« PreviousContinue »
(iii) Policy, regulations, and procedure-making.
(b) The statutory clause "major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment” is to be construed by agencies with a view to the overall, cumulative impact of the action proposed (and of further actions contemplated). Such actions may be localized in their impact, but if there is potential that the environment may be significantly affected, the statement is to be prepared. Proposed actions, the environmental impact of which is likely to be highly controversial, should be covered in all cases. In considering what constitutes major action significantly affecting the environment, agencies should bear in mind that the effect of many Federal decisions about a project or complex of projects can be individually limited but cumulatively considerable. This can occur when one or more agencies over period of years puts into a project individually minor but collectively major resources, when one decision involving a limited amount of money is a precedent for action in much larger cases or represents a decision in principle about a future major course of action, or when several Government agencies individually make decisions about partial aspects of a major action. The lead agency should prepare an environmental statement if it is reasonable to anticipate a cumulatively significant impact on the environment from Federal action. "Lead agency” refers to the Federal agency which has primary authority for committing the Federal Government to a course of action with significant environmental impact. As necessary, the Council on Environmental Quality will assist in resolving questions of lead agency determination.
(c) Section 101 (b) of the Act indicates the broad range of aspects of the environment to be surveyed in any assessment of significant effect. The Act also indicates that adverse significant effects include those that degrade the quality of the environment, curtail the range of beneficial uses of the environment, and serve short-term, to the disadvantage of long-term, environmental goals. Significant effects can also include actions which may have both beneficial and detrimental effects, even if, on balance, the agency believes that the effect will be beneficial. Significant adverse effects on the quality of the human environment include both those that directly affect human beings and those that indi. rectly affect human beings through adverse effects on the environment.
(d) Because of the Act's legislative history, environmental protective regulatory activities concurred in or taken by the Environmental Protection Agency are not deemed actions which require the preparation of environmental statements under section 102(2)(C) of the Act.
6. Content of environmental statement. (a) The following points are to be covered:
(i) A description of the proposed action including information and technical data adequate to permit a careful assessment of environmental impact by commenting agencies. Where relevant, maps should be provided.
(ii) The probable impact of the proposed action on the environment, including impact on ecological systems such as wildlife, fish, and marine life. Both primary and secondary significant consequences for the environment should be included in the analysis. For example, the implications, if any, of the action for population distribution or concentration should be estimated and an assessment made of the effect of any possible change in population patterns upon the resource base, including land use, water, and public services, of the area in question.
(iii) Any probable adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided (such as water or air pollution, undesirable land use patterns, damage to life systems, urban congestion, threats to health or other consequences adverse to the environmental goals set out in section 101 (b) of the Act).
(iv) Alternatives to the proposed action (section 10212) (D) of the Act requires the responsible agency to "study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommend courses of action in any proposal which involves unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources"). A rigorous exploration and objective evaluation of alternative actions that might avoid some or all of the adverse environmental effects is essential. Sufficient analysis of such alternatives and their costs and impact on the environment should accompany the proposed action through the agency review process in order not to foreclose prematurely options which might have less detrimental effects.
() The relationship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. This in essence requires the agency to assess the actions for cumulative and long-term effects from the perspective that each generation is trustee of the environment for succeeding generations.
(vi) Any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented. This requires the agency to identify the extent to which the action curtails the range of beneficial uses of the environment.
(vii) Where appropriate, a discussion of problems and objections raised by other Federal, State, and local agencies and by private organizations and individuals in the review process and the disposition of the issues involved. (This section may be added at the end of the review process in the final text of the environmental statement.)
(b) With respect to water quality aspects of the proposed action which have been previously certified by the appropriate State or interstate organization as being in substantial compliance with applicable water quality standards, the comment of the Environmental Protection Agency should also be requested.
(C) Each environmental statement should be prepared in accordance with the precept in section 102(2)(A) of the Act that all agencies of the Federal Government "utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which will insure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in planning and decisionmaking which may have an impact on man's environment."
(d) Where an agency follows a practice of declining to favor an alternative until public hearings have been held on a proposed action, a draft environmental statement may be prepared and circulated indicating that two or more alternatives are under consideration.
(e) Appendix 1 prescribes the form of the summary sheet which should accompany each draft and final environmental statement.
7. Federal agencies to be consulted in connection with preparation of environmental statement. A Federal agency considering an action requiring an environmental statement, on the basis of (i) a draft environmental statement for which it takes responsibility or (ii) comparable information followed by a hearing subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, should consult with, and obtain the comment on the environmental impact of the action of, Federal agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved. These Federal agencies include components of (depending on the aspect or aspects of the environment):
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
For actions specifically affecting the environment of their geographic jurisdictions, the following Federal and Federal-State agencies are also to be consulted :
Tennessee Valley Authority.
Agencies seeking comment should determine which one or more of the above listed agencies are appropriate to consult on the basis of the areas of expertise identified in Appendix 2 to these guidelines. It is recommended (i) that the above listed departments and agencies establish contact points, which often are most appropriately regional offices, for providing comments on the environmental statements and (ii) that departments from which comment is solicited coordinate and consolidate the comments of their component entities. The requirement in section 102(2)(C) to obtain comment from Federal agencies having jurisdiction or special expertise is in addition to any specific statutory obligation of any Federal agency to coordinate or consult with any other Federal or State agency. Agencies seeking comment may establish time limits of not less than thirty (30) days for reply, after which it may be presumed, unless the agency consulted requests a specified extension of time, that the agency consulted has no comment to make, Agencies seeking comment should endeavor to comply with requests for extensions of time of up to fifteen (15) days.
8. Interim EPA procedures for implementation of section 309 of the Clean Air Act, as amended. (a) Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, as amended, provides :
"SEC. 309. (a) The Administrator shall review and comment in writing on the environmental impact of any matter relating to duties and responsibilities granted pursuant to this Act or other provisions of the authority of the Administrator, contained in any (1) legislation proposed by any Federal department or agency, (2) newly authorized Federal projects for construction and any major Federal agency action (other than a project for construction) to which section 102(2)(C) of Public Law 91-190 applies, and (3) proposed regulations published by any department or agency of the Federal Government. Such written comment shall be made public at the conclusion of any such review.
“(b) In the event the Administrator determines that any such legislation, action, or regulation is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of public health or welfare or environmental quality, he shall publish his determination and the matter shall be referred to the Council on Environmental Quality.”
(b) Accordingly, wherever an agency action related to air or water quality, noise abatement and control, pesticide regulation, solid waste disposal, radiation criteria and standards, or other provisions of the authority of the Administrator if the Environmental Protection Agency is involved, including his enforcement authority, Federal agencies are required to submit for review and comment by the Administrator in writing: (i) proposals for new Federal construction projects and other major Federal agency actions to which section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act applies and (ii) proposed legislation and regulations, whether or not section 102 (2) (C) of the National Environmental Policy Act applies. (Actions requiring review by the Administrator do not include litigation or enforcement proceedings.) The Administrator's comments shall constitute his comments for the purposes of both section 309 of the Clean Air Act and section 102(2)(C) of the National Environment Policy Act. A period of 45 days shall be allowed for such review. The Administrator's written comment shall be furnished to the responsible Federal department or agency, to the Council on Environmental Quality and summarized in a notice published in the FEDERAL REGISTER. The public may obtain copies of such comment on request from the Environmental Protection Agency.
9. State and local review. Where no public hearing has been held on the proposed action at which the appropriate State and local review has been invited, and where review of the environmental impact of the proposed action by State and local agencies authorized to develop and enforce environmental standards is relevant, such State and local review shall be provided as follows:
(a) For direct Federal development projects and projects assisted under programs listed in Attachment D of the Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-95, review of draft environmental statements by State and local governments will be through procedures set forth under Part 1 of Circular No. A-95.
(b) Where these procedures are not appropriate and where a proposed action affects matters within their jurisdiction, review of the draft environmental statement on a proposed action by State and local agencies authorized to develop and enforce environmental standards and their comments on the environmental impact of the proposed action may be obtained directly or by distributing the draft environmental statement to the appropriate State, regional and metropolitan clearinghouses unless the Governor of the State involved has designated some other point for obtaining this review.
10. Use of statements in agency review processes; distribution to Council on Environmental Quality; availability to public. (a) Agencies will need to identify at what stage or stages of a series of actions relating to a particular matter the environmental statement procedures of this directive will be applied. It will often be necessary to use the procedures both in the development of a national program and in the review of proposed projects within the national program. However, where a grant-in-aid program does not entail prior approval by Federal agencies of specific projects the view of Federal, State, and local agencies in the legislative process may have to suffice. The principle to be applied is to obtain views of other agencies at the earliest feasible time in the development of program and project proposals. Care should be exercised so as not to duplicate the clearance process, but when actions being considered differ significantly from those that have already been reviewed pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the Act an environmental statement should be provided.
(b) Ten (10) copies of draft environmental statements (when prepared), ten (10) copies of all comments made thereon (to be forwarded to the Council by the entity making comment at the time comment is forwarded to the responsible agencr), and ten (10) copies of the final text of environmental statements (together with all comments received thereon by the responsible agency from Federal, State, and local agencies and from private organizations and individuals) shall be supplied to the Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of the President (this will serve as making environmental statements available to the President). It is important that draft environmental statements he prepa red and circulated for comment and furnished to the Council early enough in the agency review process before an action is taken in order to permit meaningful consideration of the environmental issues involved. To the maximum extent practicable no administrative action (i.e., any proposed action to be taken by the agency other than agency proposals for legislation to Congress or agency reports on legislation) subject to section 102 (2) (C) is to be taken sooner than ninety (90) days after a draft environmental statement has been circulated for comment, furnished to the Council and, except where advance public disclosure will result in significantly increased costs of procurement to the Government, made available to the public pursuant to these guidelines; neither should such administrative action be taken sooner than thirty (30) days after the final text of an environmental statement (together with comments) has been made available to the Council and the public. If the final text of an environmental statement is filed within ninety (90) days after a draft statement has been circulated for comment, furnished to the Council and made public pursuant to this section of these guidelines the thirty (30) day perioil and ninety (990) day period may run concurrently to the extent that they overlap.
(c) With respect to recommendations or reports on proposals for legislation to which section 102 (2) (C) applies, the final text of the environmental state. ment and comments thereon should be available to the Congress and to the public in support of the proposed legislation or report. In cases where the scheduling of congressional hearings on recommendations or reports on proposals for legislation which the Federal agency has forwarded to the Congress does not allow adequate time for the completion of a final text of an environmental statement (together with comments), a draft environmental statement may be furnished to the Congress and made available to the public pending transmittal of the comments as received and the final text.
(d) Where emergency circumstances make it necessary to take an action with significant environmental impact without observing the provisions of these guidelines concerning minimum periods for agency review and advance avail. ability of environmental statements, the Federal agency proposing to take the action should consult with the Council on Environmental Quality about alternative arrangements. Similarly, where there are overriding considerations of expense to the Government or impaired program effectiveness, the responsible agency should consult the Council concerning appropriate modifications of the minimum periods
(e) In accord with the policy of the National Environmental Policy Art and Executive Order 11514 agencies have a responsibility to develop procedures to insure the fullest practicable provision of timely public information and understanding of Federal plans and programs with environmental impact in order to obtain the views of interested parties. These procedures shall include, whenprer appropriate provision for public hearings, and shall provide the public with relevant information, including information on alternative courses of action. Agencies which hold hearings on proposed administrative actions or legislation should make the draft environmental statement available to the publie at least fifteen (15) days prior to the time of the relevant hearings exrert where the agency prepares the draft statement on the basis of a hearing subject to the Administrative Procedure Act and preceded by adequate public notice and information to identify the issues and obtain the comments provided for in sections 6-9 of these guidelines.
(f) The agency which prepared the environmental statement is responsible for making the statement and the comments received available to the public pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C., sec. 1572). without regard to the exclusion of interagency memoranda when such memoranda transmit comments of Federal agencies listed in section 7 of these guide lines on the environmental impact of proposed actions subject to section 102(2)(C).
(g) Agency procedures prepared pursuant to section 3 of these guidelines shall implement these public information requirements and shall include arrangements of availability of environmental statements and comments at the head and appropriate regional offices of the responsible agency and at appropriate State, regional, and metropolitan clearinghouses unless the Governor of the State involved designates some other point for receipt of this information.
11. Application of section 102(2)(C) procedure to eristing projects and programs. To the maximum extent practicable the section 102(2)(C) procedure should be applied to further major Federal actions having a significant effect on the environment even though they arise from projects or programs initiated prior to enactment of the Act on January 1, 1970. Where it is not practicable to reassess the basic course of action, it is still important that further incremental major actions be shaped so as to minimize adverse environmental consequences. It is also important in further action that account be taken of environmental consequences not fully evaluated at the outset of the project or program.
12. Supplementary guidelines, evaluation of procedures. (a) The Council on Environmental Quality after examining environmental statements and agency procedures with respect to such statements will issue such supplements to these guidelines as are necessary.
(b) Agencies will continue to assess their experience in the implementation of the section 102 (2) (C) provisions of the Act and in conforming with these guidelines and report thereon to the Council on Environmental Quality by December 1, 1971. Such reports should include an identification of the proviem areas and suggestions for revision or clarification of these guidelines to achieve effective coordination of views on environmental aspects (and alternatives, where appropriate) of proposed actions without imposing unproductive administrative procedures.
RUSSELL E. TRAIN.
Chairman. APPENDIX I
(Check one ( ) Draft. ( ) Final Environmental Statement.
Name of Responsible Federal Agency (with name of operating division where appropriate).
1. Name of Action. (Check one) () Administrative Action. ( ) Legislative Action.
2. Brief description of action indicating what States (and counties) particularly affected.
3. Suminary of environmental impact and adverse environmental effects. 4. List alternatives considered.
5. a. (For draft statements) Lists all Federal, State, and local agencies from which comments have been requested.
b. (For final statements) List all Federal, State, and local agencies and other sources from which written comments have been received.
6. Dates draft statement and final statement made available to Council on Environmental Quality and public.
APPENDIX II-FEDERAL AGENCIES WITH JURISDICTION BY LAW OR SPECIAL EXPER
TISE To COMMENT ON VARIOUS TYPES OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Air Quality and Air Pollution Control
Forest Service (effects on vegetation).
Air Pollution Control Office.
Bureau of Mines (fossil and gaseous fuel combustion).
Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (wildlife). Department of Transportation
Assistant Secretary for Systems Development and Technology (auto
emissions). Coast Guard (vessel emissions). Federal Aviation Administration (aircraft emissions).