a1 Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, Geosciences and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations stipulate that when an agency opts to have a private contractor prepare an environmental impact statement, contractor selection should be conducted in such a way as to avoid conflicts of interest (COIs) that might adversely affect the integrity of the NEPA process. The goal is to ensure an unbiased, credible, and defensible environmental impact statement that supports public and transparent decision making. The contractor is responsible for executing a COI disclosure statement prepared by the agency, stating that the contractor has “no financial or other interest” in the outcome of the project. Because determining freedom from COIs after the fact may be difficult, private NEPA contractors should proactively collect information that supports a broad COI analysis of all aspects of their business models, taking into consideration requirements from other regulations that may govern a specific contractor/agency relationship.
Environmental Practice 12:168–174 (2010)
c1 Address correspondence to: Bradley Werling, Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, Geosciences and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166; (phone) 210-522-6565; (fax) 210-522-5155; (email) email@example.com
Bradley Werling is a research scientist in the Geosciences and Engineering Division at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. He has a BA in Engineering-Physics from Westmont College (1985), a BS in Chemistry from Southwest Texas State (1999), and an MS in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio (2000). In 2007, Mr. Werling completed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) certificate program as part of the Duke University Environmental Leadership Program cosponsored by the Council on Environmental Quality. He has experience providing both technical and managerial support for reviewing and preparing environmental impact assessments. As a Geosciences and Engineering Division employee, Mr. Werling has direct experience performing NEPA work for an organization that functions as a contractor, uses subcontractors and consultants, and conducts systematic conflict-of-interest analyses as part of routine business.
David Turner, PhD, PG, is a staff scientist in the Geosciences and Engineering Division at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. With a background in geology and geochemistry, Dr. Turner has supported a variety of technical programs, including contaminant transport, investigating ways to incorporate geochemistry into risk assessment calculations, and environmental impact assessments to ensure compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. He has presented research results to the international scientific community, industrial clients, and government agencies at the federal and local levels. He has worked also as adjunct faculty at the University of the Incarnate Word, Trinity University, and St. Mary's University in San Antonio, teaching undergraduate courses in geology and environmental science, and has authored or coauthored over 100 reports and papers on a wide variety of subjects, including geochemistry and environmental impact assessment.