Environmental Assessment: Resources

Three lightbulbs with sky behind them

This page presents key tools and resources developed by HUD to help environmental review preparers identify and check for key environmental issues and statutory compliance responsibilities. It outlines basic practices to prepare for conducting an environmental assessment. The tools and resources can help you organize environmental studies and data, assess the different categories of review, and consider possible alternatives in the early stages of the process.

Rules and Regulations

Council on Environmental Quality

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) established the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) within the Executive Office of the President to ensure that federal agencies meet their obligations under NEPA. The CEQ Regulations section lists the regulatory information in the Code of Federal Regulations for the CEQ. The Guidance section provides guidance and requirement documents to ensure that the Department’s proposed actions comply with the letter and spirit of the NEPA and assist those who are interested in reviewing NEPA documents.

HUD Environmental Regulations

Explore regulations, authorizations, laws and authorities related to HUD Environmental Regulations. Learn about the environmental requirements covered by related federal laws and authorities and referenced in HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR Parts 50, 51, 55, and 58.

Related Laws and Authorities

Learn about the environmental requirements covered by related federal laws and authorities and referenced in HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR Parts 50.4, 58.5, and 58.6. Each environmental topic features a compilation of resources such as trainings, guidance, and useful websites. This section contains all of the content from the Assessment Tools for Environmental Compliance (ATEC).

Environmental Assessments

Environmental Assessment Factors and National Environmental Policy Act Analysis

In addition to compliance with the laws and authorities at 24 CFR Part 50.4 or 24 CFR Parts 58.6 and 58.5 (also known as the Statutory Checklist), environmental assessments must consider additional potential impacts of the project. This resource lists the additional environmental assessment factors and NEPA analysis that HUD-assisted projects must assess.

Environmental Assessment Factors Guidance

One component of the environmental assessment is an analysis of the project’s impacts on land development, socioeconomic factors, community facilities and services, and natural features. The Environmental Assessment Factors eGuide and NEPA Analysis reference document provide guidance on how to analyze each of those factors.

Land Development Analysis Tools

ENERGY STAR® Certified Products

ENERGY STAR® provides guidelines for manufacturers to achieve more flexibility and reduce costs toward meeting their air quality requirements and their health, environmental, and climate goals.

HUD Minimum Property Standards

The Minimum Property Standards (MPS) establish certain minimum standards for buildings constructed under HUD housing programs (including new single-family homes, multi-family housing, and health care facilities).

Renewable Energy Toolkit

The HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) Renewable Energy Toolkit for Affordable Housing enables recipients of HUD CPD grants to integrate renewable energies into their affordable housing development programs under the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for People with AIDs (HOPWA), or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) programs. The toolkit provides information, processes, and tools needed to integrate renewable energy into affordable housing projects in a way that is efficient, cost-effective, and impactful.

Sustainable Management of Construction and Demolition Materials

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promotes a Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) approach to use construction and demolition materials (debris generated during the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges) in new building projects, thus avoiding the need to mine and process virgin materials.

Sustainable Materials Management Tools

The EPA's SMM is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. The SMM tools estimate the environmental impact and economic benefits for determining the best practice for a specific scenario.

U.S. Geologic Service Topographic Maps

These general-use maps at medium scales present elevation (contour lines), hydrography, geographic place names, and a variety of cultural features. Current-generation topographic maps are created from digital geographic information system (GIS) databases and are branded "U.S. Topo." Historic maps originally published as paper documents in the period 1884-2006 are available as scanned images.

Socioeconomic Analysis Tools

Food Access Research Atlas

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Access Research Atlas presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts, provides food access data for populations within census tracts, and offers census-tract-level data on food access for community planning or research purposes.

Community Facilities and Services Analysis Tools

Stormwater Planning Guidance

This EPA page provides a guide, a toolkit, and technical assistance to promote comprehensive, community-wide planning approaches to manage stormwater.

Walk Score

Use Walk Score to measure how convenient an address is for walking, biking, or public transit.

Natural Features Analysis Tools

Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS)

FIRMS distributes near-real-time active fire data within three hours of satellite overpass and provides a historic look at past fires and potential future fire risk, which is useful for environmental reviews.

Green Infrastructure Wizard (GIWiz)

Green infrastructure uses natural landscapes to manage water and provide environmental and community benefits. GIWiz is a repository of EPA-sourced green infrastructure tools and resources designed to support and promote sustainable water management and community planning decisions. The tools help you analyze problems, understand management options, calculate design parameters, analyze costs and benefits, evaluate tradeoffs, engage stakeholders, and develop education and outreach campaigns.

Local Service Centers Directory

The site provides contact information for USDA Service Centers where customers can access the services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Rural Development agencies.

Monthly Storm Data

These monthly issues detail storm occurrences and unusual weather phenomena by state. Reports contain information on storm paths, sea level rise, deaths, injuries, and property damage. Users may also search the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA's) Storm Event database to find various types of storms recorded in your county.

Seismic Risk Maps

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA's) maps show the varying likelihood of experiencing earthquake shaking of various intensities across the U.S.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Geospatial Services

This site provides spatial and analytic tools to tackle elements related to the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, Migratory Bird Conservation, the National Wetlands Inventory, and the National Wildlife Refuge System. It provides a variety of tools and resources and may be used for compliance with the Endangered Species Act. It also provides information portraying the location and boundaries of ecosystems and contact information for local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) offices by region.

WaterSense

WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping consumers save water.

Systems and Records

Environmental Review Records

To promote accountability and transparency for HUD-assisted projects, the Environmental Review Records created through HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS) are available for public review during the public comment period and are “archived” for one year after completion of the review on the HUD Exchange. While HEROS is for responsible entities, HUD staff, and partners in the environmental review process, this site is mainly for public use and comment. Documents available for review are read-only.

HUD’s Environmental Review Online System

HEROS helps responsible entities, HUD staff, and partners to develop, document, manage, and perform analysis for their environmental reviews. It covers all levels of environmental reviews for both Part 50 and Part 58 projects and includes on-screen guidance for completing HUD environmental reviews. Users can create Environmental Review Records and manage their reviews from a single portal.

NEPAssist

NEPAssist uses EPA GIS databases and web services to provide immediate screening of environmental assessment indicators for a user-defined area of interest.

Web-Based Instructional System for Environmental Review (WISER)

WISER teaches users how to address all aspects of the environmental review process required for all HUD-assisted projects. Each course includes a learning assessment and an opportunity for obtaining a certificate of completion. Online courses may be completed in any order.

Contact HUD

HUD Environmental Staff Contacts

If you are unable to find necessary information within this page or through other external resources provided, HUD has regional environmental experts available who can help you understand how to use the environmental assessment process to improve the quality of your project.