What is NEPA?
- The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq) is a federal law that requires all federal agencies to identify and analyze the potential environmental effects of certain proposed actions before those actions take place.
- NEPA requires all branches of the federal government to coordinate with State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations in the federal decision-making process and to make NEPA documentation available to all interested parties.
- All NEPA documents and resulting decision documents are public record.
How does the Army implement NEPA?
- Environmental Analysis of Army Actions; Final Rule, 32 CFR Part 651, establishes specific procedures for intra-Army NEPA implementation using a systematic, interdisciplinary, analytical approach and provides intra-agency guidance for the preparation of NEPA documents.
- 32 CFR Part 651 states that the “integration of NEPA with other Army projects and programs planning must occur at the earliest possible time”. Early integration of NEPA into the Army’s decision-making process allows the Army to “identify and describe the range of reasonable alternatives to accomplish the purpose and need for the proposed action or project”.
- 32 CFR provides Army specific guidance on Categorical Exclusions (CX), Records of Environmental Consideration (REC), Environmental Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements (EIS).