1. Act
    Act means the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq. ) which is also referred to as “NEPA.”
  2. Affecting
    Affecting means will or may have an effect on.
  3. Categorical Exclusion
    Categorical exclusion means a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and which have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a Federal agency in implementation of these regulations (§ 1507.3) and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. An agency may decide in its procedures or otherwise, to prepare environmental assessments for the reasons stated in § 1508.9 even though it is not required to do so. Any procedures under this section shall provide for extraordinary circumstances in which a normally excluded action may have a significant environmental effect.
  4. Council
    Council means the Council on Environmental Quality established by title II of the Act.
  5. Cumulative Impact
    Cumulative impact is the impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or non-Federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant actions taking place over a period of time.
  6. Effects
    (a) Direct effects, which are caused by the action and occur at the same time and place.(b) Indirect effects, which are caused by the action and are later in time or farther removed in distance, but are still reasonably foreseeable. Indirect effects may include growth inducing effects and other effects related to induced changes in the pattern of land use, population density or growth rate, and related effects on air and water and other natural systems, including ecosystems.
  7. Environmental Assessment
    (a) Means a concise public document for which a Federal agency is responsible that serves to:(1) Briefly provide sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact.(2) Aid an agency's compliance with the Act when no environmental impact statement is necessary.(3) Facilitate preparation of a statement when one is necessary.(b) Shall include brief discussions of the need for the proposal, of alternatives as required by section 102(2)(E), of the environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives, and a listing of agencies and persons consulted.
  8. Environmental Impact Statement
    Environmental impact statement means a detailed written statement as required by section 102(2)(C) of the Act.
  9. Federal Agency
    Federal agency means all agencies of the Federal Government. It does not mean the Congress, the Judiciary, or the President, including the performance of staff functions for the President in his Executive Office. It also includes for purposes of these regulations States and units of general local government and Indian tribes assuming NEPA responsibilities under section 104(h) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.
  10. Human Environment
    Human environment shall be interpreted comprehensively to include the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment. (See the definition of “effects” (§ 1508.8).) This means that economic or social effects are not intended by themselves to require preparation of an environmental impact statement. When an environmental impact statement is prepared and economic or social and natural or physical environmental effects are interrelated, then the environmental impact statement will discuss all of these effects on the human environment.
  11. Finding of no Significant impact
    Finding of no significant impact means a document by a Federal agency briefly presenting the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded (§ 1508.4), will not have a significant effect on the human environment and for which an environmental impact statement therefore will not be prepared. It shall include the environmental assessment or a summary of it and shall note any other environmental documents related to it (§ 1501.7(a)(5)). If the assessment is included, the finding need not repeat any of the discussion in the assessment but may incorporate it by reference.
  12. Jurisdiction by law
    Jurisdiction by law means agency authority to approve, veto, or finance all or part of the proposal.
  13. Lead Agency
    Lead agency means the agency or agencies preparing or having taken primary responsibility for preparing the environmental impact statement.
  14. Legislation
    Legislation includes a bill or legislative proposal to Congress developed by or with the significant cooperation and support of a Federal agency, but does not include requests for appropriations. The test for significant cooperation is whether the proposal is in fact predominantly that of the agency rather than another source. Drafting does not by itself constitute significant cooperation. Proposals for legislation include requests for ratification of treaties. Only the agency which has primary responsibility for the subject matter involved will prepare a legislative environmental impact statement.
  15. Major Federal Action
    Major Federal action includes actions with effects that may be major and which are potentially subject to Federal control and responsibility. Major reinforces but does not have a meaning independent of significantly (§ 1508.27). Actions include the circumstance where the responsible officials fail to act and that failure to act is reviewable by courts or administrative tribunals under the Administrative Procedure Act or other applicable law as agency action.
  16. Matter
    Matter includes for purposes of part 1504:(a) With respect to the Environmental Protection Agency, any proposed legislation, project, action or regulation as those terms are used in section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7609).(b) With respect to all other agencies, any proposed major federal action to which section 102(2)(C) of NEPA applies.
  17. Mitigation
    • a) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action.(b) Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation.
    • (c) Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment.
    • (d) Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.
    • (e) Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.
  18. NEPA process
    NEPA process means all measures necessary for compliance with the requirements of section 2 and title I of NEPA.
  19. Notice of Intent
    • Notice of intent means a notice that an environmental impact statement will be prepared and considered. The notice shall briefly:
    • (a) Describe the proposed action and possible alternatives.
    • (b) Describe the agency's proposed scoping process including whether, when, and where any scoping meeting will be held.
    • (c) State the name and address of a person within the agency who can answer questions about the proposed action and the environmental impact statement.
  20. Proposal
    Proposal exists at that stage in the development of an action when an agency subject to the Act has a goal and is actively preparing to make a decision on one or more alternative means of accomplishing that goal and the effects can be meaningfully evaluated. Preparation of an environmental impact statement on a proposal should be timed (§ 1502.5) so that the final statement may be completed in time for the statement to be included in any recommendation or report on the proposal. A proposal may exist in fact as well as by agency declaration that one exists.
  21. Referring Agency
    Referring agency means the federal agency which has referred any matter to the Council after a determination that the matter is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of public health or welfare or environmental quality.
  22. Scope
    Scope consists of the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts to be considered in an environmental impact statement. The scope of an individual statement may depend on its relationships to other statements (§§ 1502.20 and 1508.28). To determine the scope of environmental impact statements, agencies shall consider 3 types of actions, 3 types of alternatives, and 3 types of impacts.
  23. Special Expertise
    Special expertise means statutory responsibility, agency mission, or related program experience.
  24. Significantly
    really long definition
  25. Tiering
    • Tiering refers to the coverage of general matters in broader environmental impact statements (such as national program or policy statements) with subsequent narrower statements or environmental analyses (such as regional or basinwide program statements or ultimately site-specific statements) incorporating by reference the general discussions and concentrating solely on the issues specific to the statement subsequently prepared. Tiering is appropriate when the sequence of statements or analyses is:
    • (a) From a program, plan, or policy environmental impact statement to a program, plan, or policy statement or analysis of lesser scope or to a site-specific statement or analysis.
    • (b) From an environmental impact statement on a specific action at an early stage (such as need and site selection) to a supplement (which is preferred) or a subsequent statement or analysis at a later stage (such as environmental mitigation). Tiering in such cases is appropriate when it helps the lead agency to focus on the issues which are ripe for decision and exclude from consideration issues already decided or not yet ripe.
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