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Appendix A Public Involvement Plan

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 15

									                  Draft Environmental Impact Statement




      Appendix A
Public Involvement Plan
Public Involvement Plan
for the Environmental Impact Statement
Being Prepared for Foley Land Cut Portion of the
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway,
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama




Prepared for:
City of Gulf Shores, Alabama
City of Orange Beach, Alabama
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District




Submitted by:
Tetra Tech, Inc.
10306 Eaton Place, Suite 340
Fairfax, VA 22030

October 16, 2006
                                                                                                        Public Involvement Plan


              Foley Land Cut Portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
                         Environmental Impact Statement
                      Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
                              Public Involvement Plan
                                  October 16, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS


1.0     PURPOSE.......................................................................................................................... 3
2.0     PROGRAM STRUCTURE.............................................................................................. 5
  2.1      PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT GOAL .......................................................................................... 5
  2.2      AFFECTED INTERESTED PARTIES...................................................................................... 5
  2.3      RECOMMENDED PROGRAM OBJECTIVES .......................................................................... 6
  2.4      METHOD FOR ACHIEVING PROGRAM OBJECTIVES ........................................................... 7
3.0     TASKS AND SCHEDULES........................................................................................... 13




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                                    2                                              October 16, 2006
                                                                           Public Involvement Plan


1.0     PURPOSE
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mobile District, manages the water and land area
along the Foley Land Cut (FLC) portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Baldwin
County, Alabama to support the congressionally authorized purposes of providing coastal
protection, flood protection, hydropower, commercial navigation, recreational opportunities and
water supply. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being prepared by a third party
(Applicants) agreement under which the Corps will direct the development of the EIS. It has
been determined that an EIS be prepared at this time to assess the potential impacts associated
with the mix-use waterfront development planned along the FLC portion of the GIWW.

In response to this determination the Applicants and the Corps have initiated action to prepare an
EIS. This EIS is being prepared pursuant to regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality
(CEQ), published at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508, and USACE Engineer Regulation (ER) 200-2-2
(published at 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix B). Under regulations issued by the CEQ, the
evaluation of potential environmental effects is open to public input, consideration, and
comment. Pursuant to the goals of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), public
participation is a component of the EIS process. It promotes open communication between the
public, and the Corps, which facilitates better decision-making.

This public involvement plan (PIP) describes the framework for broadly distributing and
providing public access to information regarding the development of the EIS; promoting an
understanding of the NEPA process, studies, and analyses; and providing a number of
opportunities for the public to provide input. The specific goals of the PIP are to increase public
awareness of the NEPA process, to educate the public on the issues associated with the
permitting activities and development along the FLC portion of the GIWW in Baldwin County,
Alabama, and to encourage the public to become involved in the EIS process by attending public
meetings, where they can articulate their concerns.

This PIP also identifies and explains the objective of each of the tasks that will help to ensure
that the public understands the EIS process. Implementation of these tasks will help strengthen
the EIS by providing methods to identify areas of public concern and gathering historical
information.

A large and diverse public uses the GIWW and is extremely interested in the developments that
may influence the Gulf Shores and the Orange Beach region. Accordingly, the need for an
aggressive and continuous public involvement and information program throughout the
development of the EIS is necessary. This PIP incorporates several means for approaching and
engaging the public, including coordination with agencies, dissemination of information,
coordination with media, and opportunities to participate in the EIS process. This document
contains three sections.

1.0    Sets forth the framework for the PIP and includes information on the goals, affected
       interested parties, and specific objectives to accomplish the goals laid out in the PIP.




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                   3                                October 16, 2006
                                                                           Public Involvement Plan


2.0    Provides information on specific public involvement tasks and activities to be conducted
       throughout the EIS process.

3.0    Provides a schedule for implementing the tasks listed in the PIP.




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                 4                                 October 16, 2006
                                                                          Public Involvement Plan



2.0    Program Structure

2.1      Public Involvement Goal
The Applicants and the Corps are committed to engaging the large and diverse public in Gulf
Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. To ensure that everyone interested in the development of
the EIS is educated on the issues of concern and is given ample opportunity to comment on the
content and the scope, a public involvement strategy is needed. The PIP will support the
development of a NEPA document that is a complete, objective appraisal of the full range of
direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of development along the shores of the FLC portion of
the GIWW.

Several categories of affected interested parties have been identified to ensure that everyone who
uses the GIWW is engaged and invited to provide comments on the development of content and
the scope of the EIS. An effective public involvement program will help achieve this goal.
Future development and the long-term sustainability of the waterway resources require a
thorough understanding of the nexus between land use activities and waterway resources among
the waterway community and the decision-makers in the region.

Public scoping meetings are the first contact between the public and the Corps. These meetings
are held to promote an understanding of the issues and environmental resources to be considered
for analysis in the EIS. The scoping process begins by involving individuals, community
organizations, special interest groups and coordinating federal, state, and local agencies in the
identifying the issues and concerns.

This PIP is a dynamic document and will evolve as the interests of the affected parties are
considered and included in the review process. The PIP will be updated after the scoping meeting
is completed to incorporate any revisions to the program approach as a result of comments
received during the scoping process.

The PIP will meet NEPA requirements by ensuring the involvement of the community in the EIS
process through three phases: (1) initial contact to increase awareness, (2) scoping, and (3)
comment collection and response. A fourth phase, an evaluation segment, will be conducted
throughout the implementation of the PIP to ensure that public involvement activities are
meeting the PIP goals.

2.2    Affected Interested Parties
Five categories of interested parties affected by the proposed action will be solicited for their
opinions: (1) GIWW-FLC-area residents, (2) business owners and operators; (3) recreational
waterway users; (4) environmental organizations and other similar groups; and (5) federal, state,
and local agencies. A description of each category follows:




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                 5                                October 16, 2006
                                                                            Public Involvement Plan


Category 1: GIWW-FLC-Area Residents
     Adjacent northern and southern shore residents
     City of Gulf Shores residents
     City of Orange Beach residents

Category 2: Business Owners and Operators
     Marinas
     Developers
     Restaurants
     Gas stations and convenience stores
     Businesses authorized to conduct commercial operations along FLC portion of GIWW

Category 3: Recreational GIWW users
     Nonadjacent residents
     Recreational users that participate in activities along the GIWW

Category 4: Environmental Organizations
     Audubon Society
     Ducks Unlimited
     Sierra Club
     Wolf Bay Watershed Watch
     Others

Category 5: Federal, State, and Local Agencies
     Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
     Alabama Department of Transportation
     Alabama Department of Environmental Management
     Alabama Emergency Management Agency
     Alabama Port Authority, Harbormaster
     Alabama State Historic Preservation Office
     Baldwin County
     Cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
     NOAA Fisheries (aka National Marine Fisheries Service)
     U.S. Coast Guard
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

2.3    Recommended Program Objectives
To achieve the goals set forth in this PIP, specific objectives for each of the three phases of the
program (initial contact to increase awareness, scoping, and comment collection and response)
have been developed. An evaluation phase will ensure that the Applicants and the Corps are
meeting the objectives identified in the PIP and the NEPA regulations. Specific tasks and
products will be developed to achieve the objectives.




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                   6                                 October 16, 2006
                                                                             Public Involvement Plan


Phase 1: Initial Contact to Increase Awareness
Newspapers, radio and television announcements, cable access advertisement, news releases, and
letters to state, tribal, local, and federal agencies will be used to notify the public that an EIS is
being developed for future development and permitting activities related to the FLC portion of
the GIWW. This process will familiarize the public with the NEPA process and inform them
who to contact for more information and how to become involved.

Phase 2: Scoping
The Corps will invite the public to comment on the scope of the issues and alternatives to be
studied in the EIS through public meetings, news announcements, and the project web site. The
public agencies are encouraged to respond with their own concerns about the relevant issues and
provide suggestions for alternatives.

Phase 3: Comment Collection and Response
Comments on the EIS will be collected at specified periods during the EIS process by e-mail,
U.S. mail, fax, and verbally. Comments will be due no later than 14 days after the scoping
meeting. All comments collected during the scoping process will be recorded and organized into
a scoping report of the issues of most concern to the public and agencies. This report will be used
in preparing the EIS. Additionally, all comments collected during the public comment period for
the Draft EIS will be archived and responded to accordingly. The response to these comments
will be posted on the project web site and included in the Final EIS.

Phase 4: Evaluation
The evaluation phase is designed to assess the success of the PIP to incorporate continuous
improvements of the public involvement program. Tracking indicators such as the number of hits
on the web site, how many people attend the public meetings, and how many comments are
received throughout the process will provide mechanisms for the Corps to determine whether the
goals of the PIP are being met.

2.4    Method for Achieving Program Objectives

Phase 1: Initial Contact to Increase Awareness

Mailing List
A mailing list will be developed that identifies individuals, local media outlets, community and
interest groups, local libraries, municipalities, state and tribal agencies, environmental
organizations, and other interested parties. An initial list of interested parties will be compiled
from an existing electronic mailing list received from the Corps. As other interested parties are
identified, they will be added to the mailing list, which will be updated continuously throughout
the development and finalization of the EIS. Anyone requesting information or notice regarding
the EIS will be added to the mailing list. Each entry on the mailing list will be coded by group
type (permit holder, federal agency, etc.).

Invitation letters will also be prepared and sent to the identified points of contacts representing
the Corps and the Applicants for review and approval. Upon approval, the letters will be mailed
to the identified state, tribal, and federal agencies involved with GIWW requesting input on the



Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                   7                                 October 16, 2006
                                                                       Draft Public Involvement Plan


development of the EIS. Invitation letters will also be sent to the state and local elected
representatives and senators.

News Releases
The media and public will be updated periodically through news announcements and
advertisements in the local newspapers. All news releases will be prepared and submitted to the
identified points-of-contact representing the Corps and the Applicants for review and approval
before distribution. The news releases will provide information about the EIS and the time and
location of the public meetings. Upon approval, these announcements will be provided to local
newspapers, radio stations, television affiliates, cable stations, and the local convention and
visitor’s bureau.

News releases will be distributed at the following general points in the EIS process:

       •   Prior to the public scoping meeting
       •   Following release of the Draft EIS but prior to the Draft EIS public meeting
       •   After publication of the Final EIS

The point of contact for media questions will be:

Dr. Susan Rees
U.S. Army Engineer District, Mobile
P.O. Box 2288
Mobile, AL 36628-0001

Express Mail
U.S. Army Engineer District, Mobile
ATTN: Dr. Susan Rees
109 St. Joseph Street
Mobile, AL 36602

Phone: 251-694-4141
Fax: 251-690-2727
E-mail: susan.i.rees@usace.army.mil

Web Site
Tetra Tech, Inc. will establish a project web site to make information about the EIS process
available to a wide audience. The web site will include a description of the EIS and NEPA
processes, information on public meetings, management activities that will be addressed in the
EIS, media information such as press releases, a figure of the proposed project area, and a
scoping meeting brochure, as well as a method to submit comments electronically. Interest
items, links to other sites, contacts for media inquiries, and more information about the EIS will
also be provided on the web site. The web site will be housed on Tetra Tech’s server at
http://www.tetratech-ffx.com/giwweis and linked to the official Mobile District’s web site at
http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/.




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                    8                                 October 16, 2006
                                                                     Draft Public Involvement Plan


During the initial phase of the EIS effort, visitors to the web site will be able to comment on the
proposed scope and content of the EIS via e-mail at giwweis@tetratech-ffx.com. Comments will
be e-mailed to the Corps and Tetra Tech.

Once the draft EIS has been released, it will be posted on the web site and the public will have
the opportunity to comment on it on-line. Comments will be automatically logged into a
database and coded by section/comment type. (See Response to Comments section on page 10.)

Informational Brochure
Tetra Tech will prepare a full-color, 6-page informational brochure prior to the public scoping
meeting that will explain the NEPA process, the development of the EIS, how the public can be
involved, points of contact for further information, and how to provide comments. The brochure
will be reviewed and approved by the Corps and the Applicants before it is printed. Upon
approval, 350 copies will be printed. The brochure will be distributed at the public scoping
meeting and posted on the project web site in .pdf and .html formats. It will also include a
comment card for those wishing to submit comments via U.S. mail.

Phase II: Scoping

Public Scoping Meetings
The purpose of scoping will be to solicit input from agencies and the public regarding the range
of issues and reasonable alternatives to be addressed during the EIS process. The public scoping
meeting will be held at the Adult Activity Center in Gulf Shores, Alabama on August 22, 2006.
It is anticipated to accommodate 100 to 150 attendees. Because of the size of the audience, the
meeting will be held in a workshop style format with no formal presentations. At the sign-in
table, attendees will be given copies of the informational brochure. Tables addressing specific
topics, posters, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations with various visuals and information
displays will be placed around the meeting room. Specialists will be present at each table to
further explain the EIS, answer questions, and solicit input. The public will be asked to record
their comments on sheets provided at each display table or on comment cards handed out at the
sign-in table. Attendees can either submit their comment cards at the meeting or mail them to
Dr. Susan Rees no later than 15 days after the scoping meeting.

Logistics for the workshop style meeting will include ensuring the availability of the appropriate
audiovisual equipment and providing a sign language interpreter, if necessary. The workshop
style meeting, including the date, time, and location will be advertised in local newspapers, on
cable access and network television stations, on radio stations, and in the local convention and
visitor’s bureau monthly newsletter prior to the meeting. The meeting will also be publicized on
the project web site.

Additional Scoping Meetings
If new issues or controversies arise after the scoping meetings, the Corps will review these issues
to determine whether additional scoping meetings with agencies and/or interested parties would
contribute to the analyses in the Draft EIS.




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                   9                               October 16, 2006
                                                                    Draft Public Involvement Plan


Scoping Report
Issues raised during the scoping process will be summarized in a scoping report. The report will
also evaluate the issues and concerns raised and recommend those issues and concerns that are
substantive in nature and warrant coverage in the EIS. A list of attendees will also be included.
The report will be completed within 45 days of the last scoping activity.

Phase III: Comment Collection and Response

Upon completion of the Draft EIS, a Notice of Availability (NOA) will be published in the
Federal Register to inform the public of the opportunity to review and comment on the EIS. The
NOA will also be published in local newspapers and posted on the project web site. There will be
a minimum 45-day review period for the public and agencies to review the Draft EIS and provide
comments.

The public will also be informed of the comment period and corresponding public meeting
through an informational brochure on the EIS that is distributed to all parties on the project
mailing list. This brochure will include information on the EIS process and time line, a summary
of the alternatives analyses, and findings of the Draft EIS. It will also provide a form on which
the public can provide comments. Copies of the Draft EIS for public viewing will be provided at
the following locations:

Thomas B. Norton Public Library
221 W. 19th Avenue
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Orange Beach Public Library
26267 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, AL 36561

Foley Public Library
319 E. Laurel Street
Foley, AL 36535

Fairhope Public Library
161 N. Section Street
Fairhope, AL 36532

Daphne Public Library
2607 US Hwy 98
Daphne, AL 36526

Draft EIS Public Meeting
The purpose of this public meeting will be to document public comments on the Draft EIS. The
meeting will be scheduled no sooner than 15 days following publication in the Federal Register
of the availability of the Draft EIS. Copies of the Draft EIS will be mailed out at least 15 days
before the public meeting. Display ads will be published in local newspapers announcing the


Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                  10                               October 16, 2006
                                                                       Draft Public Involvement Plan


availability of the Draft EIS for comment, the public comment period, and the date and location
of the public meeting. A news release will be distributed to local television, radio, and cable
access stations. Letters to the public providing copies of the Draft EIS to those who have
requested copies will also be distributed. Notices of the public meeting on the Draft EIS will
also be posted on the project web site.

The format of the public meeting for the Draft EIS will be also be workshop style and will
include a formal presentation by the Corps, the Applicants, and Tetra Tech representatives. Oral
comments and questions raised by the public will be recorded by a court reporter. The public
will also be able to submit comments on sheets provided at the sign-in table. The comments
sheets can be completed the day of the meeting or mailed within 15 days to Dr. Susan Rees.

Public Meeting Summary
A summary of public meeting comments that document the comments, source (individual, group,
agency), and subject area will be developed to facilitate the preparation of responses to the
comments.

Response to Comments
Following a 45-day public comment period, Tetra Tech, the Corps, and the Applicants will
generate responses to all public comments received. The public comments received will be
logged into a database, catalogued by broad categories of issues, and grouped into specific areas
of concern to analyze substantive points raised. Individual points will be catalogued and cross-
referenced to ensure none are overlooked. These responses will be presented in an appendix in
the Final EIS and posted on the project web site.

Final EIS
A news release announcing the availability of the Final EIS will be prepared and published in
local newspapers and on the project web site. In addition, a Notice of Availability (NOA)
announcing the availability of the Final EIS will be published in the Federal Register. A display
ad will be published in local newspapers. Copies of the Final EIS will be mailed to those
members of the public requesting a copy.

Phase IV: Evaluation
The success of the PIP depends on how well it is planned and implemented. Evaluation provides
a feedback mechanism for continuous improvement of the public involvement effort. The
following table lists several tracking indicators for key products or activities that will be
monitored during implementation of the PIP to ensure that PIP goals and objectives are met.
Additional indicators might be added as the PIP evolves.


 Product or Activity and Associated Tracking Indicators
 1. INFORMATIONAL BROCHURES
    How many brochures were distributed?
    How many people submitted comments using the comment card in the brochure?
    How many calls were received by the point of contact in response to the brochure?
    Did the public find the information in the brochure useful?


Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                   11                                 October 16, 2006
                                                                      Draft Public Involvement Plan


 Product or Activity and Associated Tracking Indicators
 2. NEWS RELEASES
    How many display ads, news releases, radio public service announcements, and cable access announcements
    were generated?
    How many follow-up phone calls or e-mails did the EIS point of contact receive in response to media
    coverage?
 3. GIWW WEB SITE
    How many “hits” did the web site receive each month?
    How many people submitted comments during the scoping process through the web site?
    How many people submitted comments during the Draft EIS public comment period through the web site?
 4. WORKSHOP STYLE PUBLIC SCOPING AND DRAFT EIS MEETINGS
    How many people attended the workshop style public meetings?
    Which booths or displays were visited most often?
    How did attendees find out about the meeting? Local newspaper? Radio? Cable channel? Web site?
    How many people submitted comments at the workshop style public meeting?
 5. DRAFT EIS
    How many copies were sent to the public?
    How many phone calls or e-mail request for the Draft EIS were received?
    How many comments were received on the Draft EIS?




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                  12                                October 16, 2006
                                                                    Draft Public Involvement Plan


3.0     TASKS AND SCHEDULES
Following is a preliminary chronological schedule for the activities proposed in the PIP. Please
note that the implementation of the PIP is an iterative process and the tasks and associated
schedules are subject to change as the PIP evolves.

Task                                                           Due Date
                                                               (May –December 2006)
Prepare and code entries for mailing list database             Ongoing
Select a meeting facility for the workshop style meeting       May 5, 2006
Submit draft newspaper ad, news release, PSA, and draft        July 20, 2006
text for the brochure and web site
Prepare draft displays                                         May 22-July 20, 2006
Submit draft color brochure                                    July 20, 2006
Run ad in the newspapers (14 days pre-scoping)                 August 1, 2006
Distribute news release to television stations and
newspapers
Provide URL for web site for review                            August 4, 2006
Run ad in the newspapers (7 days pre-scoping)                  August 15, 2006
Air PSA
Submit draft booth displays
Incorporate comments regarding the project web site and        August 15, 2006
launch
Conduct scoping meeting                                        August 22, 2006
Prepare draft scoping report                                   August – September 2006
Submit draft scoping report                                    October 2, 2006
Scoping report comments due from the client                    October 20, 2006
Submit updated PIP                                             October 20, 2006
Submit final scoping report                                    October 27, 2006
Post scoping report on the project web site                    November 3, 2006




Gulf Intracoastal Waterway EIS                 13                                October 16, 2006
                                                                  Draft Public Involvement Plan




Task                                                          Due Date
                                                              (January–September 2007)
Secure Draft EIS public meeting date/location (dependent      March 14, 2007
on NOI publication in the Federal Register of the
availability of the Draft EIS)
Submit draft newspaper display ads, news releases, radio      April 13, 2007
PSAs, and cable access listings
Secure sign language interpreter, if necessary                April 13, 2007
Secure court stenographer for meeting/comment recordation     April 13, 2007
Prepare and submit draft brochure explaining proposed         April 20, 2007
alternatives (Includes a comment card that can be mailed to
Corps or submitted at the public scoping meeting)
Comments due on draft brochure                                May 4, 2007
Submit final brochure                                         May 9, 2007
Comments due on final brochure                                May 10, 2007
Print final brochures                                         May 11, 2007
Develop and submit draft presentations
Develop and submit draft agenda for public meeting            May 14, 2007
Work with meeting facility to secure appropriate
audiovisual equipment
Send newspaper announcements to newspapers for                May 16, 2007
printing/PSAs to local media
Comments due on draft agenda and presentations                May 18, 2007
Prepare meeting materials/handouts                            May 21, 2007
Send newspaper announcements to newspapers                    May 23, 2007
for printing/PSAs to local media
Agency DEIS Meeting                                           May 30, 2007
Public Workshop for DEIS                                      May 31, 2007
Submit database storing responses and a report of the         June 25, 2007
responses to comments received
Submit Draft NOA, Press Release, and Transmittal Letters      July 23, 2007
Corps Provides Revisions to Responses to DEIS Comments        July 25, 2007




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