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Lesson 1 ODOT Simple Models. Simple Models Learning Outcomes As part of a group, develop conceptual models of REC, stressors, and a highway project Identify.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 1 ODOT Simple Models. Simple Models Learning Outcomes As part of a group, develop conceptual models of REC, stressors, and a highway project Identify."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson 1 ODOT Simple Models

2 Simple Models Learning Outcomes As part of a group, develop conceptual models of REC, stressors, and a highway project Identify which information about the past is relevant to analysis under NEPA Recognize how different uses of reasonably foreseeable future actions enhances model development

3 Simple Models Variable: A dependent or independent pattern or process Can interact with/feed back to other variables Subject to change or variability Stressor: An independent variable that influences the “behavior” or response of a dependent variable; Often a driver, limiting factor, or constraint

4 Y = f(X 1, X 2, X 3 ) trends and condition of REC is a function of stressors REC Y Stressor X1 Stressor X3 Stressor X2

5 Simple Models y = f(x) = f(x) = y Independent Variable: X Stressor Driver Limiting Factor Dependent Variable Y REC

6 Two-Part Analytic Question To inform decisions, environmental impact analyses must be broken into two-parts: What effect does the action have on specific resources? i.e., action-focused What does that effect mean from the perspective of the resource itself? i.e., resource-focused

7 Simple Models Action-Focused Why model? Identify REC, drivers, trends, and sustainability Identify the range of interactions with project Transparent process for focusing on potentially significant interactions for analysis

8 Simple Models Resource-Focused Why Model? Characterize REC’s response to change and capacity to withstand stress Characterize the stressors, drivers, or limiting factors affecting REC sustainability thresholds

9 Simple Models Resource-Focused Why Model? What are the effects of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable actions on the REC? Additive, countervailing, and synergistic effects

10 Simple Models Why Model? Define a baseline condition for the REC Identify the important interactions between REC and proposed action Transparent evaluation of mitigation options

11 Great Streets Pedestrian LOS

12 Simple Models Scoping REC’s Hydrology  Surface, Groundwater, Soil water Air  Air Quality, Visibility Biota  Representative, Unique, Imperiled Species and Communities; Habitats

13 Simple Models Scoping REC’s Socioeconomics Education Services Traffic and Transportation Human Health Public and Emergency Services Community Cohesion Economic Stability

14 Simple Models Scoping REC’s Noise Impacts  Humans, Wildlife, Aesthetic Visual Impacts  Viewsheds, Aesthetics, Cultural Impacts  Archeological, Historical, Architectural

15 Simple Models Deconstructing the Action Deconstructing Actions into their constituent elements makes it easier to –Identify the various aspects of Actions that have implications for Resources of Interest –Assess the effects of complex Actions on Resources of Interest –Retrieve information on their effects –Helps provide a more complete descriptions of action

16 Simple Models Deconstructing the Action

17 Simple Models Use in EIA Deconstruct the issues Identify informative affected stressors Logical progression (serial exposure - response risk profiles) Consider feedbacks and adjustments

18 Simple Models Space and Time Key is the usefulness of the information Scales should vary by focus, REC, project location, and project type Know how data is used in analysis so that model is helpful

19 Simple Models Spatial Scale Varies depends on focus, REC, project location, and type Resource-Focused may be larger than area of Action-Focused impacts –Political geographic boundaries, –Commute-shed boundaries, –Growth boundaries and service limits, –Watershed and habitat boundaries

20 Simple Models Integrating RFFAs Other transportation projects … … airport, freight, and transit Other Federal agency activities … approved NEPA documents or projects under study Activities in approved land use and development plans Major private projects Reasonably foreseeable

21 Temporal Context Varies depends on focus, REC, project location, and type Resource-Focused may be longer than that of Action-Focused impacts –Different levels of certainty apply –Info on system behavior versus info on chain of events

22 Temporal Context PresentPastFuture Project Impacts Indirect Impacts Most Probable State of system represented by REC Past, presentand future stressors

23 Temporal Context Past, Present, and Future? Remember the goal of the analysis … Better decisions (information about trade- offs), and inform public; Focus effort on information that aids the analysis; Two-part EIA question means two sets of information about past, present, and future

24 Temporal Context Reasonably Foreseeable Action-Focused  More than already approved projects, but not so far as mere speculative projects  Causal relationship/connectedness  Logical  Observed patterns in similar situations  Document assumptions and “boundaries”; avoid arbitrary decisions

25 Temporal Context Reasonably Foreseeable Resource-Focused  Legacy, concurrent, and projected future behavior of REC  Stressors affecting limiting factors, resiliency  Actions that will change limiting factors  Logical  Document assumptions and “boundaries”; avoid arbitrary decisions

26 Temporal Context Reasonably Foreseeable YES –Predict and forecast –Probable –Likely –Some uncertainty is inherent and inevitable NO –Speculation –Contemplation –Conjecture –Possible

27 Temporal Context Past... CEQ’s NEPA regulations [require] a concise description of the identifiable present effects of past actions to the extent that they are relevant and useful in analyzing [RFFA’s]

28 Temporal Context Past … look for present effects if past actions that are …relevant and useful because they have a significant cause-and-effect relationship with the direct and indirect effects of the proposal for agency actions

29 Temporal Context Past … simply because information about past actions may be available … does not mean that it is relevant and necessary to inform decisionmaking.

30 Simple Models REC model Exercise Identify the REC Identify the most obvious stressors Establish initial spatial and temporal bounds for REC Tentatively define sustainability Use Posterboard to Report

31 Simple Models Learning Outcomes As part of a group, develop conceptual models of three REC’s and one highway project Identify which information about the past is relevant to analysis under NEPA Recognize how different uses of reasonably foreseeable future actions enhances model development

32 Simple Models True of False An independent variable is itself dependent on independent variables of another order.

33 Simple Models True of False Well written and researched information about either immediately post-glacial or pre-European contact natural habitats should always be used when putting trends and condition in context.

34 Simple Models True or False Reasonably foreseeable future actions are never the same for action-focused and resource-focused effects analyses?

35 Simple Models Which quadrant (1, 2, 3, or 4) would you normally expect to be the source of RFFA? Relevant to decision Not relevant Speculation Near certainty


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