Environmental Assessment

Responsible entities, recipients, applicants, and partners are required to conduct an environmental review before beginning a HUD-funded project. Learn more about Environmental Review.

What is an Environmental Assessment?

The environmental assessment (EA) is one of the five levels of environmental reviews listed in 24 CFR Part 58 and 24 CFR Part 50. Environmental assessments are essential in determining how a project may affect the environment and how the environment may affect the project.

When is an Environmental Assessment Required?

This level of review, prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act, is typically required when a proposed project has activities such as new construction or a change in land use.

When an environmental assessment is required under 24 CFR 58.36 or 24 CFR Part 50 Subpart E, responsible entities, recipients, applicants, and partners must thoroughly investigate the impacts of the project on the surrounding environment, community, and population and the impacts of the surrounding conditions on the project.

National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321, requires each federal agency to determine the environmental impacts of its actions. Agencies assess impacts according to regulations published by the Council on Environmental Quality at 40 CFR 1500. NEPA’s environmental assessment process forms the policy basis for each of the following environmental factors.

Learn more about NEPA

Environmental Assessment Factors and Categories eGuide

This Environmental Assessment eGuide will help environmental review preparers review all aspects of their project. The eGuide is fully searchable and updated with the latest requirements, resources, and best practices for conducting an environmental assessment.

Climate Change

As you work through the environmental assessment factors in this guide, remember to consider how the results of your analysis may change under foreseeable future conditions due to climate change. Climate change is already affecting communities throughout the United States, so you should consider whether each factor under review is vulnerable to present and future climate change effects and whether the project and its occupants are protected from those impacts.

Please note: Two new EA Factors, Climate Change and Environmental Justice, have been added to the EA Factors eGuide. Until the HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS) is updated to add a dedicated row for these new factors, review preparers should report any Climate Change and Environmental Justice impacts and mitigation in the Other Factors row under the Natural Features EA category in HEROS.

Explore the Environmental Assessment eGuide

To navigate this eGuide, click through each of the factors and their categories to find relevant guidance and information.

Online Resources

HUD’s tools and resources can help environmental review preparers identify and check for environmental issues and statutory compliance responsibilities.

View the Resources

Case Study

This case study demonstrates how an environmental assessment should consider the different factors and categories that may be affected.

View the Case Study

eGuide Webinar

This webinar provides an overview of the eGuide. Upon completion, participants will be able to navigate through the eGuide and describe the analysis steps for each of the impact categories.