Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies; Final Interagency Guidelines
Section 2031 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (Water Resources Development Act), Public Law 110-114, directed the Secretary of the Army to revise the ``Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies'' (Principles and Guidelines), dated March 10, 1983, consistent with several considerations enumerated in the Water Resources Development Act. The revised Principles and Guidelines, now referenced as the Principles, Requirements and Guidelines (PR&G), consist of three key components: (1) The Principles and Requirements (formerly called Principles and Standards), setting out broad policy and principles that guide investments; (2) the Interagency Guidelines, providing guidance to Federal agencies for determining the applicability of the Principles and Guidelines and for developing agency specific implementing procedures for formulating, evaluating, and comparing water resources projects, programs, activities and related actions; and (3) the Agency Specific Procedures, outlining agency-specific procedures for incorporating the Principles and Requirements into agency missions and programs. This notice informs the public that the Interagency Guidelines, the second key component of the modernized PR&G, are finalized and available at www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/ PandG. The draft Interagency Guidelines were published in the Federal Register with a request for comments on March 27, 2013. Subsequent to public review and comment period, the final version of the Interagency Guidelines was developed through a collaborative interagency process that promoted the open exchange of information and perspectives. The process has engaged the public through formal public review and workshops. The updated and modernized PR&G will improve Federal government decision making related to investment in water resource projects and, thus, improve how our country plans for infrastructure projects.
Revised Draft Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is publishing revised draft guidance on how National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and documentation should address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the impacts of climate change. Many projects and programs proposed by, or requiring the approval of, the Federal Government have the potential to emit or sequester GHG, and may be potentially affected by climate changes. It follows, under NEPA, that Federal decisionmakers and the public should be informed about the proposal's GHG emissions and climate change impacts. Such information can help a decisionmaker make an informed choice between alternative actions that will result in different levels of GHG emissions, or consider mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of climate change. This revised draft guidance supersedes the draft guidance CEQ issued on February 18, 2010, entitled ``Draft NEPA Guidance on Consideration of the Effects of Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.'' \1\ The February 2010 draft guidance specifically did not apply to land and resource management activities. That distinction is no longer retained, and this revised draft guidance applies to all proposed Federal agency actions subject to NEPA.
Opportunity for Sponsorship of the GreenGov Symposium
This notice informs the public of the opportunity for eligible non-governmental entities to submit an application for co-sponsorship of a potential White House Council on Environmental Quality 2015 GreenGov Symposium. Those interested in becoming co-sponsors should submit an application for co-sponsorship by November 28, 2014.
Effective Use of Programmatic NEPA Reviews
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is publishing draft guidance on when and how Federal agencies can effectively use National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) programmatic reviews. Guidance on programmatic NEPA reviews has been requested by the agencies and attention on programmatic NEPA reviews has increased as agencies are increasingly undertaking broad landscape scale analyses for proposals that affect the resources they manage. This guidance is designed to assist agency decision-makers and the public in understanding the environmental impacts from proposed large-scope Federal actions and activities and to facilitate agency compliance with NEPA by clarifying the different planning scenarios under which an agency may prepare a programmatic, broad-scale, review. The guidance also addresses how agencies can prepare such reviews to ensure they are timely, informative, and useful for advancing decision-making. The goal of this guidance is to encourage a more consistent approach to programmatic NEPA reviews so that the analyses and documentation will allow for the expeditious and efficient completion of any necessary tiered reviews. It builds on guidance issued since 1981 that explained the use of tiering and its place in the NEPA process.