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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)



The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal decision-makers, at all levels, to consider the environmental consequences of a proposed action in the planning process, prior to decision making.  Full public disclosure of expected environmental impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures from proposed actions is required by this procedural statute.  It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable means and measures to achieve productive harmony in cooperating with local and state governments, as well as other concerned public/private organizations.  All new and some continuing/recurring activities to include projects, exercises, programs fully or partly funded, assisted, conducted or regulated by a federal agency are actions subject to the NEPA process.

In coordination with command, staff sections, action proponents, subject matter experts (SME), and the Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB), the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Office (NREAO) manages and ensures compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Council on Environmental Quality regulations, and Department of the Navy/U.S. Marine Corps/MCAS Beaufort policies, procedures and directives.


Environmental Requirements

All actions which may have an impact on the human environment (includes the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment) apply to the NEPA requirements.  Alone, the social and economic impacts are not sufficient to trigger NEPA.  Any action meeting the NEPA requirements and ones not considered exempt, must be documented in accordance with the procedures established in the MCO 5090.2 Vol. 12.

Any command/staff section planning to conduct an action/activity/project shall complete and submit a Request for Environmental Impact Review (REIR) form to NREAO with details of the proposed action, objectives, and expected results.  Program managers and SME’s will evaluate the REIR to assist in determining the level and detail of NEPA required.  The EIRB will then vote on the proposed recommendation and level of NEPA required. 

For actions where a categorical exclusion (CATEX) can be applied with no extraordinary circumstances present, a Decision Memorandum would be used for documentation.  For actions where a CATEX does not apply and the impact is unsure, an Environmental Assessment (EA) would be conducted.  If the EA results in no significant impacts, a Finding of No Significant Impact would be used for documentation.  In contrast, if the EA results in significant impact, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would then be conducted.  For actions where a CATEX does not apply and it is known that the impact will be significant, an EIS would be conducted and the Record of Decision would be used for documentation.

Please see the links below for further details on the NEPA process.  


42 U.S.C. 4321:

32 CFR 775:

40 CFR 1500-1508:

MCO 5090.2 Vol. 12:




Final Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements


F-35B East Coast Basing Environmental Impact Statement:

Environmental Assessment for Proposed Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Land Acquisition at Beaufort, South Carolina:

Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Modernization and Expansion of Townsend Bombing Range, Georgia:

Airfield Seizure Exercise Environmental Assessment:

Environmental Assessments and Impact Statements In Progress