National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures, 52235-52242 [2018-22439]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices Dated: October 9, 2018. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–22434 Filed 10–15–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–HX–P EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT Office of National Drug Control Policy Designation of 10 Areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). ACTION: Notice of HIDTA Designations. AGENCY: The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy designated 10 additional areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 1706. The new areas are (1) Montgomery and Powell Counties in Kentucky as part of the Appalachia HIDTA; (2) Charleston County in South Carolina and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation as part of the Atlanta/ Carolinas HIDTA; (3) Atlantic County in New Jersey as part of the Liberty MidAtlantic HIDTA; (4) Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania and Butler County in Ohio as part of the Ohio HIDTA; and (5) Mineral County in West Virginia as part of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions regarding this notice should be directed to Michael K. Gottlieb, National HIDTA Program Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC 20503; (202) 395–4868. SUMMARY: Dated: October 11, 2018. Michael Passante, Deputy General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2018–22462 Filed 10–15–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3280–F5–P NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES National Endowment for the Humanities amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures National Endowment for the Humanities. ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comment. AGENCY: The National Endowment for the Humanities (‘‘NEH’’) proposes to promulgate procedures implementing SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (‘‘NEPA’’), Executive Order (‘‘E.O.’’) 11514 (as amended), and Council on Environmental Quality (‘‘CEQ’’) NEPA implementing regulations. Pursuant to CEQ regulations, NEH is soliciting comments on its proposed procedures. DATES: NEH is providing a 30-day review period. You must submit comments by no later than November 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Email: akress@neh.gov. Include ‘‘NEH NEPA Implementing Procedures’’ in the subject line of the email. • Mail: National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of the General Counsel, 400 7th Street SW, Room 4060, Washington, DC 20506, ATTN: Adam Kress. • Fax: (202) 606–8600. Please send your comments to the attention of Adam Kress. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and title for this Federal Register document: ‘‘NEPA Implementing Procedures.’’ Please submit your comments using only one method. NEH will post comments as received to https:// www.neh.gov/about/foia/library. NEH will not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should only submit information that you wish to make publicly available. NEH reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to redact and/or refuse to post any or all of your submission that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam M. Kress, (202) 606–8322; akress@neh.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NEH is an independent agency within the executive branch of the United States government, established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965. NEH extends financial assistance to individuals and organizations to support research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. It also has statutory authority to extend financial assistance to cultural organizations to enable infrastructure development and capacity building, including through the design, purchase, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities needed for humanities activities and historic landscapes. NEPA and implementing regulations promulgated by CEQ (40 CFR parts 1500–1508) established a broad national policy to use all practicable means and PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52235 measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, as well as to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. The CEQ regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA are designed to ensure that this national policy, environmental considerations, and associated public concerns are given careful attention and appropriate weight in all decisions of the federal government. Sections 102(2) of NEPA and 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3 require federal agencies to develop and, as needed, revise implementing procedures consistent with the CEQ regulations. NEH is issuing the following NEPA implementing procedures that comply with NEPA and supplement the CEQ regulations. In accordance with CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1507.3), NEH consulted with CEQ prior to publication of the proposed procedures set forth below. These proposed procedures include proposed categorical exclusions specific to NEH projects and actions that NEH determined will not normally have a potentially significant effect, individually or cumulatively, on the human environment. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. These procedures have not been designated a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ because they do not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 52236 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders. The text of the complete proposed procedures appears below. Dated: October 10, 2018. Adam M. Kress, Attorney-Advisor, National Endowment for the Humanities. Table of Contents 1. Purpose 2. Applicability 3. Environmental Policy 4. Terms and Abbreviations 5. Federal and Intergovernmental Relationships 6. Applicant Responsibility 7. NEH Responsibility 8. Public Involvement 9. Environmental Review Process 10. Categorical Exclusions a. General b. Conditions c. Extraordinary Circumstances 11. Environmental Assessments a. Content b. General Considerations in Preparing Environmental Assessments c. Public Involvement d. Actions Resulting From Assessment e. Findings of No Significant Impact f. Proposals Normally Requiring an Environmental Assessment 12. Environmental Impact Statements a. Notice of Intent and Scoping b. Preparation and Filing of Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements c. Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement d. Adoption e. Proposals Normally Requiring an Environmental Impact Statement The National Environmental Policy Act Procedures for NEH amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 1. Purpose These procedures implement the provisions of NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. They adopt and supplement the CEQ regulations implementing NEPA, 40 CFR parts 1500–1508, by establishing policy, directing environmental planning, and assigning responsibilities in NEH to prepare, review, and approve environmental documents, 40 CFR 1508.10, that comply with NEPA. 2. Applicability These procedures apply NEPA to NEH programs and activities, including programs and activities carried out by state and local governments, federallyrecognized tribal governments and nongovernmental organizations, with the use of NEH financial assistance. 3. Environmental Policy It is the policy of NEH to: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 (a) Start the NEPA process at the earliest possible time as an effective decision-making tool while evaluating a proposed action; (b) Comply with the procedures and policies of NEPA and other related environmental laws, regulations, and orders applicable to NEH actions; (c) Provide guidance to applicants responsible for ensuring that proposals comply with all appropriate NEH requirements; (d) Integrate NEPA requirements and other planning and environmental review procedures required by law or NEH practice so that all such procedures run concurrently rather than consecutively; (e) Encourage and facilitate public involvement in NEH actions that affect the quality of the human environment; (f) Use the NEPA process to identify and assess reasonable alternatives to proposed NEH actions to avoid or minimize adverse effects upon the quality of the human environment; and (g) Use all practicable means consistent with NEPA and other essential considerations of national policy to restore or enhance the quality of the human environment and avoid, minimize, or otherwise mitigate any possible adverse effects of NEH actions upon the quality of the human environment. 4. Terms and Abbreviations (a) For the purposes of this section, the definitions in the CEQ regulations, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, are adopted and supplemented as set out in paragraphs (a)(i) through (vi) of this section. In the event of a conflict the CEQ regulations apply. (i) Action. Action and Federal action as defined in 40 CFR 1508.18 include projects and programs entirely or partly financed, assisted, conducted, regulated, or approved by NEH. (ii) Applicant. The state, local or federally-recognized tribal government or non-governmental partner or organization applying to NEH for financial assistance or other approval. An applicant may be an organization already in receipt of NEH-awarded funds. (iii) Approving Official. The NEH Chairman or an NEH staff member designated by the NEH Chairman to fulfill the responsibilities defined in Section 6 below, including overseeing development of and approval of the NEPA document. (iv) Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is a document by NEH briefly presenting the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded as provided in Section 10 below, will not have a PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 significant impact on the human environment and for which an EIS will not be prepared. (v) NEH Proposal (or proposal). A proposal, as defined at 40 CFR 1508.23, is an NEH proposal whether initiated by NEH, another federal agency or an applicant. (vi) NEH Chairman: The Chairman of NEH, as established in Section 7 of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 956. (b) The following abbreviations are used throughout these procedures: (i) CATEX—Categorical exclusions; (ii) CEQ—Council on Environmental Quality; (iii) EA—Environmental assessment; (iv) EIS—Environmental impact statement; (v) FONSI—Finding of no significant impact; (vi) NEPA—National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended; (vii) NOI—Notice of intent; and (viii) ROD—Record of decision. 5. Federal and Intergovernmental Relationships NEH occasionally partners with federal, state and local agencies, and federally-recognized tribal governments, and may depend on these governmental agencies for project management. Under such circumstances, NEH may rely on the expertise and processes already in use by partnering agencies to help prepare NEH NEPA analyses and documents. (a) With federal partners, NEH will work as either a joint lead agency (40 CFR 1501.5 and 1508.16) or cooperating agency (40 CFR 1501.6 and 1508.5). NEH may invite other Federal agencies to serve as the lead agency, a joint lead agency, or as a cooperating agency. (b) Consistent with 40 CFR 1508.5, NEH may invite state and local government partners, and federallyrecognized tribal governments, to serve as cooperating agencies. 6. Applicant Responsibility Applicants shall work under NEH direction provided by the Approving Official, and assist NEH in fulfilling its NEPA obligations by preparing NEPA analyses and documents that comply with the provisions of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321–4347), the CEQ regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508), and the requirements set forth in this part. Applicants shall follow NEH direction when they assist NEH with the following responsibilities, among others: (a) Prepare and disseminate applicable environmental documentation concurrent with a E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices proposal’s engineering, planning, and design; (b) Create and distribute public notices; (c) Coordinate public hearings and meetings as required; (d) Submit all environmental documents created pursuant to these procedures to NEH for review and approval before public distribution; (e) Participate in all NEH-conducted hearings or meetings; (f) Consult with NEH prior to obtaining the services of an environmental consultant; in the case that an EIS is required, the consultant or contractor will be selected by NEH; and (g) Implement mitigation measures included as voluntary commitments by the applicant or as requirements of the applicant in NEH decision documents (FONSI or ROD). 7. NEH Responsibility (a) The NEH Chairman or his/her designee shall designate an Approving Official for each NEH proposal, and shall provide environmental guidance to the Approving Official; (b) The Approving Official shall provide direction and guidance to the applicant as well as identification and development of required analyses and documentation; (c) The Approving Official shall make an independent evaluation of the environmental issues, take responsibility for the scope and content of the environmental document (EA or EIS), and make the environmental finding; (d) The Approving Official shall ensure mitigation measures included in NEH decision documents (FONSI or ROD) are implemented; and (e) The Approving official shall be responsible for coordinating communications with cooperating agencies and other federal agencies. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 8. Public Involvement NEH will make diligent efforts to involve the public in preparing and implementing its NEPA procedures in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.4(b), 1506.6 and part 1503. When developing a plan to include the public and affected parties in the environmental analysis process, NEH will consider the following factors: (a) The magnitude of the environmental considerations associated with the proposal; (b) the extent of expected public interest; and (c) any relevant questions of national concern. NEH will specifically publish EAs and draft FONSIs on its website as provided in Section 11(c) below. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 9. Environmental Review Process The environmental review process is the investigation of potential environmental impacts to determine the environmental process to be followed and to assist in the preparation of the environmental document. NEH shall specifically determine whether any NEH proposal: (a) Is categorically excluded from preparation of either an EA or an EIS; (b) Requires preparation of an EA; or (c) Requires preparation of an EIS. 10. Categorical Exclusions (a) General. A categorical exclusion (CATEX) is defined in 40 CFR 1508.4 as a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and for which, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, neither an EA nor an EIS is required. Actions that meet the conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in section A of appendix A of these procedures can be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS. Actions that meet the screening conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in section B of appendix A require documentation in a Record of Environmental Consideration (‘‘REC’’) in order to be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS. A draft REC is attached as Appendix B to these procedures. (b) Conditions. The following three conditions must be met for an action to be categorically excluded from further analysis in an EA or EIS. (i) The action has not been segmented (too narrowly defined or broken down into small parts in order minimize its potential effects and avoid a higher level of NEPA review) and its scope includes the consideration of connected actions and, when evaluating extraordinary circumstances, cumulative impacts. (ii) No extraordinary circumstances described in paragraph (c) of this section exist. (iii) The proposed action fits within one of the categorical exclusions described in either section of Appendix A of this part. (c) Extraordinary Circumstances. Any action that normally would be classified as a CATEX but could involve extraordinary circumstances will require appropriate environmental review documented in an NEH CATEX checklist to determine if the CATEX classification is proper or if an EA or EIS should be prepared. Extraordinary circumstances to be considered include those reasonably likely to: PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52237 (i) Have significant impacts on public health, public safety, or the environment; (ii) Have effects on the environment that are highly controversial or involve unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources; (iii) Have effects on the human environment that are highly uncertain, involve unique or unknown risks, or are scientifically controversial; (iv) Establish a precedent for future action or represent a decision in principle about future actions with potentially significant environmental effects; (v) Relate to other actions with individually insignificant but cumulatively significant environmental effects; (vi) Have a greater scope or size than is normal for the category of action; (vii) Degrade already existing poor environmental conditions or initiate a degrading influence, activity, or effect in areas not already significantly modified from their natural condition; (viii) Have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on low income or minority populations (see Executive Order 12898); (ix) Limit access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites on federal lands by Indian religious practitioners or adversely affect the physical integrity of such sacred sites (see Executive Order 13007); (x) Threaten a violation of a federal, tribal, state or local law or requirement imposed for the protection of the environment; (xi) Significantly affect subsistence activities; or (xii) Significantly affect environmentally sensitive resources, such as (A) properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places; (B) species listed, or proposed to be listed, on the List of Endangered or Threatened Species, or their habitat; or (C) natural resources and unique geographic characteristics such as historic or cultural resources; park, recreation or refuge lands; wilderness areas; wild or scenic rivers; national natural landmarks; sole or principal drinking water aquifers; prime farmlands; special aquatic sites (defined under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act); floodplains; national monuments; and other ecologically significant or critical areas. 11. Environmental Assessments An EA is required for all proposals, except those exempt from NEPA or categorically excluded under these procedures, and those requiring an EIS. An EA is not necessary if the NEH has E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 52238 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices decided to prepare an EIS. EAs provide sufficient evidence and analysis to determine whether to prepare an EIS or issue a finding of no significant impact (FONSI). In addition, an EA may be prepared on any action at any time in order to assist in planning and decision making, to aid in NEH’s compliance with NEPA when no EIS is necessary, or to facilitate EIS preparation. EAs shall be prepared in accordance with these procedures and shall contain analyses to support conclusions regarding environmental impacts. If a FONSI is proposed, it shall be prepared in accordance with Section 11(e) below. (a) Content (i) The EA shall include brief discussions of the need for the proposal; of alternatives to the proposal as required by NEPA section 102(2)(E); and of the environmental impacts of the proposal and alternatives. The EA shall also include a listing of agencies and persons consulted in the preparation of the EA. (ii) The EA may describe a broad range of alternatives and proposed mitigation measures to facilitate planning and decision-making. (iii) The EA should also document compliance, to the extent possible, with all applicable environmental laws and Executive Orders, or provide reasonable assurance that those requirements can be met. (iv) The EA should be a concise public document. The level of detail and depth of impact analysis will normally be limited to the minimum needed to determine the significance of potential environmental effects. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 (b) General Considerations in Preparing Environmental Assessments (i) Adoption of an EA. NEH may adopt an EA prepared for a proposal before NEH by another agency or an applicant when the EA, or a portion thereof, addresses the proposed NEH action and meets the standards for an adequate analysis under these procedures and relevant provisions of 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, provided that NEH makes its own evaluation of the environmental issues and takes responsibility for the scope and content of the EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b). (ii) Incorporation by reference into the EA. Any document may be incorporated by reference in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.21 and used in preparing an EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.4(b) and 1506.5(a), provided that NEH makes its own evaluation of the environmental issues and takes responsibility for the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 scope and content of the EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b). (iii) Applicant responsibility. The applicant shall assist NEH with preparing the EA. NEH remains responsible for compiling the public hearing summary or minutes, where applicable; and copies of any written comments received and responses thereto. (c) Public Involvement (i) In accordance with 40 CFR 1506.6, the Approving Official shall publish EAs and draft FONSIs on the NEH website and make such documents available for public comment for not less than 15 calendar days. (ii) NEH will only take final action on an EA and draft FONSI after it reviews and considers public comments. (d) Actions Resulting From Assessment (i) Accepted without modification. NEH may accept a proposal without modifications if the EA indicates that the proposal does not have significant environmental impacts and a FONSI is prepared in accordance with Section 11(e) below. (ii) Accepted with modification. If an EA identifies potentially significant environmental impacts, the proposal may be modified to eliminate such impacts. Proposals so modified may be accepted by NEH if the proposed changes are evaluated in an EA and a FONSI is prepared in accordance with Section 11(e) below. (iii) Mitigated FONSI. If mitigation is required to reduce the impacts below significant the FONSI shall identify the mitigation and adopt applicable monitoring and enforcement measures that are necessary to ensure the implementation of the mitigation measures. (iv) Prepare an EIS. NEH shall require that the proposal be evaluated in an EIS, prepared in accordance with Section 12 below, if the EA indicates significant environmental impacts that are not mitigated below a specified level of significance. (v) Rejected. NEH may always elect to reject a proposal. (e) Findings of No Significant Impact (i) Content. A FONSI shall include the EA or a summary of it and shall note any other environmental documents related to it (40 CFR 1501.7(a)(5)). If the EA is included, the finding need not repeat any of the discussion in the assessment but may incorporate it by reference. (ii) Publication. NEH shall make the final FONSI available to the public on the NEH website. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (f) Proposals Normally Requiring an EA Proposals that normally require preparation of an EA include proposed actions that potentially result in significant changes to established land use. 12. Environmental Impact Statements An EIS is required when the project is determined to have a potentially significant impact on the human environment. (a) Notice of Intent and Scoping NEH shall publish an NOI, as described in 40 CFR 1508.22, in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after NEH makes a decision to prepare an EIS. If there will be a lengthy period of time between NEH’s decision to prepare an EIS and its actual preparation, NEH may defer publication of the NOI until a reasonable time before preparing the EIS, provided that NEH allows a reasonable opportunity for interested parties to participate in the EIS process. NEH and the applicant will coordinate during the time period prior to the publication of the NOI to identify: The scope of the action, potential modifications to the proposal, potential alternatives, environmental constraints, potential timeframes for the environmental review, and federal, state, or tribal entities that could be interested in the project, including those with the potential to become cooperating agencies. Through the NOI, NEH shall invite comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS. Publication of the NOI in the Federal Register shall begin the public scoping process. The public scoping process for an NEH EIS shall allow a minimum of 15 days for the receipt of public comments. (b) Preparation and Filing of Draft and Final EISs (i) General. EISs shall be prepared in two stages and may be supplemented. (ii) Format. The EIS format recommended by 40 CFR 1502.10 shall be used unless NEH makes a determination on a particular project that there is a reason to do otherwise. In such a case, the EIS format must meet the minimum requirements prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.10, as further described in 40 CFR 1502.11 through 1502.18. (iii) Applicant role. The draft or final EIS shall be prepared by NEH with assistance from the applicant under appropriate guidance and direction from the Approving Official. E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 (iv) Third-party consultants. A thirdparty consultant selected by NEH or in cooperation with a cooperating agency may prepare the draft or final EIS. (v) NEH responsibility. NEH shall provide a schedule with time limits, provide guidance, participate in the preparation, independently evaluate, and take responsibility for the content of the draft and final EIS. (vi) Filing. After a draft or final EIS has been prepared, NEH shall file the EIS with the Environmental Protection Agency (‘‘EPA’’) for publication of a notice of availability in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.9 and 1506.10. (vii) Draft to final EIS. When a final EIS does not require substantial changes from the draft EIS, NEH may document required changes in errata sheets, insertion pages, and revised sections. NEH will then circulate such changes together with comments on the draft EIS, responses to comments, and other appropriate information as its final EIS. NEH will not circulate the draft EIS again; however, NEH will post the EIS on its website and provide the draft EIS if requested. (viii) Record of decision. A record of decision (ROD) will be prepared in accordance with 40 CFR 1505.2 and 1505.3. (c) Supplemental EIS (i) Supplements to either draft or final EISs shall be prepared, as prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.9, when NEH finds that there are substantial changes proposed in a project that are relevant to environmental concerns; or when there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts. (ii) Where NEH action remains to be taken and the EIS is more than three years old, NEH will review the EIS to determine whether it is adequate or requires supplementation. (iii) NEH shall prepare, circulate and file a supplement to an EIS in the same fashion (exclusive of scoping) as a draft and final EIS. In addition, the supplement and accompanying administrative record shall be included in the administrative record for the proposal. When an applicant is involved, the applicant shall, under the direction of the Approving Official, provide assistance. (iv) An NOI to prepare a supplement to a final EIS will be published in those cases where a ROD has already been issued. (d) Adoption (i) NEH may adopt a draft or final EIS or portion thereof (see 40 CFR 1506.3), VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 including a programmatic EIS, prepared by another agency. (ii) If the actions covered by the original EIS and the proposal are substantially the same, NEH shall recirculate it as a final statement. Otherwise, NEH shall treat the statement as a draft and recirculate it except as provided in paragraph (iii) of this section. (iii) Where NEH is a cooperating agency, it may adopt the EIS of the lead agency without recirculating it when, after an independent review of the EIS, NEH concludes that its comments and suggestions have been satisfied. (iv) When NEH adopts an EIS which is not final within the agency that prepared it, or when the action it assesses is the subject of a referral under 40 CFR part 1504, or when the EIS’s adequacy is the subject of a judicial action which is not final, NEH shall so specify. (e) Proposals Normally Requiring an EIS Given the nature of NEH activities, there are no proposals that would normally require use of an EIS. NEH would most likely use an EA in any given case to determine whether a project has a potentially significant impact on the human environment. The conclusion reached by NEH in the EA would dictate whether it would then prepare an EIS. Appendix A to the National Environmental Policy Act Procedures for NEH Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded from further analysis in an EA or EIS: A. General Categorical Exclusions 1. Routine administrative and management activities including, but not limited to, those activities related to budgeting, finance, personnel actions, procurement activities, compliance with applicable executive orders and procedures for sustainable or ‘‘greened’’ procurement, retaining legal counsel, public affairs activities (e.g., issuing press releases, newsletters and notices of funding availability), internal and external program evaluation and monitoring (e.g., site visits), database development and maintenance, and computer systems administration. 2. Preparing, revising, or adopting regulations, including those that implement without substantial change the regulations, instructions, directives, or guidance documents from other Federal agencies. 3. Routine activities undertaken by NEH to support its program partners, such as serving on task forces, ad hoc committees or representing NEH interests in other forums. 4. Approving and issuing financial assistance to support research, education, preservation, and public programs in the PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52239 humanities, except where such assistance supports the construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities, including the purchase or lease of new infrastructure, or otherwise involves ground disturbing activity. 5. Approving and issuing financial assistance to support facility planning and design. 6. Approving and issuing grants to support the purchase or lease of preexisting infrastructure. 7. Nondestructive data collection, inventory, study, research, and monitoring activities. B. Program Specific Categorical Exclusions Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS upon completion of the NEH CATEX checklist. As contemplated by the checklist, for any proposed action requiring review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (‘‘NHPA’’), a categorical exclusion may only apply after NEH has determined that such action is not reasonably likely to have a significant effect on historic properties. 1. Upgrade, repair, maintenance, replacement, or minor renovations and additions to facilities, grounds and equipment, including but not limited to, roof replacement, foundation repair, access ramp and door improvements pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (‘‘ADA’’), weatherization and energy efficiency related improvements, HVAC renovations, painting, floor system replacement, repaving parking lots and ground maintenance, that do not result in a change in the functional use of the real property. 2. Construction, purchase or lease of new infrastructure, including, but not limited to, museums, libraries and other community buildings, and office space, that is similar to existing land use if the area to be disturbed has no more than two acres of new surface disturbance. The following conditions must be met: a. The structure and proposed use are compatible with applicable Federal, tribal, state, and local planning and zoning standards. b. The site and scale of the construction or improvement is consistent with those of existing, adjacent, or nearby buildings. c. There is no evidence of community controversy. d. The proposed use will not substantially increase the number of motor vehicles at the facility or in the area. e. The construction or improvement will not result in uses that exceed existing support infrastructure capacities (road, sewer, water, parking, etc.). 3. Construction, purchase or lease of new infrastructure, including, but not limited to, museums, libraries and other community buildings, and office space, where such construction, purchase or lease is for infrastructure of less than 12,000 square feet of useable space. 4. Demolition, disposal, or improvements involving buildings or structures when done E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 52240 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices in accordance with applicable regulations, including those regulations applying to removal of asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other hazardous materials. BILLING CODE 7356–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 EN16OC18.005</GPH> amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Dnft VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 52241 EN16OC18.006</GPH> amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices 52242 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 200 / Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Notices [FR Doc. 2018–22439 Filed 10–15–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7536–01–C NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD Sunshine Act Meetings 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 30, 2018. PLACE: NTSB Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20594. STATUS: The one item is open to the public. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: 58536 Railroad Accident Report: Derailment and Hazardous Materials Release of Union Pacific Railroad Unit Ethanol Train in Graettinger, Iowa, March 10, 2017 News Media Contact: Telephone: (202) 314–6100. The press and public may enter the NTSB Conference Center one hour prior to the meeting for set up and seating. Individuals requesting specific accommodations should contact Rochelle McCallister at (202) 314–6305 or by email at Rochelle.McCallister@ ntsb.gov by Wednesday, October 24, 2018. The public may view the meeting via a live or archived webcast by accessing a link under ‘‘News & Events’’ on the NTSB home page at www.ntsb.gov. Schedule updates, including weatherrelated cancellations, are also available at www.ntsb.gov. For More Information Contact: Candi Bing at (202) 314–6403 or by email at bingc@ntsb.gov. FOR MEDIA INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Knudson at (202) 314–6100 or by email at peter.knudson@ntsb.gov. TIME AND DATE: Dated: October 12, 2018. LaSean McCray, Assistant Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2018–22572 Filed 10–12–18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. R2019–1; Order No. 4851] Market Dominant Price Adjustment Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is noticing a recently filed Postal Service notice of inflation-based rate adjustments affecting market dominant domestic and international products and services, along with temporary mailing SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Oct 15, 2018 Jkt 247001 promotions and numerous proposed classification changes. The adjustments and other changes are scheduled to take effect January 27, 2019. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: October 30, 2018. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction and Overview II. Initial Administrative Actions III. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction and Overview On October 10, 2018, the Postal Service filed a notice of inflation-based price adjustments affecting market dominant domestic and international products and services, along with temporary mailing promotions and numerous proposed classification changes to the Mail Classification Schedule (MCS).1 The intended effective date is January 27, 2019. Notice at 1. The Notice, which was filed pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3622 and 39 CFR part 3010, triggers a notice-andcomment proceeding.2 Contents of filing. The Postal Service’s filing consists of the Notice, which the Postal Service represents addresses the data and information required under 39 CFR 3010.12; four attachments (Attachments A–D) to the Notice; and eight sets of workpapers filed as library references. Attachment A presents the proposed price and related product description changes to the MCS. Notice, Attachment A. Attachments B and C address workshare discounts and the price cap calculation, respectively. Notice, Attachments B and C. Attachment D presents the promotions schedule. Notice, Attachment D. Several library references present supporting financial documentation for the five classes of mail. Notice at 4–5 nn. 7–9. The Postal Service filed one 1 United States Postal Service Notice of MarketDominant Price Change, October 10, 2018 (Notice). 2 This is a Type 1–B proceeding. See 39 CFR part 3010, subparts A–C for additional information. PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 library reference pertaining to the two international mail products within FirstClass Mail (Outbound Single-Piece First-Class Mail International and Inbound Letter Post) under seal and applied for non-public treatment of those materials.3 Planned price adjustments. The Postal Service’s planned percentage changes by class are, on average, as follows: Market dominant class First-Class Mail ..................... USPS Marketing Mail ........... Periodicals ............................ Package Services ................. Special Services ................... Planned price adjustment (%) 2.486 2.479 2.52 2.522 2.512 Notice at 4. Price adjustments for products within classes vary from the average. See, e.g., id. at 6, 15 (Table 5 showing range for First-Class Mail products and Table 7 showing range for USPS Marketing Mail products). Most of the planned adjustments entail increases to market dominant rates and fees; however, in a few instances, the Postal Service proposes either no adjustment or a decrease. See id. at 6. Proposed classification changes. The Postal Service proposes numerous classification changes in its Notice and identifies the impact on the MCS in Attachment A. Id. at 32–34; id. Attachment A. Calendar Year 2019 promotions. The Postal Service seeks approval for the following six promotions for the indicated periods: • Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion (Mar. 1–Aug. 31, 2019); • Mobile Shopping Promotion (Aug. 1–Dec. 31, 2019); • Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion (Feb.1–July 31, 2019); • Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion (July 1–Dec. 31, 2019); • Informed Delivery Promotion (Sept.1–Nov. 30, 2019); and • Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion (Apr. 1–June 30, 2019). Notice, Attachment D. II. Initial Administrative Actions Pursuant to 39 CFR 3010.11(a), the Commission establishes Docket No. R2019–1 to consider the planned price adjustments for market dominant postal products and services, as well as the related classification changes, identified in the Notice. The Commission invites 3 See USPS Notice of Filing USPS–LR–R2019–1/ NP1, October 10, 2018, Attachment 1. E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 16, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52235-52242]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-22439]


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NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES

National Endowment for the Humanities


National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures

AGENCY: National Endowment for the Humanities.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The National Endowment for the Humanities (``NEH'') proposes 
to promulgate procedures implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (``NEPA''), Executive Order (``E.O.'') 11514 (as amended), 
and Council on Environmental Quality (``CEQ'') NEPA implementing 
regulations. Pursuant to CEQ regulations, NEH is soliciting comments on 
its proposed procedures.

DATES: NEH is providing a 30-day review period. You must submit 
comments by no later than November 15, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``NEH NEPA Implementing 
Procedures'' in the subject line of the email.
     Mail: National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of the 
General Counsel, 400 7th Street SW, Room 4060, Washington, DC 20506, 
ATTN: Adam Kress.
     Fax: (202) 606-8600. Please send your comments to the 
attention of Adam Kress.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and title for this Federal Register document: ``NEPA Implementing 
Procedures.'' Please submit your comments using only one method. NEH 
will post comments as received to https://www.neh.gov/about/foia/library. NEH will not redact or edit personal identifying information 
from comment submissions. You should only submit information that you 
wish to make publicly available. NEH reserves the right, but shall have 
no obligation, to redact and/or refuse to post any or all of your 
submission that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such 
as obscene language.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam M. Kress, (202) 606-8322; 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NEH is an independent agency within the 
executive branch of the United States government, established by the 
National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965. NEH 
extends financial assistance to individuals and organizations to 
support research, education, preservation, and public programs in the 
humanities. It also has statutory authority to extend financial 
assistance to cultural organizations to enable infrastructure 
development and capacity building, including through the design, 
purchase, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities needed 
for humanities activities and historic landscapes.
    NEPA and implementing regulations promulgated by CEQ (40 CFR parts 
1500-1508) established a broad national policy to use all practicable 
means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a 
manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, as well as 
to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist 
in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other 
requirements of present and future generations of Americans. The CEQ 
regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA are designed 
to ensure that this national policy, environmental considerations, and 
associated public concerns are given careful attention and appropriate 
weight in all decisions of the federal government. Sections 102(2) of 
NEPA and 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3 require federal agencies to develop 
and, as needed, revise implementing procedures consistent with the CEQ 
regulations. NEH is issuing the following NEPA implementing procedures 
that comply with NEPA and supplement the CEQ regulations.
    In accordance with CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1507.3), NEH consulted 
with CEQ prior to publication of the proposed procedures set forth 
below. These proposed procedures include proposed categorical 
exclusions specific to NEH projects and actions that NEH determined 
will not normally have a potentially significant effect, individually 
or cumulatively, on the human environment.

Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. These procedures have not been designated a ``significant 
regulatory action'' because they do not: (1) Have an annual effect on 
the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material 
way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; 
jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or 
tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency 
or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another 
Agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements,

[[Page 52236]]

grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of 
recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising 
out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles 
set forth in these Executive Orders. The text of the complete proposed 
procedures appears below.

    Dated: October 10, 2018.
Adam M. Kress,
Attorney-Advisor, National Endowment for the Humanities.

Table of Contents

1. Purpose
2. Applicability
3. Environmental Policy
4. Terms and Abbreviations
5. Federal and Intergovernmental Relationships
6. Applicant Responsibility
7. NEH Responsibility
8. Public Involvement
9. Environmental Review Process
10. Categorical Exclusions
    a. General
    b. Conditions
    c. Extraordinary Circumstances
11. Environmental Assessments
    a. Content
    b. General Considerations in Preparing Environmental Assessments
    c. Public Involvement
    d. Actions Resulting From Assessment
    e. Findings of No Significant Impact
    f. Proposals Normally Requiring an Environmental Assessment
12. Environmental Impact Statements
    a. Notice of Intent and Scoping
    b. Preparation and Filing of Draft and Final Environmental 
Impact Statements
    c. Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
    d. Adoption
    e. Proposals Normally Requiring an Environmental Impact 
Statement

The National Environmental Policy Act Procedures for NEH

1. Purpose

    These procedures implement the provisions of NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq. They adopt and supplement the CEQ regulations implementing 
NEPA, 40 CFR parts 1500-1508, by establishing policy, directing 
environmental planning, and assigning responsibilities in NEH to 
prepare, review, and approve environmental documents, 40 CFR 1508.10, 
that comply with NEPA.

2. Applicability

    These procedures apply NEPA to NEH programs and activities, 
including programs and activities carried out by state and local 
governments, federally-recognized tribal governments and non-
governmental organizations, with the use of NEH financial assistance.

3. Environmental Policy

    It is the policy of NEH to:
    (a) Start the NEPA process at the earliest possible time as an 
effective decision-making tool while evaluating a proposed action;
    (b) Comply with the procedures and policies of NEPA and other 
related environmental laws, regulations, and orders applicable to NEH 
actions;
    (c) Provide guidance to applicants responsible for ensuring that 
proposals comply with all appropriate NEH requirements;
    (d) Integrate NEPA requirements and other planning and 
environmental review procedures required by law or NEH practice so that 
all such procedures run concurrently rather than consecutively;
    (e) Encourage and facilitate public involvement in NEH actions that 
affect the quality of the human environment;
    (f) Use the NEPA process to identify and assess reasonable 
alternatives to proposed NEH actions to avoid or minimize adverse 
effects upon the quality of the human environment; and
    (g) Use all practicable means consistent with NEPA and other 
essential considerations of national policy to restore or enhance the 
quality of the human environment and avoid, minimize, or otherwise 
mitigate any possible adverse effects of NEH actions upon the quality 
of the human environment.

4. Terms and Abbreviations

    (a) For the purposes of this section, the definitions in the CEQ 
regulations, 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, are adopted and 
supplemented as set out in paragraphs (a)(i) through (vi) of this 
section. In the event of a conflict the CEQ regulations apply.
    (i) Action. Action and Federal action as defined in 40 CFR 1508.18 
include projects and programs entirely or partly financed, assisted, 
conducted, regulated, or approved by NEH.
    (ii) Applicant. The state, local or federally-recognized tribal 
government or non-governmental partner or organization applying to NEH 
for financial assistance or other approval. An applicant may be an 
organization already in receipt of NEH-awarded funds.
    (iii) Approving Official. The NEH Chairman or an NEH staff member 
designated by the NEH Chairman to fulfill the responsibilities defined 
in Section 6 below, including overseeing development of and approval of 
the NEPA document.
    (iv) Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is a document by NEH 
briefly presenting the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded as 
provided in Section 10 below, will not have a significant impact on the 
human environment and for which an EIS will not be prepared.
    (v) NEH Proposal (or proposal). A proposal, as defined at 40 CFR 
1508.23, is an NEH proposal whether initiated by NEH, another federal 
agency or an applicant.
    (vi) NEH Chairman: The Chairman of NEH, as established in Section 7 
of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, 
20 U.S.C. 956.
    (b) The following abbreviations are used throughout these 
procedures:
    (i) CATEX--Categorical exclusions;
    (ii) CEQ--Council on Environmental Quality;
    (iii) EA--Environmental assessment;
    (iv) EIS--Environmental impact statement;
    (v) FONSI--Finding of no significant impact;
    (vi) NEPA--National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended;
    (vii) NOI--Notice of intent; and
    (viii) ROD--Record of decision.

5. Federal and Intergovernmental Relationships

    NEH occasionally partners with federal, state and local agencies, 
and federally-recognized tribal governments, and may depend on these 
governmental agencies for project management. Under such circumstances, 
NEH may rely on the expertise and processes already in use by 
partnering agencies to help prepare NEH NEPA analyses and documents.
    (a) With federal partners, NEH will work as either a joint lead 
agency (40 CFR 1501.5 and 1508.16) or cooperating agency (40 CFR 1501.6 
and 1508.5). NEH may invite other Federal agencies to serve as the lead 
agency, a joint lead agency, or as a cooperating agency.
    (b) Consistent with 40 CFR 1508.5, NEH may invite state and local 
government partners, and federally-recognized tribal governments, to 
serve as cooperating agencies.

6. Applicant Responsibility

    Applicants shall work under NEH direction provided by the Approving 
Official, and assist NEH in fulfilling its NEPA obligations by 
preparing NEPA analyses and documents that comply with the provisions 
of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the CEQ regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 
through 1508), and the requirements set forth in this part.
    Applicants shall follow NEH direction when they assist NEH with the 
following responsibilities, among others:
    (a) Prepare and disseminate applicable environmental documentation 
concurrent with a

[[Page 52237]]

proposal's engineering, planning, and design;
    (b) Create and distribute public notices;
    (c) Coordinate public hearings and meetings as required;
    (d) Submit all environmental documents created pursuant to these 
procedures to NEH for review and approval before public distribution;
    (e) Participate in all NEH-conducted hearings or meetings;
    (f) Consult with NEH prior to obtaining the services of an 
environmental consultant; in the case that an EIS is required, the 
consultant or contractor will be selected by NEH; and
    (g) Implement mitigation measures included as voluntary commitments 
by the applicant or as requirements of the applicant in NEH decision 
documents (FONSI or ROD).

7. NEH Responsibility

    (a) The NEH Chairman or his/her designee shall designate an 
Approving Official for each NEH proposal, and shall provide 
environmental guidance to the Approving Official;
    (b) The Approving Official shall provide direction and guidance to 
the applicant as well as identification and development of required 
analyses and documentation;
    (c) The Approving Official shall make an independent evaluation of 
the environmental issues, take responsibility for the scope and content 
of the environmental document (EA or EIS), and make the environmental 
finding;
    (d) The Approving Official shall ensure mitigation measures 
included in NEH decision documents (FONSI or ROD) are implemented; and
    (e) The Approving official shall be responsible for coordinating 
communications with cooperating agencies and other federal agencies.

8. Public Involvement

    NEH will make diligent efforts to involve the public in preparing 
and implementing its NEPA procedures in accordance with 40 CFR 
1501.4(b), 1506.6 and part 1503. When developing a plan to include the 
public and affected parties in the environmental analysis process, NEH 
will consider the following factors: (a) The magnitude of the 
environmental considerations associated with the proposal; (b) the 
extent of expected public interest; and (c) any relevant questions of 
national concern. NEH will specifically publish EAs and draft FONSIs on 
its website as provided in Section 11(c) below.

9. Environmental Review Process

    The environmental review process is the investigation of potential 
environmental impacts to determine the environmental process to be 
followed and to assist in the preparation of the environmental 
document. NEH shall specifically determine whether any NEH proposal:
    (a) Is categorically excluded from preparation of either an EA or 
an EIS;
    (b) Requires preparation of an EA; or
    (c) Requires preparation of an EIS.

10. Categorical Exclusions

    (a) General. A categorical exclusion (CATEX) is defined in 40 CFR 
1508.4 as a category of actions which do not individually or 
cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and for 
which, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, neither an EA nor 
an EIS is required. Actions that meet the conditions in paragraph (b) 
of this section and are listed in section A of appendix A of these 
procedures can be categorically excluded from further analysis and 
documentation in an EA or EIS. Actions that meet the screening 
conditions in paragraph (b) of this section and are listed in section B 
of appendix A require documentation in a Record of Environmental 
Consideration (``REC'') in order to be categorically excluded from 
further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS. A draft REC is 
attached as Appendix B to these procedures.
    (b) Conditions. The following three conditions must be met for an 
action to be categorically excluded from further analysis in an EA or 
EIS.
    (i) The action has not been segmented (too narrowly defined or 
broken down into small parts in order minimize its potential effects 
and avoid a higher level of NEPA review) and its scope includes the 
consideration of connected actions and, when evaluating extraordinary 
circumstances, cumulative impacts.
    (ii) No extraordinary circumstances described in paragraph (c) of 
this section exist.
    (iii) The proposed action fits within one of the categorical 
exclusions described in either section of Appendix A of this part.
    (c) Extraordinary Circumstances. Any action that normally would be 
classified as a CATEX but could involve extraordinary circumstances 
will require appropriate environmental review documented in an NEH 
CATEX checklist to determine if the CATEX classification is proper or 
if an EA or EIS should be prepared. Extraordinary circumstances to be 
considered include those reasonably likely to:
    (i) Have significant impacts on public health, public safety, or 
the environment;
    (ii) Have effects on the environment that are highly controversial 
or involve unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of 
available resources;
    (iii) Have effects on the human environment that are highly 
uncertain, involve unique or unknown risks, or are scientifically 
controversial;
    (iv) Establish a precedent for future action or represent a 
decision in principle about future actions with potentially significant 
environmental effects;
    (v) Relate to other actions with individually insignificant but 
cumulatively significant environmental effects;
    (vi) Have a greater scope or size than is normal for the category 
of action;
    (vii) Degrade already existing poor environmental conditions or 
initiate a degrading influence, activity, or effect in areas not 
already significantly modified from their natural condition;
    (viii) Have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on low 
income or minority populations (see Executive Order 12898);
    (ix) Limit access to and ceremonial use of Indian sacred sites on 
federal lands by Indian religious practitioners or adversely affect the 
physical integrity of such sacred sites (see Executive Order 13007);
    (x) Threaten a violation of a federal, tribal, state or local law 
or requirement imposed for the protection of the environment;
    (xi) Significantly affect subsistence activities; or
    (xii) Significantly affect environmentally sensitive resources, 
such as (A) properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National 
Register of Historic Places; (B) species listed, or proposed to be 
listed, on the List of Endangered or Threatened Species, or their 
habitat; or (C) natural resources and unique geographic characteristics 
such as historic or cultural resources; park, recreation or refuge 
lands; wilderness areas; wild or scenic rivers; national natural 
landmarks; sole or principal drinking water aquifers; prime farmlands; 
special aquatic sites (defined under Section 404 of the Clean Water 
Act); floodplains; national monuments; and other ecologically 
significant or critical areas.

11. Environmental Assessments

    An EA is required for all proposals, except those exempt from NEPA 
or categorically excluded under these procedures, and those requiring 
an EIS. An EA is not necessary if the NEH has

[[Page 52238]]

decided to prepare an EIS. EAs provide sufficient evidence and analysis 
to determine whether to prepare an EIS or issue a finding of no 
significant impact (FONSI). In addition, an EA may be prepared on any 
action at any time in order to assist in planning and decision making, 
to aid in NEH's compliance with NEPA when no EIS is necessary, or to 
facilitate EIS preparation. EAs shall be prepared in accordance with 
these procedures and shall contain analyses to support conclusions 
regarding environmental impacts. If a FONSI is proposed, it shall be 
prepared in accordance with Section 11(e) below.

(a) Content

    (i) The EA shall include brief discussions of the need for the 
proposal; of alternatives to the proposal as required by NEPA section 
102(2)(E); and of the environmental impacts of the proposal and 
alternatives. The EA shall also include a listing of agencies and 
persons consulted in the preparation of the EA.
    (ii) The EA may describe a broad range of alternatives and proposed 
mitigation measures to facilitate planning and decision-making.
    (iii) The EA should also document compliance, to the extent 
possible, with all applicable environmental laws and Executive Orders, 
or provide reasonable assurance that those requirements can be met.
    (iv) The EA should be a concise public document. The level of 
detail and depth of impact analysis will normally be limited to the 
minimum needed to determine the significance of potential environmental 
effects.

(b) General Considerations in Preparing Environmental Assessments

    (i) Adoption of an EA. NEH may adopt an EA prepared for a proposal 
before NEH by another agency or an applicant when the EA, or a portion 
thereof, addresses the proposed NEH action and meets the standards for 
an adequate analysis under these procedures and relevant provisions of 
40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508, provided that NEH makes its own 
evaluation of the environmental issues and takes responsibility for the 
scope and content of the EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b).
    (ii) Incorporation by reference into the EA. Any document may be 
incorporated by reference in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.21 and used in 
preparing an EA in accordance with 40 CFR 1501.4(b) and 1506.5(a), 
provided that NEH makes its own evaluation of the environmental issues 
and takes responsibility for the scope and content of the EA in 
accordance with 40 CFR 1506.5(b).
    (iii) Applicant responsibility. The applicant shall assist NEH with 
preparing the EA. NEH remains responsible for compiling the public 
hearing summary or minutes, where applicable; and copies of any written 
comments received and responses thereto.

(c) Public Involvement

    (i) In accordance with 40 CFR 1506.6, the Approving Official shall 
publish EAs and draft FONSIs on the NEH website and make such documents 
available for public comment for not less than 15 calendar days.
    (ii) NEH will only take final action on an EA and draft FONSI after 
it reviews and considers public comments.

(d) Actions Resulting From Assessment

    (i) Accepted without modification. NEH may accept a proposal 
without modifications if the EA indicates that the proposal does not 
have significant environmental impacts and a FONSI is prepared in 
accordance with Section 11(e) below.
    (ii) Accepted with modification. If an EA identifies potentially 
significant environmental impacts, the proposal may be modified to 
eliminate such impacts. Proposals so modified may be accepted by NEH if 
the proposed changes are evaluated in an EA and a FONSI is prepared in 
accordance with Section 11(e) below.
    (iii) Mitigated FONSI. If mitigation is required to reduce the 
impacts below significant the FONSI shall identify the mitigation and 
adopt applicable monitoring and enforcement measures that are necessary 
to ensure the implementation of the mitigation measures.
    (iv) Prepare an EIS. NEH shall require that the proposal be 
evaluated in an EIS, prepared in accordance with Section 12 below, if 
the EA indicates significant environmental impacts that are not 
mitigated below a specified level of significance.
    (v) Rejected. NEH may always elect to reject a proposal.

(e) Findings of No Significant Impact

    (i) Content. A FONSI shall include the EA or a summary of it and 
shall note any other environmental documents related to it (40 CFR 
1501.7(a)(5)). If the EA is included, the finding need not repeat any 
of the discussion in the assessment but may incorporate it by 
reference.
    (ii) Publication. NEH shall make the final FONSI available to the 
public on the NEH website.

(f) Proposals Normally Requiring an EA

    Proposals that normally require preparation of an EA include 
proposed actions that potentially result in significant changes to 
established land use.

12. Environmental Impact Statements

    An EIS is required when the project is determined to have a 
potentially significant impact on the human environment.

(a) Notice of Intent and Scoping

    NEH shall publish an NOI, as described in 40 CFR 1508.22, in the 
Federal Register as soon as practicable after NEH makes a decision to 
prepare an EIS. If there will be a lengthy period of time between NEH's 
decision to prepare an EIS and its actual preparation, NEH may defer 
publication of the NOI until a reasonable time before preparing the 
EIS, provided that NEH allows a reasonable opportunity for interested 
parties to participate in the EIS process. NEH and the applicant will 
coordinate during the time period prior to the publication of the NOI 
to identify: The scope of the action, potential modifications to the 
proposal, potential alternatives, environmental constraints, potential 
timeframes for the environmental review, and federal, state, or tribal 
entities that could be interested in the project, including those with 
the potential to become cooperating agencies. Through the NOI, NEH 
shall invite comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS.
    Publication of the NOI in the Federal Register shall begin the 
public scoping process. The public scoping process for an NEH EIS shall 
allow a minimum of 15 days for the receipt of public comments.

(b) Preparation and Filing of Draft and Final EISs

    (i) General. EISs shall be prepared in two stages and may be 
supplemented.
    (ii) Format. The EIS format recommended by 40 CFR 1502.10 shall be 
used unless NEH makes a determination on a particular project that 
there is a reason to do otherwise. In such a case, the EIS format must 
meet the minimum requirements prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.10, as further 
described in 40 CFR 1502.11 through 1502.18.
    (iii) Applicant role. The draft or final EIS shall be prepared by 
NEH with assistance from the applicant under appropriate guidance and 
direction from the Approving Official.

[[Page 52239]]

    (iv) Third-party consultants. A third-party consultant selected by 
NEH or in cooperation with a cooperating agency may prepare the draft 
or final EIS.
    (v) NEH responsibility. NEH shall provide a schedule with time 
limits, provide guidance, participate in the preparation, independently 
evaluate, and take responsibility for the content of the draft and 
final EIS.
    (vi) Filing. After a draft or final EIS has been prepared, NEH 
shall file the EIS with the Environmental Protection Agency (``EPA'') 
for publication of a notice of availability in accordance with 40 CFR 
1506.9 and 1506.10.
    (vii) Draft to final EIS. When a final EIS does not require 
substantial changes from the draft EIS, NEH may document required 
changes in errata sheets, insertion pages, and revised sections. NEH 
will then circulate such changes together with comments on the draft 
EIS, responses to comments, and other appropriate information as its 
final EIS. NEH will not circulate the draft EIS again; however, NEH 
will post the EIS on its website and provide the draft EIS if 
requested.
    (viii) Record of decision. A record of decision (ROD) will be 
prepared in accordance with 40 CFR 1505.2 and 1505.3.

(c) Supplemental EIS

    (i) Supplements to either draft or final EISs shall be prepared, as 
prescribed in 40 CFR 1502.9, when NEH finds that there are substantial 
changes proposed in a project that are relevant to environmental 
concerns; or when there are significant new circumstances or 
information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the 
proposed action or its impacts.
    (ii) Where NEH action remains to be taken and the EIS is more than 
three years old, NEH will review the EIS to determine whether it is 
adequate or requires supplementation.
    (iii) NEH shall prepare, circulate and file a supplement to an EIS 
in the same fashion (exclusive of scoping) as a draft and final EIS. In 
addition, the supplement and accompanying administrative record shall 
be included in the administrative record for the proposal. When an 
applicant is involved, the applicant shall, under the direction of the 
Approving Official, provide assistance.
    (iv) An NOI to prepare a supplement to a final EIS will be 
published in those cases where a ROD has already been issued.

(d) Adoption

    (i) NEH may adopt a draft or final EIS or portion thereof (see 40 
CFR 1506.3), including a programmatic EIS, prepared by another agency.
    (ii) If the actions covered by the original EIS and the proposal 
are substantially the same, NEH shall recirculate it as a final 
statement. Otherwise, NEH shall treat the statement as a draft and 
recirculate it except as provided in paragraph (iii) of this section.
    (iii) Where NEH is a cooperating agency, it may adopt the EIS of 
the lead agency without recirculating it when, after an independent 
review of the EIS, NEH concludes that its comments and suggestions have 
been satisfied.
    (iv) When NEH adopts an EIS which is not final within the agency 
that prepared it, or when the action it assesses is the subject of a 
referral under 40 CFR part 1504, or when the EIS's adequacy is the 
subject of a judicial action which is not final, NEH shall so specify.

(e) Proposals Normally Requiring an EIS

    Given the nature of NEH activities, there are no proposals that 
would normally require use of an EIS. NEH would most likely use an EA 
in any given case to determine whether a project has a potentially 
significant impact on the human environment. The conclusion reached by 
NEH in the EA would dictate whether it would then prepare an EIS.

Appendix A to the National Environmental Policy Act Procedures for NEH

    Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in 
the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded 
from further analysis in an EA or EIS:

A. General Categorical Exclusions

    1. Routine administrative and management activities including, 
but not limited to, those activities related to budgeting, finance, 
personnel actions, procurement activities, compliance with 
applicable executive orders and procedures for sustainable or 
``greened'' procurement, retaining legal counsel, public affairs 
activities (e.g., issuing press releases, newsletters and notices of 
funding availability), internal and external program evaluation and 
monitoring (e.g., site visits), database development and 
maintenance, and computer systems administration.
    2. Preparing, revising, or adopting regulations, including those 
that implement without substantial change the regulations, 
instructions, directives, or guidance documents from other Federal 
agencies.
    3. Routine activities undertaken by NEH to support its program 
partners, such as serving on task forces, ad hoc committees or 
representing NEH interests in other forums.
    4. Approving and issuing financial assistance to support 
research, education, preservation, and public programs in the 
humanities, except where such assistance supports the construction, 
restoration, or renovation of facilities, including the purchase or 
lease of new infrastructure, or otherwise involves ground disturbing 
activity.
    5. Approving and issuing financial assistance to support 
facility planning and design.
    6. Approving and issuing grants to support the purchase or lease 
of preexisting infrastructure.
    7. Nondestructive data collection, inventory, study, research, 
and monitoring activities.

B. Program Specific Categorical Exclusions

    Actions consistent with any of the following categories are, in 
the absence of extraordinary circumstances, categorically excluded 
from further analysis and documentation in an EA or EIS upon 
completion of the NEH CATEX checklist. As contemplated by the 
checklist, for any proposed action requiring review under Section 
106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (``NHPA''), a 
categorical exclusion may only apply after NEH has determined that 
such action is not reasonably likely to have a significant effect on 
historic properties.
    1. Upgrade, repair, maintenance, replacement, or minor 
renovations and additions to facilities, grounds and equipment, 
including but not limited to, roof replacement, foundation repair, 
access ramp and door improvements pursuant to the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (``ADA''), weatherization and energy efficiency 
related improvements, HVAC renovations, painting, floor system 
replacement, repaving parking lots and ground maintenance, that do 
not result in a change in the functional use of the real property.
    2. Construction, purchase or lease of new infrastructure, 
including, but not limited to, museums, libraries and other 
community buildings, and office space, that is similar to existing 
land use if the area to be disturbed has no more than two acres of 
new surface disturbance. The following conditions must be met:
    a. The structure and proposed use are compatible with applicable 
Federal, tribal, state, and local planning and zoning standards.
    b. The site and scale of the construction or improvement is 
consistent with those of existing, adjacent, or nearby buildings.
    c. There is no evidence of community controversy.
    d. The proposed use will not substantially increase the number 
of motor vehicles at the facility or in the area.
    e. The construction or improvement will not result in uses that 
exceed existing support infrastructure capacities (road, sewer, 
water, parking, etc.).
    3. Construction, purchase or lease of new infrastructure, 
including, but not limited to, museums, libraries and other 
community buildings, and office space, where such construction, 
purchase or lease is for infrastructure of less than 12,000 square 
feet of useable space.
    4. Demolition, disposal, or improvements involving buildings or 
structures when done

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in accordance with applicable regulations, including those 
regulations applying to removal of asbestos, polychlorinated 
biphenyls (PCBs), and other hazardous materials.
BILLING CODE 7356-01-P
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[FR Doc. 2018-22439 Filed 10-15-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7536-01-C