Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy will save time and money in its environmental reviews of many proposed energy projects under revised regulations approved September 27, 2011, to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions focus on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in 15 years. A categorical exclusion applies to a class of actions that an agency has determined normally do not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the human environment.
On September 27, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) approved revisions to its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, and on September 28th, submitted the revisions to the Federal Register. The final regulations, which become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, are the culmination of a 2-year process to review and update DOE’s NEPA implementing procedures. This process involved internal evaluation, public participation, and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) review.
Today, the Department of Energy issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations governing compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposals focus primarily on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in thirteen years. The Department sought public input earlier this year to assist in the preparation of the current proposals.