Frequent Questions

What is EPA's role in the NEPA process?

The Environmental Protection Agency, like other federal agencies, prepares and reviews NEPA documents. However, EPA has a unique responsibility in the NEPA review process. Under Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to review and publicly comment in writing on the environmental impacts of major federal actions for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared under NEPA. If EPA determines that the action is environmentally unsatisfactory, it is required by Section 309 to refer the matter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Also, in accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement between EPA and CEQ, EPA carries out the operational duties associated with the administrative aspects of the EIS filing process. The Office of Federal Activities in EPA has been designated the official recipient in EPA of all EISs prepared by federal agencies.

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