What you Need to Know about NEPA

When do you need a NEPA analysis?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law in 1970 which required Federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of a “major federal action” prior to decision-making.  A NEPA analysis is most commonly used to evaluate a proposed action or project which involves federal land, federal funding, or issuance of a federal permit. These actions may include new construction, formal planning, federal facility projects and other actions. Due to the recent increase in federal grant funding distributions and infrastructure spending, state and local government agencies, as well as private entities, have noticed an increasing need for NEPA studies. Generally, projects receiving federal funding require NEPA analysis and documentation before funding can be granted or utilized.  HUD funded housing projects and utility projects that received USDA funds are common examples of projects that require NEPA analyses.

How to comply with NEPA

How do you comply with NEPA? There are three main categories of NEPA analysis: Categorical Exclusions (CATEX), Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). CATEX is the lowest and most simple level of analysis and EIS stands as the most detailed and complex level of analysis. The level of NEPA analysis required varies based on the respective funding agencies’ guidelines and the anticipated level of impact to the existing environment of the proposed action.

ECS has extensive and successful experience in conducting NEPA analyses for a variety of agencies including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Highways Administration, and U.S. Department of Interior. Using an internal and external collaborative approach to NEPA, ECS can seamlessly guide you through the complicated NEPA process, ensuring your planned project stays on schedule and complies with all NEPA regulations.