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Environmental Survey

What do you already know about a prairie? about development plans? about how towns determine land use? What do you need to find out? Begin your research by determining what you know and what you need to find out. Need ideas? You may use this form and check out this example from a water pollution problem.

Before you can determine the impact of your development plan, you must find out what exists on and around the development site. The Smallville prairie is similar to Fermilab's tallgrass prairie in Batavia, Illinois. Grasses, forbs and animals found in the Fermilab prairie have been found in the Smallville prairie. Teams may want to work together on the Enivronmental Survey. Refer to the Map of Smallville Township and the Development Planning Map for basic information. A brief summary of this survey will be part of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Prairie Management Plan


Each development team must prepare a Prairie Management Plan. Explain how you will take care of and perhaps improve the prairie left around your development.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)


The National Environmental Protection Act requires federal agencies to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for major projects. The preparation of an EIS is part of the project planning process to ensure that all environmental concerns are considered. The EIS explains the project's environmental impact, describes measures to reduce or avoid that impact, and tries to resolve environmental conflicts with the public.

In "real life" the government conducts the study. However, bidders on the Smallville prairie development must submit an EIS containing the required elements.

An EIS may take many forms. This version is similar to the ones used by the U.S. Department of Energy. The EIS is a formal report with appropriate documentation of facts and compelling content. Your EIS must specify BOTH the underlying purpose for developing the forty-acre site AND the specific need to which the action is responding. WHY is this development necessary? HOW can you minimize the environmental impact? An EIS is always objective, but, certainly, will focus upon facts that will benefit your cause. Below are six questions that must be answered in your EIS. A good EIS provides a framework for the Prairie Management Plan. Your counterparts on the Prairie Advisory Committee (PAC) will be working hard to promote maintaining the natural prairie in their Biological Assessment.

Items to be Covered in the EIS:

1. Provide a detailed description of your company's development. What will you do, and how will you do it?

2. Describe reasonable alternatives. Be creative! Remember, doing nothing IS an alternative. You will not win the bidding war OR save the prairie, however!

3. Predict the human health effects of your development and the alternatives.

4. Describe any impact on transportation such as transfer of hazardous waste.

5. Discuss how the development and the alternatives comply with other laws and regulations.

6. List persons and/or agencies you consulted.

Biological Assessment (BA)


The Prairie Advisory Council must complete a Biological Assessment. A BA is a formal report that discusses whether a project may affect endangered or threatened species. Some form of consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is desirable to ensure that you indentify all species that are or may soon be protected. A BA is always objective, but, certainly, will focus upon facts that will benefit your cause to maintain the natural prairie.