How Does HUD’s Environmental Review Process Ensure Projects Will Not Have a Negative Impact on the Environment?

HUD’s environmental review process (24 CFR Part 58) is a major cross-cutting requirement for providing federal grants and future projects. It conforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to comply with federal and state environmental laws and consider in the planning process how their projects may impact social, cultural, economic, and natural resources.

Over the past eight years, Cloudburst has worked closely with HUD’s Office of Environment and Energy (OEE) to develop resources and online training to assist grantees in conducting environmental reviews of all their HUD-assisted projects and activities. Curricula such as the Web-Based Instructional System for Environmental Review (WISER) helps grantees understand and address all aspects of the environmental review process. We have also developed user manuals, quick guides, and short videos to demonstrate how grantees can streamline their reviews and save time by conducting them in the HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS)

Expanding on this work, Cloudburst’s environmental experts have supported state and local communities on a range of environmental reviews and assessments. 

  • State of Texas—Environmental Review Risked-Based Monitoring: For HUD, Cloudburst assisted the Texas Department of Agriculture to develop a risked-based environmental monitoring strategy driven by a risked-assessment tool with defined risk thresholds to effectively determine which at-risk communities needed additional environmental review monitoring.
  • Environmental Review Efficiencies: Cloudburst increased staff efficiency and compliance with federal regulations in Prince George’s County, Maryland; Jacksonville, Florida; and the State of Louisiana by streamlining and standardizing their environmental review processes through updated policies and procedures.
  • State of Pennsylvania: Cloudburst assisted the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in creating and offering training on a new Environmental Review Training Manual with step-by-step instructions, forms, and checklists required as part of their environmental review.
  • Washtenaw County, MI: Cloudburst has conducted multiple remote environmental reviews on smaller infrastructure and home rehabilitation activities to reduce the county’s workload so it can devote more time to completing reviews of larger projects that require an environmental assessment.
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