Winning the Environmental Review RFP

How to Bulletproof Your NEPA Consulting Proposal

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The RFP -- or ever-important request for proposal -- remains the lifeblood of any environmental consulting business. It's the means by which an agency advertises a project to contractors who have the skills, education and experience to pull it off. And, as such, the process is specifically designed to include a few catches so that only the best, most detail-oriented candidates apply. Below, SmartComment gives its tips for navigating this crucial system and landing your RFP proposal on the top of the pile.

Posted on March 3, 2016
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NEPA Know-How

Five Little-Known Facts About the National Environmental Policy Act

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The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the granddaddy of America's environmental policy. Signed into law in 1970, it took on and tamed a 'build first' culture where huge federal projects were developed with little coordination or public involvement, and with few considerations aside from the resulting economic benefit.

Like many grandpas cut from the cloth of the Vietnam Era, NEPA is still jutting out its cast-iron chin today. It's far from perfect, but it has good intentions and carries a simple demand that you know how to handle yourself when you cross paths with it. If you're a lawyer, consultant or government specialist who deals with NEPA on a regular basis, you may think you know every wrinkle in its craggy face and starched-white legal precedent in its closet. But NEPA's got a few surprises hidden under the surface. So please join us as SmartComment cracks open the old man's attic trunk and shares some surprises about this enigmatic figure, who almost single-handedly transformed our country's environmental culture -- and is pretty much the reason we were able to start a company that makes public comment software in the first place.

Posted on December 31, 2015
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We Went to a Planning Conference

SmartComment Spent a Weekend with California County Planners. Here’s What We Learned.

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As SmartComment continues to talk and work with a wider group of clients -- from transportation project teams to environmental agencies to local governments -- we are repeatedly impressed by the public entities we see embracing new ways of doing things. For example, the agency leader who makes sure that data from a public comment period remains accessible and digitally preserved instead of scattering into file cabinets and manila folders. Or the public outreach official, tasked with setting up a public hearing, who uses laptops and a website to provide electronic comments alongside the usual stack of comment cards.

Posted on October 30, 2015
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