the environment.
Alternatives to the proposed action, including a rigorous exploration and objective evaluation of the environmental impacts of all reasonable alternatives, particularly those that might avoid all or some of the adverse environmental effects of the proposed action. The option of doing nothing shall be included as an alternative.
The relationship between short-term uses of the environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. The EIS shall describe the extent to which the proposed action involves tradeoffs between short-term economic gains at the expense of long-term environmental productivity or vice versa, and the extent to which the proposed action forecloses future options.
The FEIS shall discuss at appropriate points any responsible opposing view not adequately discussed in the DEIS.
An analysis shall also be made of significant direct and indirect energy impacts of the proposed action.
The FEIS shall be an analysis document that enables environmental and economic factors to be considered in the development of a proposed action. It shall be considered by the board in the decision-making process.
The EIS shall be written in plain language and shall use appropriate graphics to aid decision-makers and the public. Where appropriate, an EIS may be combined with other required environmental or planning documents. The text of the FEIS shall normally be less than 150 pages and in proposed actions of unusual magnitude or complexity shall normally be less than 300 pages.
If the board makes substantial changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns, or if there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns that have bearing on the proposed action or its impacts, that arise after preparation of the FEIS, but before substantial implementation of the action, the board shall prepare supplements to the FEIS. If a supplement is prepared it shall be distributed and reviewed in the same manner as a DEIS or a FEIS as provided in s. TCS 12.07
TCS 12.06 History
Cr. Register, April, 1987, No. 376
, eff. 5-1-87; correction in (4) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, June, 1994, No. 462
Distribution and review of the DEIS. TCS 12.07(1)(1)
Distribution of the DEIS.
Copies of the DEIS shall be distributed as follows:
State, federal, and local governmental agencies having special expertise, interest or jurisdiction.