Community and residential

Legal requirements

National Environmental Policy (NEPA)
Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA)
Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies (Relocation Act)
NEPA Implementation

FDM references

FDM 20-5-5 5.1 NEPA
FDM 20-5-10 10.1 WEPA 


Refer to the Forms and tools page for factor sheets and guidance


Commercial and industrial

A project that affects only the social or economic environment does not require an environmental impact statement (EIS) unless the effects are related to the natural environment.

Community and residential

Environmental justice (EJ) determines first whether a minority population or low-income population exists within the project's area of impact. If no population exists after reasonable efforts to identify one, record it in item two and the process is complete. If a minority or low-income population is identified, refer to the Environmental Justice steps and flowchart on the Environmental Justice page.

General economics

The general economics discussion of an environmental document should include both beneficial and adverse effects to existing and potential economic developments. This requires knowledge about the areas economics and the potential for economic development. The business community, and local units of government should be contacted to locate this information. The  WisDOT library and the U.S. Census Bureau have many publications that provide business and economic data on the economy within an area.

FHWA information and guidebooks
Relocation Act
relocation assistance
Economic, social and environmental effects, 23 U.S.C. 109(H)
FHWA Environmental Review Toolkit

Commercial and industry FAQs

Q. How does commercial and industrial information differ from general economics information?

A. Commercial and industrial information focuses on the business and production elements of the affected area's economy. The discussion includes the commercial and industrial climate, and how the proposal affects it during construction and when the facility is opened.

Q. How are concerns addressed from the commercial and industrial community and accessing their businesses during construction?

A. First determine the nature of those concerns and meet with them to explore designs that may improve them. Temporary access, signage and construction staging are often used to lessen construction impacts. Seek input from the community early and often.

Q. How is environmental justice addressed on the factor sheet?

A. Use the standard verbiage (below) if it applies. See also guidance and tips for documentation. There is a separate screening worksheet to address environmental justice.

Q. General economics: what are economic development issues?

A. Economic development involves the existing and potential economic development. Projects should maintain or improve existing economic development and accommodate potential economic developments in the project area.

Projects that are an EIS must use a methodology similar to the indirect impact assessment to assess the project's effects on economic development. Discuss the project's economic advantages, disadvantages and the potential for economic development.

Standard verbiage

The environmental justice evaluation factor sheet is used. Projects that do not require the EJ factor sheet should use the following standard verbiage when appropriate. For question 2 under community and residential include a discussion of affected neighborhood(s) by using this:

This document is in compliance with U.S. DOT and FHWA policies to determine whether a proposed project will have induced socioeconomic impacts or high and disproportionate adverse impacts on minority or low-income populations and it meets the requirements of Executive Order on Environmental Justice 12898 - "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low-Income Populations". Neither minority population nor low-income populations would receive disproportionately high or adverse impacts as a result of the *(preferred/any) alternative. Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12898 - Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations and FHWA Order 6640.23, no further EJ analysis is required.