Environmental Services Abbreviations & Acronyms You Need to Know!

Environmental Services Abbreviations & Acronyms You Need to Know! image
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There are a lot of abbreviations and acronyms in the environmental services industry; so many that it’s easy to get confused, whether you are new to the industry or have been in it for a long time. 

FCS—and there’s another acronym for you—strives to make the environmental services (ES) industry as easy to navigate as possible. The ES industry is filled with words and acronyms that are highly technical and field-specific. Just this week we received an email from a client with the subject line "CEQA and NEPA" which made perfect sense to us, and maybe not to someone who is not familiar with the terminology. Consequently, we thought it would be useful to share some of the most common acronyms to help you get familiar with them. 

Common Environmental Services Abbreviations & Acronyms 

AB - Assembly Bill: A bill initiated in the State Assembly. 

AQ – Air Quality: The degree to which the ambient air is pollution-free, assessed by measuring a number of indicators of pollution. 

CEQA – California Environmental Quality Act: A California statute passed in 1970 and signed into law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, shortly after the United States federal government passed the National Environmental Policy Act, to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection. 

DEIR - Draft Environmental Impact Report: A detailed analysis of a proposed project’s potentially significant effect on the human environment. 

DOE - The U.S. Department of Energy: Department whose mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. 

EIR – Environment Impact Report: Reports that inform the public and public agency decision-makers of significant environmental effects of proposed projects, identify possible ways to minimize those effects, and describe reasonable alternatives to those projects. 

EIS - Environmental Impact Statement: A document prepared to describe the effects for proposed activities on the environment. 

ES – Environmental Services: Refers to the qualitative functions of natural assets of land, water and air.  

EO - Executive Order: A signed, written, and published directive from the President of the United States that manages operations of the federal government. 

EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: An independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. 

ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance: An approach to evaluating the extent to which a corporation works on behalf of social goals that go beyond the role of a corporation to maximize profits on behalf of the corporation's shareholders. 

FCS – FirstCarbon Solutions: A leading provider of environmental, sustainability, and compliance solutions, delivering fully-integrated consulting, software, and data management services. 

FEIR - Final Environmental Impact Report: Evaluates the adverse physical environmental impacts that would occur through implementation of the draft general plan. 

FEIS - Final Environmental Impact Statement: A document prepared to describe the effects for proposed activities on the environment. 

GHG – Greenhouse Gases: Compound gases that trap heat or longwave radiation in the atmosphere. 

LOS – Level of Service: A quality measure describing operational conditions within a traffic stream, generally in terms of such service measures as speed and travel time, freedom to maneuver, traffic interruptions, and comfort and convenience. 

MND - Mitigated Negative EIR Declaration: A negative declaration (ND) that incorporates revisions (mitigation measures) in the proposed project that will avoid or mitigate impacts to a point where clearly no significant impacts on the environment would occur. 

NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act: A United States environmental law that promotes the enhancement of the environment and established the President's Council on Environmental Quality. 

ND - Negative Declaration: Used when decision-makers conclude that a project will not have a significant effect on the environment, or when the project has potentially significant effects which can be reduced or avoided by imposing certain conditions on the project. 

NOP - Notice of Preparation: A brief notice sent by a lead agency to notify the responsible agencies, trustee agencies, and involved federal agencies that the lead agency plans to prepare an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) or an Environment Assessment (EA) with significant impacts for the project, to solicit guidance from those agencies as to the scope and content of the environmental information to be included in the EIR or EA with significant impacts. 

NODs - Notices of Determination: A written notification of a final decision or order issued by the Department or any other governmental entity from which an appeal to the Board may be taken. 

NOA - Notices of Availability: Provides public notice of the availability of a Draft EIR for public review. 

OPR - Office of Planning and Research: Entity offering a range of legislative and policy research support services. 

RFP - Request for Proposal: A detailed specification of goods or services required by an organization, sent to potential contractors or suppliers. 

SB - Senate Bill: A proposed statute that began as a bill in the State Senate. 

VMT – Vehicle Miles Traveled: A policy of charging motorists based on how many miles they have traveled. 

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of ES acronyms and abbreviations, it’s a good way to familiarize yourself with the most common terms. It’s helpful to understand everything you’re reading about in this industry and FCS is here to help you along the way. Keep this list handy for assistance in the future. 

Firstcarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovation, comprises over 100 individuals offering due diligence, technical analysis, planning, environmental compliance, permitting, and mitigation/monitoring services for public and private projects. FCS has more than 30 years of experience navigating the complexities of CEQA and securing project approvals. Our technical and legal teams are ready to provide assistance and guidance in moving your project forward. To stay current on the latest trends in environmental planning and consulting, follow us on LinkedIn.  

About the author


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FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Organization, offers a full complement of efficient, practical and cost-effective services to assess and manage the environmental impact of new and modified projects. FCS has over 37 years of experience across more than 8,000 projects subject to CEQA requirements.

With more than 39 years of experience, FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), is a leading provider of environmental, sustainability, and compliance solutions, delivering fully-integrated consulting, software, and data management services.

How we can help

In an ever-changing regulatory and sustainability environment, FCS understands the challenges you face. Our highly qualified environmental specialists, energy management consultants, and technical experts deliver integrated, industry-specific solutions that move your project forward—so that you can focus on what matters.