NEPA Compliance for Energy & Utilities

NEPA Compliance for Energy & Utilities

April 11-12, 2022 | Online :: Central Time


“Excellent advisor when asked questions, could tell he really wanted to help the people attending the conference.” – Cross Discipline Engineering

“Tom was very knowledgeable and was able to give us insight from years in the field. Real life scenarios were used and were very helpful to put NEPA into context.” – Division of Energy and Mineral Development 

Many proposed energy and utility projects trigger federal agency environmental reviews to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which can cause project delays, higher costs, and threaten whether a proposed project can be built at all. Recent changes in the NEPA regulations developed by the Trump Administration and under review by the courts and the Biden Administration have increased the risks for infrastructure project developers of wind, solar, electric transmission, water projects as well as oil and gas infrastructure.

This course will address these risks and provide tips and techniques for energy project applicants to produce a legally defensible and successful NEPA process. We will review the NEPA process from scoping to the final document Record of Decision (ROD) for an environmental impact statement (EIS) or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an environmental assessment (EA). The program also includes practical exercises and examples of strategies that address the levels of analysis required for a Categorical Exclusion (CX), EA, and EIS. The course will also address what is needed to prepare a Purpose & Need, Project Description for the Proposed Action, Environmental Setting and Environmental Consequences and Cumulative Impacts sections in an EA and EIS. Attendees are encouraged to bring real world situations (i.e. “what if my project…….”) to the class for discussion.

Learning Outcomes  

  • Gain insight on the National Environmental Policy Act such as its history, regulations, requirements, and reforms, as well as overall tips and techniques
  • Review what has changed in the new 2020 regulations based on the CEQ’s decisions and discuss the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration
  • Examine the meanings behind Proposed Action and Identifying Alternatives and what is included
  • Evaluate the “affected environment,” including its development, analysis, significance, and impact
  • Discuss mitigation measures versus best management practices and the critical regulatory issues that cause delays and kill projects
  • Grasp an understanding of environmental impact assessment approaches


Monday, April 11, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Course Timing


NEPA History


NEPA Regulated Activities

  • Projects requiring federal action and NEPA review
  • Agencies that use NEPA reviews for planning and issuing permits
  • Kinds of projects

Overview of the NEPA Requirements


NEPA Reform and CEQ’s Final Regulations

  • What changed with the 2020 regulations
  • What the Courts said
  • President Biden’s CEQ review of the 2020 regulations
  • CEQ and Agency-Specific NEPA Guidance Documents
  • What the CEQ issued
  • What the guidance doesn’t tell you
  • What “lead” agencies won’t tell you

NEPA Rules and Requirements

  • Categorical Exclusion Process
  • Environmental Assessment Process
  • Environmental Impact Statement Process

Description of Proposed Action and Identifying Alternatives

  • What are the five “Ws”? 
  • Finding the purpose and need for the project
  • Alternatives development
  • Questions to ask yourself when identifying alternatives

What Is Scoping and Why Is It So Important?

  • Using the scoping process to identify very important environmental and community effects that require a harder look under NEPA
  • Revisiting the proposed action and alternatives

The Affected Environment

  • Developing the Affected Environment (yesterday, today, and tomorrow)
  • What’s included
  • Analysis of environmental impacts and benefits
  • How NEPA measures significance
  • Presenting significant impacts in an EIS


Tuesday, April 12, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Course Timing


Mitigation Measures v. Best Management Practices


Cumulative Effects


Decision Documents and the Record


How Companies, Federal Agencies, NGOs, Landowners, and Courts Perceive NEPA


Critical Regulatory Issues that Cause Delays and Kill Projects


Little NEPAs: State Equivalents to the National Environmental Policy Act


Environmental Impact Assessment Approaches

  • Traditional approach
  • Avoidance approach
  • Mitigation approach
  • Collaborative approach

NEPA Tips and Techniques

  • Project management tools
  • Facilitating agency document reviews
  • Working with contractors
  • Schedules and timing
  • Decision-making


Tom Russo, Principal, Russo on Energy LLC

Tom Russo is an Energy and Environmental expert with unique FERC regulatory skills in siting hydropower, natural gas and liquefied natural gas infrastructure, NEPA environmental impact assessment, and how energy markets, prices, and physical/cybersecurity affect infrastructure investments.

Prior to founding Russo on Energy LLC in May 2015, Mr. Russo worked for over 30 years as a Manager and Sr. Energy Industry Analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). During that time, he amassed experience in hydropower licensing, NEPA environmental impact assessment of energy projects, business process reengineering, and natural gas and crude oil market oversight. Mr. Russo thoroughly understands the Natural Gas Act, Natural Gas Policy Act, Federal Power Act, and Energy Policy Act as they apply to natural gas and hydroelectric projects. He is very active in hydropower and natural gas matters and writes an Energy and Environmental column for the Natural Gas and Electricity Journal. He also co-authored for the R Street Institute entitled “Ebbing the flow of hydropower red tape.”

Mr. Russo is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He earned a credential as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) in 2010. He also graduated with an MBA in Finance from the George Washington University and a MS in Biology from the University of Alabama.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all attendees for 7 days after the event


NEPA Compliance for Energy & Utilities

April 11-12, 2022 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1195.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 4,780.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 8,365.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 14,340.00 (40% discount)

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before March 11, 2022 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800




EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit. 

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations and open discussion, along with real use cases.

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 12.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
Advanced Preparation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site:



Who Should Attend 

If you are new to NEPA and impact assessment, or simply need a concise, clear description of the process, this course will get you up-to-speed quickly. The course is also designed as a refresher course for more experienced professionals who will be starting projects under the new regulations. Energy and utility company decision makers, project managers, engineers, scientists, and attorneys and their consultants as well as federal and state agency staff who are concerned about the environmental effects of federal actions will benefit from the course.

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. more information

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. We use cookies during the registration process and to remember member settings.