Council on Environmental Quality Submits Fourth Report to Congress on Environmental Analysis of Recovery Act Activities and Projects
WASHINGTON, DC – In accordance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) submitted its fourth report today to Congress regarding the status and progress of projects and activities receiving funds under the Act and how they have complied thus far with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.
"This report confirms once again that projects receiving Recovery Act funds have undergone the necessary and required environmental analysis," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "The agencies have clearly demonstrated their commitments to project delivery and environmental stewardship. The sustained high level of performance with over 90 percent of the NEPA analyses completed indicates that projects to stimulate our nation’s economic health also can protect and further the health of our environment."
The report is an overview of the fifteen Executive Branch departments and nine agencies required to report on their current NEPA status under the Recovery Act. As of December 31st, the departments and agencies reported almost 162,000 Recovery Act funded projects or activities. The completed reviews support implementing projects and activities of over $187 billion Recovery Act dollars obligated.
The departments and agencies reported more than 166,700 NEPA reviews, over 161,000 have been completed, and the rest are underway. NEPA reviews found that roughly 154,000 of the projects or activities came under Categorical Exclusions because they did not have significant individual or cumulative effects on the human environment.
The departments and agencies also reported having completed almost 6,300 Environmental Assessments with Findings of No Significant Impact for Recovery Act funded projects or activities. Those Environmental Assessments provide the basis for Findings of No Significant Impact. Over 710 of the projects or activities were the subject of completed Environmental Impact Statements, which is the most intensive review for projects or activities with significant effects on the human environment.
The report highlights instances where the environmental review process assisted Federal agencies in improving the quality of their decisions, thereby saving money, protecting vital resources, and increasing public participation. The full report is available at www.nepa.gov. Further information regarding the status of agency obligations is available on the Recovery Act website at www.recovery.gov.