National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)
|NEPA is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, NEPA was established to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. NEPA establishes policy, sets goals (section 101), and provides means (section 102) for carrying out the policy. Section 102(2) contains “action-forcing” provisions to make sure that federal agencies act according to the letter and spirit of the Act. The President, the federal agencies, and the courts share responsibility for enforcing the Act so as to achieve the substantive requirements of section 101.|
The mission of the Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance is to assure that the Department’s proposed actions comply with the requirements of the NEPA and related environmental review requirements (e.g., National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and others) that are necessary prior to project implementation. The Office is the Departmental focal point for NEPA expertise and related activities in all program areas, covering virtually every facet of the Department’s diverse and complex operations.
The Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance also maintains the DOE NEPA Website, which serves as a focal point for DOE NEPA implementation, and contains information about current DOE NEPA events, an electronic archive of DOE NEPA documents, and other resources for NEPA practitioners and members of the public.
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. CEQ was established within the Executive Office of the President by Congress as part of the NEPA and additional responsibilities were provided by the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970.