Disclaimer: You have been directed to the updated reference for this information. 516 DM 5.8 has been replaced by 43 CFR 46.150.
The Department finalized and published its NEPA procedures in the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR Part 46) on October 15, 2008. Previously, the Department’s NEPA procedures were included in Part 516, Chapters 1 – 6 of the DM. Portions of Chapters 1 - 6 that were not converted into the regulations are revised and updated in Chapters 1 – 3 of Part 516 as information and explanatory guidance. Chapter 7 was not included in the final rule because it provides internal administrative guidance specific to Departmental review of environmental documents prepared by other Federal agencies. Chapter 7 is revised and renumbered as Chapter 4.
Click here for full text - 43 CFR Part 46
43 CFR 46.150: Emergency Responses
This section applies only if the Responsible Official determines that an emergency exists that makes it necessary to take urgently needed actions before preparing a NEPA analysis and documentation in accordance with the provisions in subparts D and E of this part.
(a) The Responsible Official may take those actions necessary to control the immediate impacts of the emergency that are urgently needed to mitigate harm to life, property, or important natural, cultural, or historic resources. When taking such actions, the Responsible Official shall take into account the probable environmental consequences of these actions and mitigate foreseeable adverse environmental effects to the extent practical.
(b) The Responsible Official shall document in writing the determination that an emergency exists and describe the responsive action(s) taken at the time the emergency exists. The form of that documentation is within the discretion of the Responsible Official.
(c) If the Responsible Official determines that proposed actions taken in response to an emergency, beyond actions noted in paragraph (a) of this section, are not likely to have significant environmental impacts, the Responsible Official shall document that determination in an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact prepared in accordance with this part, unless categorically excluded (see subpart C of this part). If the Responsible Official finds that the nature and scope of the subsequent actions related to the emergency require taking such proposed actions prior to completing an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact, the Responsible Official shall consult with the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance about alternative arrangements for NEPA compliance. The Assistant Secretary, Policy Management and Budget or his/her designee may grant an alternative arrangement. Any alternative arrangement must be documented. Consultation with the Department must be coordinated through the appropriate bureau headquarters.
(d) The Department shall consult with CEQ about alternative arrangements as soon as possible if the Responsible Official determines that proposed actions, taken in response to an emergency, beyond actions noted in paragraph (a) of this section, are likely to have significant environmental impacts. The Responsible Official shall consult with appropriate bureau headquarters and the Department, about alternative arrangements as soon as the Responsible Official determines that the proposed action is likely to have a significant environmental effect. Such alternative arrangements will apply only to the proposed actions necessary to control the immediate impacts of the emergency. Other proposed actions remain subject to NEPA analysis and documentation in accordance with this part.