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Environmental Compliance for CAT Series (NRCS-NEDC-000190)

Overview

This training series supports an emerging curriculum related to program and project planning and associated environmental issues. It complements the Conservation Planning Course, the Areawide Conservation Planning Course, and the Watershed Project Planning Course.

Environmental Compliance for Conservation Assistance (EC Level 1) is an introduction to how NRCS meets its responsibilities to comply with numerous environmental requirements when providing conservation planning assistance. The course provides an overview of the environmental evaluation process and how the process is used to meet environmental requirements. The course also instructs students on completing the CPA-52, Environmental Evaluation Worksheet, and integrating consideration of environmental requirements into the planning process. Each State has the flexibility to modify the CPA-52, Environmental Evaluation Worksheet to address concerns that apply within that State, and students receive additional instruction and practice completing that form in the classroom/field-based portion of each State conservation planning course.

Following Level 1 in the series is Environmental Compliance for Programs and Projects (EC Level 2).  This course provides students with additional information on how to comply with environmental requirements on a watershed or other areawide basis for program or project planning. The course reviews the requirements for developing Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements to comply with NEPA, and further builds on the information provided in the EC Level 1 course by providing more information about meeting Endangered Species Act and other environmental requirements.

The final course, Environmental Procedures and Report Writing (EC Level 3), provides the students with the opportunity to apply what they learned in EC Level 1 and EC Level 2. In the Level 3 Course, students practice developing portions of EA and EIS, and learn about the tools available to analyze the effects of proposed actions and alternatives, and how to communicate the results of that analysis effectively. The course addresses other environmental requirements, but does not provide practice writing biological assessments or any other assessments related to a specific technical discipline.

Objectives

Level 1 - At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify the environmental requirements applicable to conservation assistance;
  • Describe the EE process and the documents required to meet environmental requirements;
  • Complete the EE Worksheet; and
  • Explain how compliance with environmental requirements relates to the NRCS planning process.

Level 2 - At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify the environmental requirements applicable to project and program planning;
  • Explain the conditions when an EA and an EIS is required;
  • Understand the processes and resource requirements for EA and EIS;
  • Define the components of an EA and an EIS; and
  • Describe the processes and documents required to meet environmental requirements.

Level 3 - At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Develop and prepare NEPA documents;
  • Be able to manage complex/controversial NEPA processes;
  • Identify the types of analytical tools available and how to meaningfully communicate the results of analysis; and
  • Integrate consideration of other environmental requirements into preparation of NEPA documents.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for Level 1.  Successful completion of Level 1 is required to advance to Level 2.  To participate in Level 3, participants must successfully complete Levels 1 and 2.

Delivery Method

Level 1 - Web-based

Level 2 - Web-based

Level 3 - Classroom

Duration

Level 1 - 8 hours

Level 2 - 8 hours

Level 3 - 20 hours

Target Audience

Level 1 - NRCS personnel and Technical Service Providers (TSPs) who provide direct technical and/or financial assistance to NRCS clients.

Level 2 - NRCS personnel and TSP involved in, or responsible for, program management or project planning. State Program Leaders, Watershed Planning Staffs, State Technical Specialists, Technical Service Providers, Field Staff involved in project/program planning.

Level 3 - NRCS personnel, contractors or project sponsors involved in or responsible for program or project planning. State Program Leaders, Watershed Planning Staffs, State Technical Specialists, Field Staff, contractors or project sponsors involved in project/program planning.

NEDC Contact

Webmaster

Technical Contact

Kristin Smith

Enrollment

Enrollment instructions are provided below.  Be sure to select the appropriate link to ensure successful enrollment. 

USDA Employees

Proceed to the Aglearn to login using your USDA eAuthentication ID and password.  This is the same as your WebTCAS ID and password.
Select Catalog, Select Natural Resources Conservation Service under Subject Area Menu, Choose the course name by select the button Launch content or Add to Learning Plan to register and complete the course.

District Employees with Aglearn account

Proceed to the Aglearn to login using your USDA eAuthentication ID and password. This is the same logon ID and password used for the TechReg TSP application or profile.
Select Catalog, Select Natural Resources Conservation Service under Subject Area Menu, Choose the course name by select the button Launch content or Add to Learning Plan to register and complete the course.

If you do not have an account.  Specific instructions on securing a USDA user account and password are located at getting started.  For further assistance contact the USDA state office in your state for assistance in obtaining an eAuthentication ID and password and AgLearn account.

Technical Service Providers

Proceed to the Aglearn to login using your USDA eAuthentication ID and password. This is the same logon ID and password used for the TechReg TSP application or profile.
Select Catalog, Select Natural Resources Conservation Service under Subject Area Menu, Choose the course name by select the button Launch content or Add to Learning Plan to register and complete the course.

If you are anticipating becoming a Technical Service Provider please review the entire process at TechReg.  Please familiarize yourself with this process if you have not already done so.  Specific instructions on securing a USDA user account and password are located at getting started.

Other USDA Customers

For those not in the above categories contact the USDA state office in your state for assistance in obtaining an eAuthentication ID and password and AgLearn account.
To obtain this contact information for your state you can go to the Aglearn website click on contact us. Scroll down to NRCS and click on the link that says state contacts.