NEPA DOCUMENTS BY YEAR:
About Environmental Documents
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts a wide variety of activities in order to help achieve its goals and objectives. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires that all proposed actions affecting public lands or resources under an agency's jurisdiction be reviewed for compliance with the act.
BLM routinely reviews its actions for compliance with NEPA. The effects of an action on biological resources, cultural resources, and human environment are just a few of the considerations commonly addressed. The environmental review conducted for NEPA conformance may extend beyond the boundaries of public lands in order to consider the cumulative effects of the proposal.
- Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - An EIS evaluates actions that are projected to have a significant impact on the human environment. It usually identifies several alternatives, and provides decision makers and the public with a complete and objective evaluation of significant environmental impacts.
- Environmental Assessment (EA) - Environmental assessments are documents prepared to determine if there may be significant impacts which would require the subsequent preparation of an EIS. The EA should include enough information for the decision-maker to accept or reject the proposed action, amend it, or adopt an alternative.
- Categorical Exclusion (CX) - The Department of the Interior and BLM maintain lists of actions that are categorically excluded. These are generally routine actions with minor impacts. Proposals that qualify for a CX are reviewed to see if there are any special considerations present that might warrant completion of an EA or EIS.
- Existing Documentation - Existing environmental documentation can and should be used whenever possible. If previous documents fully encompass the current proposed action, then no further review is needed. This finding should be documented, and is referred to as a Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA). If the propsed action is partially covered by prior documents, a new NEPA review must be undertaken, but can incorporate those earlier documents by reference.
- Exempt Actions - Actions that do not require any of the review identified above include proposals that must be rejected because they are in conflict with another regulatory or statutory authority, emergency actions, and actions specifically exempted from NEPA by Congress.