National Capital Planning Commission NEPA Training and Submission Guidelines

TCG developed and presented a three-day training course on NEPA to the staff of NCPC. The course included an overview of the legal, policy and procedural requirements of NEPA and course material was tailored to NCPC issues to assure participants left the course with knowledge and materials to assist them with future NEPA requirements. The success of this course led to a subsequent contract to update NCPC’s Submission Guidelines, which explain the procedures for review and approval of projects and plans within the National Capital Region (NCR) by NCPC. Topics covered in the Submission Guidelines included specific design requirements for buildings for improvement and renovation projects, proper stormwater management and flood elevation and hazard area consideration. Successful update of the Guidelines required understanding of distinct review and approval processes for multiple building and project types within the NCR including historic buildings subject to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), building and site improvements, parks and open space acquisition/disposition/improvements, site acquisition, commemorative works, memorials and museums, master plans, transfers of jurisdiction, and foreign missions. TCG worked with NCPC to ensure the updated Guidelines clearly communicated the review and approval process for each project type and created a standard application form to standardize the collection of information on applicants and projects.

TCG supported NCPC in updating its Submission Guidelines, which explain the procedures for review and approval of projects and plans within the NRC by NCPC. This project began with stakeholder meetings with state and local agencies to inform focus areas for research and a memo.

The memo summarized the main issues of the current Submission Guidelines and incorporated best practices from other planning jurisdictions and a gap analysis. We provided aid and expertise on procedural alignment and engagement with applicant agencies, political appointees and other review agencies at the local, state and federal level. We also worked with NCPC to establish a consistent approach to flood risk in the NCR through facilitating meetings with other federal and state agencies in the NCR.

NCPC also hired TCG to develop a summary of existing guidance on floodplain management requirements, facilitate agency workshops to discuss strategies for floodplain management in the NCR and develop a tool for NCPC to consistently review floodplain management within project applications. As part of this work, we facilitated a series of floodplain management workshops to compare agency strategies and identify opportunities for collaboration. We provided written recommendations on how NCPC can more effectively review projects in floodplains through proposed changes to Submission Guidelines, and questions to consider in the review process or other strategies. We also created a staff resource guide to aid NCPC staff in evaluating projects with flood risk in the NCR. Our work culminated in a presentation of our findings to the Commission, a diverse group of stakeholders that included Presidential appointees, mayors, and agency executives.

You can view the Submission Guidelines website here for more details: