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Memo from DOI Deputy Secretary on NEPA Review Process

Posted By Mark Ellis, Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The attached signed memorandum from the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) considers and incorporates each Bureau's feedback for the thorough and timely consideration of environmental impacts analyzed within an Environmental Assessment (EA) document.


On August 31, 2017, DOI issued Secretary's Order 3355 to improve DOI’s environmental review processes under the National Environmental

Policy Act (NEPA).


Section 4b of the Order directed the Department's Bureau and Office heads to recommend target page and time goals for the preparation of Environmental Assessments (EA) where a Bureau is the Lead Agency.


The President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recommends that EAs be approximately 10-15 pages and be completed in three months or less.  DOI generally produces EAs that are approximately 30-40 pages.  In certain circumstances, EAs may need to exceed the CEQ’s guidance.  In these instances, DOI Bureaus should strive to complete EAs in 75 pages or less and conclude the EA review with 180 calendar days of the commencement date.  The memorandum also addresses EA tracking and management, EA team and solicitor assignments, meeting EA page and timeline goals, public involvement, contractor guidance and Bureau NEPA handbooks.  All of which are structured to streamline DOI’s environmental review processes.

This memorandum was sent to all Assistant Secretaries, Heads of Bureaus and Offices and NEPA Practitioners.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  DOI  Environmental Assessment  Environmental Impact Statement  NEPA 

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