The short version is an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, is a document that describes the impacts on the environment as a result of a proposed action. It also describes impacts of alternatives as well as plans to mitigate the impacts.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a document prepared to describe the effects for proposed activities on the environment. "Environment," in this case, is defined as the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment. This means that the "environment" considered in an EIS includes land, water, air, structures, living organisms, environmental values at the site, and the social, cultural, and economic aspects. An "impact" is a change in consequence that results from an activity. Impacts can be positive or negative or both. An EIS describes impacts, as well as ways to "mitigate" impacts. To "mitigate" means to lessen or remove negative impacts.
SEIS just means something significant happened and they had to consider the impacts of that change. Then a supplement is made to the original EIS. These supplements are a full review of the original EIS with the additional consideration of what has changed. It is as complex as the original EIS process with less opportunity for public input.
The SEIS is an amended EIS that contains changes that were made necessary after the original EIS was adopted. The SEIS is a recreation of the EIS with the changes incorporated into it. To see what was different between the SEIS and the EIS, one must view the DSEIS (Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement).
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