Navy Base Intermodal Container Transfer Facility at the Former Charleston Naval Complex (CNC) in North Charleston, South Carolina


Commonly Used Terms and Acronyms


Charleston Naval Complex (CNC): A complex of multiple Naval commands that included the Naval Shipyard (NSY), Naval Station (NS), Naval Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC), Fleet and Mine Warfare Training Center (FMWTC), and the Naval Reserve Center (NRC) and several other small organizations. A portion of this complex was closed by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission in 1993 and 1995.

Cooperating Agency: A cooperating agency has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to environmental impacts involved with the proposed project, and is involved in the NEPA analysis.

CSX Transportation (CSX): One of three Class I rail carriers in the United States serving the majority of the East Coast, and one of two serving South Carolina.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS): A document which evaluates and analyzes significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts of alternative actions and is made available for public comment. It includes analyses of impacts on a host of resources (including natural resources [water, air, plants, and animals], cultural resources, land use, infrastructure, aesthetics, and the socioeconomic environment). It includes a description of the baseline environmental and socioeconomic conditions against which impacts of the proposed action and alternatives are evaluated. It also identifies potential consequences and appropriate mitigation (methods to lessen adverse impacts) measures.

Drayage Road: For intermodal freight transport, a road used for the transfer of goods or cargo over a short distance between ocean ports or rail ramps and shipping docks and often part of a longer overall move. [In this case, a truck pickup from the Port facility to the ICTF.]

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): The report that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which documents the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of a proposed project or action, and alternatives to it.

Environmentally Preferred Alternative: The Agency's Preferred Alternative is the one that (at the end of the EIS) it believes would fulfill its statutory mission and responsibilities, giving consideration to economic, environmental, technical, and other factors.

Equal Access: The same opportunity for approach and entry to the ICTF (In this case, CSX and NS would have equal access to the ICTF).

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA): The administration administers and enforces the federal laws and related regulations designed to promote safety on railroads and exercises jurisdiction over all areas of rail safety, such as track maintenance, inspection standards, equipment standards, and operating practices.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): The environmental document which addresses public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and recommends mitigation actions for significant impacts.

Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF): Location where containerized cargo is transferred from one mode of transport (such as truck) to another mode (such as rail).

Lead Federal Agency: The federal agency taking primary responsibility for preparing an Environmental Impact Statement, as prescribed in 40CFR§1508.16.

Mitigation: Planning of project design and/or construction to avoid or overcome adverse impacts.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Legislation enacted in 1969 that established a national environmental policy requiring that any project using federal funding or requiring federal approval (including transportation projects) must examine the impacts that the proposal and alternative choices would have on the environment before a federal decision is made.

Norfolk Southern Railway (NS): One of three Class I rail carriers in the United States serving the majority of the eastern states, and one of two serving South Carolina.

Notice of Intent (NOI): A notice published in the Federal Register advising that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared, with a brief description of the proposed action and possible alternatives, and contact information for obtaining further information about the project and preparation of the DEIS.

Processing and Classification Tracks: One of several sets of railroad tracks devoted to sorting and classifying rail cars for their next destination. Inbound cars arrive on receiving tracks, are inspected, assigned priority for departure, and sent to classification tracks in “blocks” with common destinations.

Record of Decision (ROD): A document stating the final decision on the proposed action and specifies the needed mitigation measures and monitoring programs on the basis of the information presented in the EIS.

Scoping: Scoping is an early and open process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action.

South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA): Entity whose role is to promote, develop and facilitate waterborne commerce to meet the current and future needs of its customers, and for the economic benefit of the citizens and businesses of South Carolina.

TEUs: Twenty Foot Equivalent Units are a standard volume unit for describing a ship’s cargo capacity, or a shipping terminal’s cargo-handling capacity.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps): A federal government agency with three primary programs (Regulatory, Civil Works, and Military) whose missions include:

  • Planning, designing, building, and operating locks and dams. Other civil engineering projects include flood control, beach nourishment, and dredging for waterway navigation.
  • Design and construction of flood protection systems through various federal mandates.
  • Design and construction management of military facilities for the Army, Air Force, Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve and other Defense and Federal agencies.
  • Environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal government agency that supports and regulates the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. EPA has designated review authority for all federal EIS’s. The EPA, like other federal agencies, prepares and reviews NEPA documents. However, EPA has a unique responsibility in the NEPA review process. Under Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to review and publicly comment on the environmental impacts of major federal actions, including actions which are the subject of EISs. If EPA determines that the action is environmentally unsatisfactory, it is required by Section 309 to refer the matter to CEQ.

Waters of the United States: This term means: (1) All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide; (2) All interstate waters including interstate wetlands; (3) All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters: (i) Which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes; or (ii) From which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or (iii) Which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce. (4) All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under this definition; (5) Tributaries of waters identified in paragraphs (I)-(4) of this section; (6) The territorial sea; (7) Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (s) (l)-(6) of this section; waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA (other than cooling ponds as defined in 40 CFR § 423.11 (m) which also meet the criteria of this definition) are not waters of the United States. (t) The term "wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.

Wide-span gantry crane: A crane that may be rail mounted or on tires, with a span of adequate width to straddle several rows of cargo containers. The crane is used to manage and stack cargo.