Tip 1: Ask Tough Questions, Make Tougher Choices

Key Points

  • Think seriously before starting a new NEPA document.
  • Not every federal action triggers NEPA or requires NEPA documentation.
  • A new EIS or EA may be unnecessary if the environmental effects of the proposed action have already been adequately analyzed in a previous NEPA document.
  • Use the DOI NEPA regulations, DOI Manual and bureaus’ policies determine to determine the level of NEPA documentation required for specific types of actions.
  • Think creatively about streamlining and increasing efficiency.
  • Avoid redundancy and unnecessary paperwork, leverage existing NEPA documentation (including that prepared by other agencies) by supplementing, tiering, incorporating by reference, or adopting previous NEPA environmental analyses.
  • Examine consultations and other processes that are required for the action to determine which consultations/processes should be conducted in parallel with the preparation of a NEPA document. Decouple the parallel processes from the proposal-specific NEPA process, if necessary, to achieve the overall NEPA timeline.

Ask and answer the questions on the Tip #1 worksheet as your initial activity


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