[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 35 (Tuesday, February 23, 2010)]
[Pages 8046-8047]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-3535]



National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Draft Guidance, ``NEPA 
Mitigation and Monitoring.''

AGENCY: Council On Environmental Quality.

ACTION: Notice of Availability, Draft Guidance, ``NEPA Mitigation and 


SUMMARY: On February 18, 2010, the Council on Environmental Quality 
(CEQ) announced four steps to modernize, reinvigorate, and ease the use 
and increase the transparency of implementation of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Enacted in 1970, NEPA is a fundamental 
tool used to harmonize our economic, environmental, and social 
aspirations and is a cornerstone of our Nation's efforts to protect the 
environment. NEPA recognizes that many Federal activities affect the 
environment and mandates that Federal agencies consider the 
environmental impacts of their proposed actions before acting. 
Additionally, NEPA emphasizes public involvement in government actions 
affecting the environment by requiring that the benefits and the risks 
associated with proposed actions be assessed and publicly disclosed.
    CEQ, which is charged with implementing NEPA, recognizes that it is 
a visionary and versatile law that can be used effectively to address 
new environmental challenges facing our nation and also to engage the 
public widely and effectively. Furthermore, CEQ wants to develop more 
effective and accessible tools for citizen involvement in government 
decision-making. These actions are designed to provide carefully-
tailored new assessment and reporting requirements, facilitate agency 
compliance with NEPA, and enhance the quality of public involvement in 
governmental decisions relating to the environment.

DATES: Comments should be submitted on or before May 24, 2010.

ADDRESSES: The NEPA Draft Guidance documents are available at http://www.nepa.gov.
    Comments on the NEPA Draft Guidance ``NEPA Mitigation and 
Monitoring'' should be submitted electronically to 
Mitigation.guidance@ceq.eop.gov, or in writing to The Council on 
Environmental Quality, Attn: Ted Boling, 722 Jackson Place, NW., 
Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ted Boling, Senior Counsel, at (202) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Draft Guidance Clarifying (1) the 
Appropriateness of ``Findings of No Significant Impact'' and (2) 
Specifying the Need for Ongoing Monitoring of Environmental Mitigation 
Commitments: Many Federal actions receive an environmental review, 
known as an Environmental Assessment. In those instances, NEPA 
compliance is usually completed with a ``Finding of No Significant 
Impact'' (FONSI) on the environment and a more

[[Page 8047]]

detailed Environmental Impact Statement is not required. The draft 
guidance clarifies that the environmental impacts of a proposed action 
may be mitigated to the point when the agency may make a FONSI 
determination, and thereby ease the NEPA review requirements. When the 
FONSI depends on successful mitigation, however, such mitigation 
requirements should be made public and be accompanied by monitoring and 
reporting. The draft guidance reinforces and also applies to monitoring 
and reporting of mitigation commitments agencies make in an EIS and the 
Record of Decision that follows. CEQ has issued this draft guidance for 
90 days of public comment. Draft guidance documents are now available 
at the Council on Environmental Quality Web site at http://www.nepa.gov.
    Public comments are requested on or before May 24, 2010.

    February 18, 2010.
Nancy Sutley,
Chair, Council on Environmental Quality.
[FR Doc. 2010-3535 Filed 2-22-10; 8:45 am]