Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Smithsonian Institution's South Mall Campus Master Plan
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970, as amended and implemented by the Council on Environmental, and in accordance with the Environmental Policies and Procedures adopted by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the NCPC announces its intent along with the Smithsonian Institution (SI), and in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS will provide a full and fair discussion of the potential environmental impacts resulting from implementation of SI's South Mall Campus Master Plan. NCPC will act as lead federal agency for NEPA compliance and SI is the project owner, sponsoring the preparation of the EIS. Although SI is not a ``federal agency'' within the meaning of NEPA and CEQ Regulations, SI works with federal agencies on NEPA compliance when, as here, an SI project requires federal agency approval. The South Mall Campus Master Plan (Master Plan) will evaluate opportunities to: Better align Smithsonian facilities on the South Mall Campus with SI's mission; increase public access to the museums and gardens; replace and upgrade aging building systems; upgrade security systems campus wide; rehabilitate and restore historic buildings; provide seismic retrofitting; consolidate and upgrade loading functions; enhance public space; and increase the visitor services provided in the area. The Master Plan will revitalize the South Mall Campus by interconnecting programs and services both above- and below- grade; and, by improving physical access for all through enhanced circulation, way finding, and program visibility. These improvements will provide visitors and staff with facilities, amenities, and educational experiences expected of a world class institution.