The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers utilizes a planning process in evaluating sustainable solutions for the Nation’s Civil Works projects.This planning process follows the six-step process defined in the federal Principles and Guidelines (P&G) for Water and Related Land Resources.
In planning Corps’ Civil Works projects, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the P&G require that an array of reasonable alternatives be evaluated. The P&G further requires that the alternative plan with the greatest net economic benefit consistent with protecting the nation’s environment (the NED Plan) is to be selected.
Benefit Cost Analysis is the most common method for comparing alternatives and exploring net effects of each alternative. Comparing possible alternatives (or different plans) is important to identify the most important effects and to compare those effects between alternatives (advantages and disadvantages of each plan).