White House Council on Environmental Quality Statement Regarding Environmental Reviews for Recovery Act Funded Projects
WASHINGTON – Sahar Wali, White House Council on Environmental Quality Spokeswoman, issued the following statement today regarding environmental reviews for Recovery Act funded projects:
"Every project funded by the Recovery Act is covered by environmental reviews. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Federal agencies are required to analyze their actions, including Recovery Act programs, to determine whether or not they could have significant environmental effects.
"Agencies may identify activities – such as routine facility maintenance, or installing batteries at an existing wind farm – that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment as eligible for a categorical exclusion, meaning the project does not need to undergo detailed environmental analysis in an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. Categorical exclusions do not 'exempt' agencies from NEPA compliance; in fact, they serve as an effective method for NEPA analysis by allowing Federal Agencies to focus their more intensive environmental reviews and resources on actions that could have significant impacts."