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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)  

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 was established to ensure that Federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions and decisions. Federal agencies are required to systematically assess the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and consider alternative ways of accomplishing their missions, which are less damaging to and protective of the environment.  The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations, along with each Federal agency’s NEPA implementation provisions, provide the framework for carrying out the NEPA environmental review process.
CEQ and U.S. DOT NEPA procedures ensure that environmental information is available to public and agency officials and citizens before decisions are made and before actions are taken. NEPA documents (such as Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements) must concentrate on the environmental issues that are truly significant to the action in question, rather than amassing needlessly detailed information. Ultimately, it is not better documents but better decisions that count. NEPA’s purpose is not to generate paperwork—even excellent paperwork—but to foster excellent action. The NEPA process is intended to help public officials make informed decisions that include an understanding of environmental consequences, and pursue solutions that meet the project need while protecting, restoring, and enhancing the environment.
NEPA applies to major federal actions (new and continuing activities that are entirely or partially financed, assisted, conducted, regulated, or approved by one or more federal agencies).  It has been ODOT’s practice to apply the NEPA process to actions that have the potential to significantly impact the human environment, even if the project does not meet the definition of major federal action. 
For additional information regarding the NEPA statute as well as CEQ regulations and guidance, see the NEPA.gov website.



ODOT NEPA Program Leader

Susan White

ODOT NEPA Program Coordinator 





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