Hammonton Airport has of prepared an Airport Layout Plan, which identified the needs of the Airport and established a capital improvement program. The Plan delineates the program into short-term, mid-term, and long- term time periods. All projects listed within the short-term program (0-5 years), as depicted on the official Airport Layout Plan (ALP), will be reviewed within the environmental assessment.
The examination of potential environmental effects involves a number of steps, which begin with the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA), following the guidelines specified in FAA Order 5050.4A, Airport Environmental Handbook. Twenty environmental impact categories will be analyzed, including wetlands, flood plains, endangered and threatened species, and compatible land use. The EA provides the foundation for the decision to proceed with either a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Its purpose is to assist decision makers in their planning and decision making efforts. It identifies the proposed development action, any problems associated with that action, and the reasonable alternatives. It also identifies any permitting needs and other special requirements.
In accordance with NEPA, the EA process provides Federal, State and local officials, as well as the general public with an understanding of the potential environmental impacts related to a particular development action. NEPA does so by requiring a detailed statement by the responsible official on:
- the environmental impact of the proposed action,
- any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,
- alternatives to the proposed action,
- the relationship between local short-term uses of man’s environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and
- any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action, should it be implemented for any major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment (NEPA Sec. 102)
Through this process, it is the objective of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to enhance the quality of the environment and to avoid, or minimize where possible, adverse affects that may result from a proposed Federal action.