Scoping Process

Scoping is defined as “an early and open process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed in the EIS and identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action” according to 40 CFR §1501.7. Scoping provides a forum for agencies, officials, and the public to present additional background and technical information, as well as to make any comments on the Proposed Action, alternatives to be considered, and impacts to be evaluated.

The FAA conducted a scoping process for the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from April 9 through June 15, 2009. During this time, the FAA received 135 comments from Federal, State and local agencies; elected officials; businesses; and households. A majority of the comments concerned the construction of a new runway at IAH and its potential beneficial and adverse effects on both the environment and communities near the airport. Commenters were primarily concerned with the potential for the Proposed Action to result in increases in noise/vibration; reductions in property values; land acquisition/relocation, as well as adverse impacts to local air quality. A number of commenters provided alternatives, other than those identified as preliminary alternatives by the FAA, which they felt should be evaluated in the EIS. The FAA is considering all of the scoping comments in developing the scope of work for the Draft EIS.

More detailed information on the scoping process, the comments received, and how the FAA will address these comments is described in the Scoping Report.

Scoping Meetings held May 12 and 14, 2009

The FAA hosted two Public Scoping Meetings attended by over 500 people and an agency meeting at which seven public agencies were represented. These meetings afforded an opportunity to interact with and pose questions to representatives of the FAA and EIS consultant team. A brief power point presentation and display boards describing the EIS process and the Proposed Action were provided. The May 12 Public Scoping Meeting was held at the Humble Civic Center located at 8233 Will Clayton Parkway in Humble, Texas. The meeting on May 14 was held at the Nimitz High School located at 2005 W.W. Thorne Drive in Houston, Texas.

The Scoping Meeting sign-in sheets, handouts, project boards and presentations are available below.

How the Public Scoping Meetings Were Advertised

The FAA’s Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for proposed development at IAH was published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2009. The NOI included the dates, location and times of the public scoping meetings. After the publication of the NOI, the FAA sent out scoping letters/media releases/postcards, and placed advertisements in several newspapers to further publicize the scoping meeting locations, dates and times. Lists of the agencies, elected officials, and community organizations who received scoping letters are provided below. Media releases and a walk-through invitation were sent to the television, radio, and print media contacts as well. Postcards were mailed to residents and businesses in the following zip codes: 77014, 77032, 77060, 77067, 77068, 77073, 77090, 77338, 77339, 77345, 77346, 77373, 77393, and 77396. Additionally, postcards were mailed to individuals who had submitted noise comments to the HAS after the opening of Runway 8L/26R as well as civic, neighborhood, and special interest organizations. In total over 132,000 postcards were mailed out to announce the public scoping meetings. A public notice was placed in the legal section of the Houston Chronicle. Display ads were placed in La Voz, and the Kingwood/ Humble, Aldine/North Houston, and Spring/Klein/Tomball Neighborhood News sections of the Houston Chronicle. Display ads were also placed in the Woodlands Observer and the Humble/Kingwood Observer.

There will be additional opportunities, including public meetings/hearings, to provide input and learn more about the EIS. Dates and times for these opportunities have not yet been set. The FAA encourages you to visit this Web site often to obtain up-to-date information regarding future public meetings/hearings and any other future opportunities to provide your input.