National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 2012 Annual Results
In fulfillment of our responsibilities under Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, EPA issued comment letters on 430 draft and final EISs. These included EISs concerning:
- renewable energy - 25
- oil and gas exploration or extraction - 14
- mining - 15
- transmission lines - 12
EPA met its performance goals in FY 2012 for the NEPA program: 75% of the significant impacts identified in EPA's comment letters on Draft EISs were avoided, minimized, or compensated for ("mitigated") by the lead Agencies in the Final EISs published in FY 2012.
High Priority Infrastructure Projects
EPA engaged with lead Federal Agencies during NEPA reviews to support work on a number of high priority infrastructure projects identified through the Presidential Memorandum on Speeding Infrastructure Development and the Executive Order on Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects. EPA also worked with federal agencies as a member of the Rapid Response Teams for Renewable Energy, Transmission Lines, and Transportation to improve federal agency coordination and timely completion of permits, reviews, and requirements for high priority infrastructure projects.
EPA implemented e-NEPA, an electronic filing system for Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) that will increase efficiency and transparency and save government resources. EPA conducted outreach efforts (webinars, conference calls and meetings) with Agencies to pilot electronic filing and educate them on the process and benefits of the system.
Air Quality Memorandum of Understanding
We continued our efforts to implement the interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service that established a mutually acceptable approach for addressing air quality analyses and mitigation for Federal oil and gas development actions.
EPA released the NEPAssist Public View, which was promoted as a Counsel on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA pilot project to improve the efficiency of Federal Environmental Reviews. We demonstrated the benefits of this application to a broad audience through public webinars, press releases, help guides and Questions/Answers.
Environmental Justice and NEPA
We created Environmental Justice Considerations in the NEPA Process, which includes federal and agency guidance and best practices related to EJ and NEPA, methodologies that support EJ considerations, and on-line tools to support EJ Analyses.
Childrens Health and NEPA
We collaborated with the Office of Children's Health Protection to develop a joint memorandum "Addressing Children's Health through Reviews Conducted Pursuant to NEPA and Section 309 of the Clean Air Act". The memorandum includes a template for EPA's scoping comments and a list of projects that may affect children's health for use during the environmental review process.