NV-2023-003 Change 1 - Updated Process for Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Directorate Briefings and Reviews of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documents

NV-IM-2023-003 Change 1
Instruction Memorandum

1340 Financial Boulevard
Reno, NV 89502
United States

In Reply Refer To:

1790 (NV910) P

To:All BLM Nevada Employees
From:Jon K. Raby, State Director
Subject:Updated Process for Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Directorate Briefings and Reviews of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documents and BLM Nevada Protocol for Streamlined Project Management for EISs and EAs
Program Area:All Applicable BLM Nevada Program Areas.

This Change 1 to Nevada IM 2023-003, Updated Process for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Directorate Briefings and Reviews of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documents and BLM Nevada Protocol for Streamlined Project Management for Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments, removes internal hyperlinks in order for this IM to be available externally, corrects the wording in 2.5 regarding timing of Cooperating Agency and Nevada State Office reviews, and updates this Nevada IM to be consistent with the recently issued Headquarters PIM 2023-004 Bureau of Land Management Environmental Impact Statements Document Clearance Process.

This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides implementation and procedural guidance on the review process and publication of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and Environmental Assessments (EAs) that cover major projects and other applicable federal actions subject to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as State Director (SD) timelines, project management processes and tools, and office responsibilities and coordination. This IM also clarifies and amplifies the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance (OEPC) Environmental Review Memos (ERMs), ERM 10-9 and ERM 10-11, as derived from Secretarial Order 3398. ERM 10-9 updates policy and use of the Interior NEPA document tracking database, commonly named the OEPC database. ERM 10-11 provides for updates to procedures for EIS reviews by the Department and BLM. (Attachment 1 flowchart)

This IM provides reference guidance and consistency among BLM Nevada Offices and replaces guidance in Nevada IMs 2022-014, 2020-22 (Implement Secretarial Orders), 2019-007 (EIS Review Process), and 2018-033 (Federal Register Publication Process). This IM includes three attachments.

This Instruction Memorandum (IM) also provides the protocol for BLM Nevada (BLM NV) (Attachment 2) for processing and approving federal actions, specifically as it relates to:

  • The Project Management Process (PMP), including project initiation and preplanning.
  • Project Management for projects that require National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance analysis.
  • Ensuring consistency within BLM NV in complying with applicable regulations when authorizing federal actions

Attachment 2 of this IM facilitates consistency and coordination throughout BLM NV by ensuring that Managers, including Branch Chiefs, Project Managers (PMs) / Planning and Environmental Coordinators (P&ECs), and Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) members are informed of their roles and responsibilities related to the Project Management Process (PMP). Attachment 2 is not intended to capture all details related to project permitting, but rather to provide an overall outline and framework to guide Districts, Divisions, Field Offices, Branches, or statewide teams through the process and to ensure statewide consistency.

Administrative or Mission Related:



This IM establishes guidance and direction for State Office, District Office, and Field Office Managers, Program Leads, P&ECs, Project Managers, Interdisciplinary Teams, Communications staff, and others to execute the requirements for briefings with BLM Headquarters (HQ-100), Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM), and the Secretary’s Office for EIS-level project review. Required reviews for documents are those that: (1) are prepared in connection with actions requiring an EIS; (2) likely to be controversial and could result in litigation; or (3) are for SD approval. Recommended reviews are for documents prepared in connection with actions that are complex, unique, or unusual. This guidance outlines timelines, review processes and office level responsibilities, briefing procedures, guidance, and Best Practices (Attachment 3) for NEPA documents.

Provided below are the general steps necessary to successfully conduct the State Office Review process, State Director Briefings, and HQ or Department Review Team briefings.

1. Roles and Responsibilities

The intention in Nevada is to complete the EIS process from NOI to ROD within a 12-month timeline.

1.1. Responsibilities and Coordination of the Requesting Office
1.1.1. EIS project and managerial staff will coordinate issues and concerns with the NV-910 Resource Advisor during the monthly EIS status meetings.
1.1.2. The District Manager (DM) will consult with the SD for any extension of EIS timelines.

1.2. Responsibilities and Coordination of the Nevada State Office (NVSO)
1.2.1. The Resource Advisor will coordinate with EIS Project Managers regarding project milestones.

1.3. Responsibilities and Coordination of the Office of the Regional Solicitor
1.3.1. Regional Solicitors will also be invited and included as members of the project interdisciplinary team.
1.3.2. Regional Solicitors will be engaged in every step of EIS preparation and invited to participate in all sections and stages of the process.

2. Review Process and Responsibilities

Reviews are required for documents that are (1) prepared in connection with actions requiring an EIS; (2) likely to be controversial and could result in litigation; or (3) needing SD approval. Recommended reviews are for documents prepared in connection with actions that are complex, unique, or unusual.

2.1. The NVSO review will be notified early in the process, and time frames must be identified in the comprehensive schedule associated with the action. The requesting office point of contact (POC) will notify NVSO Planning and NEPA Staff of an upcoming review two weeks prior to a scheduled review.
2.2. Draft and Final EISs will receive a 14-calendar day review and comment period (excluding holidays) by the NVSO, with the package of associated documents and references made available in accordance with Best Practices (Attachment 3).
2.3. The 14-calendar day review period for the NVSO will be incorporated into the EIS project timeline. Upon request, the NVSO review may run concurrently with reviews by local interdisciplinary teams (IDT).
2.4. The start of this 14-calendar day review period is determined by NVSO and begins on a regular workday morning, but does not start until the pertinent documents, including a project-specific comment form, are made available on the internal BLM Nevada Planning and NEPA SharePoint site in the appropriate repository folder for the project. The review period will be longer if the request arrives during the last half of December. 2.5. The NVSO will review documents prior to cooperating agencies. Exceptions to this may be considered and approved by the DSD for Resources, Lands, and Planning (NV-930) on a case-by-case basis.
2.6. If requirements for EIS page limits cannot be met, the responsible manager will consult with the NV-910 Resource Advisor at the earliest opportunity to discuss the waiver process.
2.7. District Offices will engage NVSO at the earliest stage in the process on District requests to prepare an unusually complex EA and for requests to join an EA IDT (for example, a project driven RMP Amendment). Requests will be made by the District Manager to the NV-930 Deputy State Director. For the EA to receive NVSO support, the requesting office must provide a project description and a purpose and need statement. Cost-recovery code numbers in QuickTime format also will be provided for NVSO reviewers.

3. Briefing Procedures for BLM Headquarters and Nevada State Director:

3.1. The EIS Project Manager will update the NVSO EIS Review Dashboard spreadsheet on a bi-weekly basis and attend the monthly EIS Status and Dashboard Update meetings with NVSO staff. The EIS Review Dashboard spreadsheet will have the most recent project milestone dates/target dates and project information because NVSO updates the OEPC database directly from the data on this spreadsheet.
3.2. HQ-100 and the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM) then utilize the information from the OEPC database to request and schedule briefings. If the EIS milestone data is not updated, EIS schedules potentially will not be met.
3.3. The most recent direction for HQ and Departmental briefings as well as up-to-date templates for Initial Action Notices (IAN), Notices of Intent (NOI), Scoping, Notices of Availability (NOA), and Records of Decision (ROD) can be found on the internal Headquarters-210 SharePoint site titled: Review Process – DOI and Leadership Briefings and Reviews of NEPA Documents.
3.4. A minimum of 45 days prior to the scheduled NOI release date, an IAN for a proposed BLM EIS will be submitted to HQ-100 by the NV-910 Resource Advisor.
3.5. The EIS project manager will provide the information needed for the IAN to the NV-910 Resource Advisor in a timely manner.
3.6. HQ-100 will use the information in the IAN to determine the level (HQ-100/ASLM or Department) of briefings required on the EIS.
3.7. Prior to the HQ-100/ASLM or Departmental briefings, the Districts will continue having SD briefings for Notice of Intent (NOI), Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and Record of Decision (ROD). These will be scheduled through the State Director’s Executive Assistants.

4. BLM Guidance for EIS Project Briefings:

The following is guidance related to the requirements for briefings with HQ-100, ASLM, and the Deputy Secretary for EIS level project review. The former DRT process referenced in IM 2019-016 is no longer in effect.

4.1. The BLM has developed step-down guidance on how the Departmental Review Team (DRT) process will be coordinated with the BLM Leadership review process. See Headquarters PIM 2023-004, Bureau of Land Management Environmental Impact Statements Document Clearance Process, which describes the review and approval process for all EISs and their associated Federal Register Notices (FRNs).

Please keep in mind and highlight the applicable State Director, BLM and Interior priorities when preparing the briefing statements and other information for review.

The NV-912 Communications staff and the NV-910 Resource Advisor will assist and facilitate communications with the HQ advisors to answer questions and schedule briefings. Once a project has reached HQ, an advisor is assigned to the project. The HQ advisor will work with the NV-910 Resource Advisor on initial questions but may reach out to project managers with specific questions. Please keep in close communication with the NVSO staff (Resource Advisor and NVSO administrative personnel) on all requests for briefing materials and information requested so they can keep the SD and Deputy State Directors (DSDs) informed. This IM regarding State Office review process, briefings, and the statewide project management process (Attachment 2) is effective upon issuance. All questions regarding the implementation of this policy should be directed to Nevada State Office Planning and NEPA staff.


Effective Immediately

Budget Impact:

Over the long-term, fiscal savings will be realized as timeframes for document preparation are reduced.


A clear, well-defined, transparent Project Management and NEPA process is foundational to the work of BLM NV. Projects vary in scope, scale, location, intensity, and complexity which requires a comprehensive and structured approach to comply with the broad suite of laws, regulations, and policies that govern BLM NV multiple-use and sustained yield management. BLM NV staff, project proponents, Tribes, communities, and stakeholders expect clarity, transparency, and consistency in processes across the state to ensure full participation, robust analysis, and sound decision making in the NEPA process. Time frames to conduct and complete the required NEPA process must also be efficient while not compromising the integrity of any stage in the process. This IM provides direction to all BLM NV units to ensure consistent and efficient application of processes that lead to sound, well informed, durable decisions on BLM Public Lands in NV.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:



Questions regarding this IM should be directed to the NV-910 Resource Advisor


This IM was coordinated through the Nevada State Office Resource Advisor; Deputy State Director (DSD) for Resources, Lands, and Planning; Deputy State Director (DSD) Energy and Minerals; Associate State Director; the Field Management Leadership Team (FMLT); and Nevada State Office Planning & NEPA Program Staff.

Signed By:
Jon K. Raby
State Director
Authenticated By:
Leslie Borden
Executive Assistant