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DOE NEPA Rulemaking

Revisions to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulations regarding implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) became effective on November 14, 2011. 

DOE has established 20 new categorical exclusions, most of which include criteria (e.g., acreage, location, and height limitations) that limit the covered actions. These categorical exclusions address actions such as stormwater runoff control, alternative fuel vehicle fueling stations and electric vehicle charging stations, and small-scale renewable energy projects. DOE also has revised many existing categorical exclusions and made other changes.

Final Rule

Notice of Final Rulemaking (76 FR 63763; October 13, 2011) 

Final rule, 10 CFR Part 1021, with changes tracked from the previous rule.

Final rule, 10 CFR Part 1021

Technical Support Document for final rule: presents changes and information that supplements the Preamble discussion of the supporting basis for the changes. Many documents referenced in the Technical Support Document are available on the Federal eRulemaking Portal (regulations.gov, Docket DOE-HQ-2010-0002). (Eight of the documents cited in the Technical Support Document are not posted elsewhere online, and are therefore provided below.)

  • Support for B3.15: Nanomaterials Safety Implementation Plan, Ames Laboratory
  • Support for B3.15: Nanomaterial Laboratory Safety, Boise State University
  • Support for B3.15: Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Support for B5.13: Geologic Carbon Dioxide Storage Field Projects Supported by DOE’s Sequestration Program
  • Support for B5.16: Department of Veterans Affairs, FONSI - Rooftop solar PV power at Calverton National Cemetery
  • Support for B5.16: Department of Veterans Affairs, FONSI - Ground mounted solar photovoltaic power at San Joaquin National Cemetery
  • Support for B5.25: ARPA-E Technical Support Memo
  • Support for B5.25: ARPA-E Technical Support Memo Appendices

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  (76 FR 214; January 3, 2011)

Notice Extending the Public Comment Period on Proposed Revisions to DOE’s NEPA Rulemaking (76 FR 9981; February 23, 2011)

Public Comment Received on Proposed Revisions to DOE's NEPA Rule: 10 CFR Part 1021

Proposed changes, shown as tracked changes from the previous rule

Technical Support Document for proposed rule: presents proposed changes and information that supplements the Preamble discussion of the supporting basis for the changes. (Eight of the documents cited in the Technical Support Document are not posted elsewhere online, and are therefore provided above under Final Rule.)

Request for Information and Previous Rule 

Request for Information (74 FR 68720; December 29, 2009) seeking public input on the proposed rulemaking and RFI Guidelines (December 21, 2009).

10 CFR Part 1021, version of DOE’s NEPA Implementing Procedures in effect at the time of the rulemaking. Categorical exclusions are listed in Appendices A and B to Subpart D.

Previous Rulemaking/History

DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures: Final Rule (61 Fed Reg 64603; December 6, 1996)

DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures: Final Rule (61 Fed Reg 36222; July 9, 1996)

DOE NEPA Implementing Procedures: Final Rule (57 Fed Reg 15122; April 24, 1992)

Historical Compilation of Federal Register Notices for DOE NEPA Guidelines and Regulations