National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documents

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The Office of Science (SC) has NEPA Compliance Officers (NCOs) on staff to coordinate NEPA compliance for matters under its purview. Responsibilities are listed in DOE Order 451.1B and notably include managing the preparation, review, and approval of NEPA documentation. SC takes a proactive approach in meeting the environmental and decision-making goals of NEPA and associated Department of Energy and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations by developing and implementing:

  • Policy and management expectations
  • NEPA guidance and procedures

Categorical Exclusion (CX) Determinations

CXs are categories of actions that DOE has determined, by regulation, do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement normally is required. DOE's CXs are listed in Appendices A and B to Subpart D of its NEPA regulations,10 CFR Part 1021. A CX Determination is the formal documentation establishing that a proposed agency action fits within one or more CX categories.

Environmental Assessments (EA) / Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)

EAs are concise (i.e., screening level) documents that a Federal agency prepares under NEPA to provide sufficient evidence and analysis to determine whether a proposed agency action would require preparation of an environmental impact statement or support a finding of no significant impact.

EISs are detailed documents elaborating on proposed agency actions that could significantly affect the quality of the human environment.