The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assures that the BLM (and other federal agencies) will consider the impact of an action on the human environment before decisions are made and the action is taken. It requires that NEPA documents concentrate on issues that are significant to the action in question. The NEPA process is intended to help public officials make better decisions based on an understanding of environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the human environment. This process is outlined in BLM's NEPA Handbook. In-depth information on this Handbook may be found in BLM's NEPA Web Guide.
In accordance with the NEPA Process, Arizona BLM conducts an interdisciplinary review of the environmental effects of the proposal so that the relevant environmental information is available to citizens and public officials. Our review of the environmental effects of a proposed action can take one of the following four forms:
CATEGORICAL EXCLUSIONS (CX) -
These types of proposed activities do not individually or cumulatively have significant environmental effects and may be exempt from requirements to prepare an environmental analysis. These actions are not included in the online registers.
D0CUMENTATION OF NEPA ADEQUACY (DNA) -
A Documentation of NEPA Adequacy (DNA) identifies previously prepared NEPA documents which adequately describe the environmental consequences of a newly proposed action. In most cases, a DNA is prepared without additional public involvement
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS (EA) -
An EA is prepared to determine if a proposed action or alternative will significantly affect the quality of the human environment. If the impacts are determined to be insignificant, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is prepared and is made a part of the decision. If the impacts are determined to be significant, the proposed action may be rejected, modified, or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may be prepared. Public involvement activities for an EA range from notifying those directly affected by the proposed action to providing review drafts for public comment and conducting workshops and meetings.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS (EIS) -
Major federal actions that may significantly affect the human environment require that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared. The EIS process includes a formal public involvement process.