SWCA’s new Streamlined NEPA Process and Analysis workshop will provide the tools you need to write NEPA documents that are clear, concise, and defensible, and facilitate the rigorous NEPA process in less time. Both new and experienced NEPA practitioners will be provided an overview of the NEPA process, a review of legal requirements and pitfalls, and an opportunity to work on real-world NEPA projects in an instructional and interactive workshop atmosphere. The course was inspired by evolving federal agency direction to complete NEPA projects within aggressive, truncated schedules and mandated page limits. It was developed by SWCA after years of training federal agencies on how to develop effective NEPA documentation.

May 7-9, 2019

Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Downtown North
Phoenix, Arizona

To reserve a special room rate of $159/night at the Embassy Suites book your room online or call 602.222.1111 and reference “SWCA NEPA Workshop”.

Course Fees

  • Tribal Rate - $795
  • Government Rate - $895
  • Non-Government Rate - $995


Space is limited! Register to reserve your spot!

Register for Training


Course Materials
Course training manual (including CEQ guidelines and example Federal agency guideline reference), and case-history workbook. 

Detailed Course Schedule

Matt was an excellent instructor. Seems to know the topic inside and out and displays a great deal of energy teaching the class. Great course!

Intended Audience:

  • Industry managers and planners who work on federal lands or with federal permits

  • Agency planning and environmental coordinators

  • Municipal planners

  • Consultant project managers and resource specialists

  • Decision-makers involved in or reviewing NEPA documents 

After completion of the workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the overall philosophy and purpose of NEPA. 
  • Receive a basic overview of the CEQ guidelines and NEPA case law.  
  • Have a working knowledge of the stages and levels of the NEPA process.  
  • Understand the implications of the decisions required throughout the NEPA process. 
  • Be prepared to determine and appropriate situations for categorical exclusions (CE), environmental assessment (EA), and environmental impact statements (EIS).  
  • Have the practical skills to be able to write streamlined defensible NEPA documents that meet applicable agency schedule and page requirements (for example, recent stringent DOI requirements for a 150-page EIS with a Record of Decision within 1 year of the Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS). 
  • Learn the role of major federal agencies in the NEPA process and understand the responsibilities of the “third party” NEPA consultant in agency analysis. 
  • Have an understanding of the responsibilities and ethics of the lead agency, cooperating agencies, and NEPA consultant. 
  • Understand the step-by-step process from project kick-off through publication of a decision. 
  • Learn how to design a NEPA process and maintain the administrative record to minimize litigation risks. 


Matt Petersen, Streamlining NEPA

This is real world stuff that he is throwing at you and [you are] learning from that.

Course Instructor

Matt Petersen
Senior Project Manager/NEPA Specialist,
SWCA Environmental Consultants

Matt has more than 20 years of experience as a resource specialist. He has managed 30+ large-scale EISs throughout the U.S. and has used this experience to develop real-world based workshops and trainings. He has the unique experience of leading these workshops while continuing to work on large-scale, controversial NEPA projects.




Daily Class Breakdown

Day 1

  • Course Overview
  • Introduction to NEPA
  • Project Kickoff: Identifying the Players and Appropriate Level of NEPA Analysis  
  • Document Outline: A Plan for Concise and Defensible NEPA
  • Purpose and Need: Setting the Stage for the Project
  • Developing A Reasonable Range of Alternatives
  • Eliminating Alternatives from Detailed Analysis 

Day 2

  • Planning for Streamlined Issue-Based Impact Analysis
  • Identifying Substantive Issues
  • Eliminating Non-Substantive Issues
  • Cause-and-Effect: Identifying Impact Indicators and Methodology
  • Writing Streamlined Impact Analysis 


Day 3

  • Cumulative Impacts Analysis
  • Writing a Defensible Decision
  • Organizing and Maintaining an Administrative Record
  • The Changing Face of NEPA: Recent Updates
  • General Review / Q & A Session 

Detailed Course Schedule

Course Instructor