Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On October 7, 1977, the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that allocated the responsibilities of the two agencies for assuring the government-wide implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Specifically, the MOA transferred to EPA the administrative aspects of the environmental impact statement (ElS) filing process. Within EPA, the Office of Federal Activities has been designated the official recipient in EPA of all EISs. These responsibilities have been codified in CEQ's NEPA Implementing Regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and are totally separate from the substantive EPA reviews performed pursuant to both NEPA and Section 309 of the Clean Air Act.
Under 40 CFR 1506.9, EPA can issue guidelines to implement its EIS filing responsibilities. The purpose of the EPA Filing System Guidelines is to provide guidance to Federal agencies on filing EISs, including draft, final, and supplemental EISs. Information is provided on: (1) How to file EISs; (2) the steps to follow when a Federal agency is adopting an EIS, or when an EIS is withdrawn, delayed or reopened; (3) public review periods; (4) issuance of notices of availability in the
The guidelines published today update the previous guidelines, which were first published in the
Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9 and 1506.10, EPA is responsible for administering the EIS filing process, and can issue guidelines to implement those responsibilities. The process of EIS filing includes the following: (1) Receiving and recording of the EISs, so that information in them can be incorporated into EPA's computerized
Under 40 CFR 1506.9, lead agencies are responsible for distributing EISs, and for providing additional copies of already distributed EISs, to the interested public for review. However, EPA will assist the public and other Federal agencies by providing agency contacts on, and information about, EISs.
Federal agencies are required to prepare EISs in accordance with 40 CFR part 1502, and to file the EISs with EPA as specified in 40 CFR 1506.9. As of October 1, 2012, Federal agencies file an EIS by submitting the complete EIS, including appendices, to EPA through the
To sign up for
Select "NEPA Electronic Filing System (
Please note that if a Federal agency prepares an abbreviated Final EIS (as described in 40 CFR 1503.4(c)), it should include copies of the Draft EIS when filing the Final EIS.
The EISs must be filed no earlier than they are transmitted to commenting agencies and made available to the public (40 CFR 1506.9). This will assure that the EIS is received by all interested parties by the time EPA's NOA appears in the
If EPA receives a request to file an EIS and transmittal of that EIS is not complete, it will not publish a NOA in the
EPA must be notified when a Federal agency adopts an EIS in order to commence the appropriate comment or review period. If a Federal agency chooses to adopt an EIS written by another agency, and it was not a cooperating agency in the preparation of the original EIS, the EIS must be re-circulated and filed with EPA according to the requirements set forth in 40 CFR 1506.3(b). In turn, EPA will publish a NOA in the
EPA should also be notified of all situations where an agency has decided to withdraw, delay, or reopen a review period on an EIS. Notifications can be sent by email to:
Once received by EPA, each EIS is assigned an official filing date and checked for completeness and compliance with 40 CFR 1502.10. If the EIS is not "complete" (
Agencies often publish (either in their EISs or individual notices to the public) a date by which all comments on an EIS are to be received; such actions are encouraged. However, agencies should ensure that the date they use is based on the date of publication of the NOA in the
EPA will prepare a weekly report of all EISs filed during the preceding week for publication each Friday under a NOA in the
The minimum time periods set forth in 40 CFR 1506.10 (b), (c), and (d) are calculated from the date EPA publishes the NOA in the
Moreover, under 40 CFR 1506.10(d), EPA has the authority to both extend and reduce the time periods on draft and final EISs based on a demonstration of "compelling reasons of national
Filed EISs are retained in the
Please note that EPA maintains a Web site that will make available copies of the filed EISs to the public. The retention schedule does not affect the availability of these electronic copies.