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Orientation to Sustainable Environmental Assessment course

November 1`3-17, 2023

Class size is limited!

Course Description

Projects with even a small federal nexus must go through an environmental planning process that not only requires a compliance check with specific environmental laws, but also provides opportunities to add value through public input, mitigation of potential adverse impacts, and sustainable design. This course uses the HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS), a state-of-the-art platform for NEPA environmental review, to actively engage participants in a classroom simulation.

Environmental review allows local governments and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate alternative sites and designs that can mitigate adverse impacts to conform to local goals & objectives and/or lower long-term maintenance costs. All federal projects come with environmental assessment responsibilities under NEPA, and even partial federal funding triggers NEPA review of entire project.

This Orientation to Sustainable Environmental Assessment course uses the environmental process (40 CFR 1500) in general and HUD’s (24 CFR 58), since it delegates NEPA & other environmental authorities to the local level, as a framework for providing insights into issue identification and analysis pointed to consideration of alternatives. The class makes use of abundant HUD resources but also uses interactive classroom exercises. The case oriented exercises provide participants with simulated hands-on experience and opportunities for Q & A and peer-to-peer education.


  • Early bird rate $549.00 until October 13, 2023. 
  • Regular rate $649.00. 


You will redirected to our jotform page to register.


  • NEPA Overview
  • Procedural Mechanics incl HEROS
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Greening Affordable Housing
  • Internet Resources for Env Rev
  • Tiering & Programmatic Reviews
  • Building Communities
  • HUD Environmental Reporting On Line Sys
  • Other Applicable Authorities including Coastal Zones, Sole Source, Aquifers, Scenic Rivers, Air, and Farmland
  • First Steps on EA preparation
  • Noise
  • Site Visit
  • Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Energy
  • HUD Monitoring
  • Explosive & Flammable Hazards
  • Clear Zones
  • Floodplain & Wetlands
  • Sustainable Stormwater Mgmnt
  • Site Contamination
  • FEMA Flood Insurance Program
  • Bio-diversity/Endangered Species
  • Historic Preservation
  • Archaeological Resources
  • Environmental Justice
  • Public Health & Sustainable Communities

Who Should Attend? 

Local government staff involved in such programs as HUD, subsidized housing, planning and redevelopment; development professionals

Learning Objectives

  • Comply with Federal environmental planning requirements: under NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) which acts as an umbrella for an environmental planning process that includes about 20 other Federal environmental mandates that cover historic preservation, floodplains, wetlands, noise, site contamination, etc.
  • Use the NEPA process to promote local or tribal environmental goals and objectives, such as those promoting sustainability
  • Use the NEPA process to influence the design and structure of Federal projects, both from an implementing agency’s perspective and from that of an affected local or tribal government.

Agenda and Class Hours (all times are Eastern Standard Time):

Monday - Friday

  • 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Break 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm 
  • 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm

NEPA, Getting Started and Water

  • 3 hr AM - Overview, NEPA Intro, First Steps, Sustainable Stormwater Management
  • On your own - Name that level of review exercise
  • 3 hr PM - Name that level (of review)
    • Teams start case study review on HEROS, including flood plain, wetlands
  • Homework - Limitation problem, Flood Plain, Wetland pblm, NSP case 5966

Historic Preservation and Site Visit

  • 3 hr AM - American Legacy: The Work of the Natl Reg of Hist Places (video)
    • Historic Preservation (106 process)
  • 3 hr PM - Virtual Site Visit
    • Case Study – Historic Preservation
    • Go over homework problems & case study
  • Homework - NSP case 5983, Historic Preservation problems

Site Contamination, Brownfield Redevelopment

  • 3 hr AM - This is Superfund (EPA video), ESA Site Characterization & Cleanup,
    • HUD Site Contamination Policy
  • 3 hr PM - Work on case study (HEROS)
    • Go over HP problems, homework
  • Homework - NSP Problem 5796

Other Authorities, Planning Factors

  • 3 hr AM - HUD Standards – 51B-Noise,51C– Explosive & Flammable Hazards & 51D - Airport Clear Zones; Other Authorities - Coastal Zones & Barriers, Sole Source Aquifer, Prime Farmland, Air Quality, Wild & Scenic Rivers; Biodiversity – Endangered Species featuring iPAC; Planning Factors; Environmental Justice
  • 3 hr PM - Go over Homework, Work on Case Study EA
  • Homework - Prepare for Friday presentations
    • NSP Case Studies 7022, 7362, 6551

Procedures, Presentations, and Wrap Up

  • 3 hr AM - Environmental Justice, Procedures II; Tiering & Programmatic Reviews; State & Local EA Processes (including CEQA); Using EA Process to promote Local Goals & Objectives; Energy Efficient Rehab
  • 3 hr PM - Go over Pretest, Homework, Complete Case Study EA, Present Case Study EA
    • Take Home Final Exam

*Agenda subject to modification

Refund Policy

Substitutions may be made without additional charge. Cancellations must be in writing. Refund schedule:

  • Cancellation 15 or more business days before the class 80% of registration fee
  • Cancellation 7-14 business days before the class 50%
  • Cancellation less than 7 days before the class and “no shows” No refund

If course materials such as books have been sent to course participants in advance, the cost of that material will be subtracted from the refund.

JHU ERC reserves the right to postpone an offering 7 days prior to the course date should minimum enrollment requirements not be met. If a program is canceled, you will be notified and your registration fee will be refunded in full, less the cost of course materials sent in advance if they are not returned in the condition in which they were received. The liability of JHU ERC is limited to the course fee.

Course Content Questions

Eugene Goldfarb, MUP, JD
Phone: 847-831-9142

Registration Questions

Keith Choi
Johns Hopkins University