FORTY MOST ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

CEQ MEMORANDUM FOR FEDERAL NEPA LIAISONS,
FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL OFFICIALS AND
OTHER PERSONS INVOLVED IN THE NEPA PROCESS

Subject: Questions and Answers About the NEPA Regulations

During June and July of 1980 the Council on Environmental Quality, with the assistance and cooperation of EPA's EIS Coordinators from the ten EPA regions, held one-day meetings with federal, state and local officials in the ten EPA regional offices around the country. In addition, on July 10, 1980, CEQ conducted a similar meeting for the Washington, D.C. NEPA liaisons and persons involved in the NEPA process. At these meetings CEQ discussed (a) the results of its 1980 review of Draft EISs issued since the July 30, 1979 effective date of the NEPA regulations, (b) agency compliance with the Record of Decision requirements in Section 1505 of the NEPA regulations, and (c) CEQ's preliminary findings on how the scoping process is working. Participants at these meetings received copies of materials prepared by CEQ summarizing its oversight and findings.

These meetings also provided NEPA liaisons and other participants with an opportunity to ask questions about NEPA and the practical application of the NEPA regulations. A number of these questions were answered by CEQ representatives at the regional meetings. In response to the many requests from the agencies and other participants, CEQ has compiled forty of the most important or most frequently asked questions and their answers and reduced them to writing. The answers were prepared by the General Counsel of CEQ in consultation with the Office of Federal Activities of EPA. These answers, of course, do not impose any additional requirements beyond those of the NEPA regulations. This document does not represent new guidance under the NEPA regulations, but rather makes generally available to concerned agencies and private individuals the answers which CEQ has already given at the 1980 regional meetings. The answers also reflect the advice which the Council has given over the past two years to aid agency staff and consultants in their day-to-day application of NEPA and the regulations.

CEQ has also received numerous inquiries regarding the scoping process. CEQ hopes to issue written guidance on scoping later this year on the basis of its special study of scoping, which is nearing completion.

NICHOLAS C. YOST
General Counsel

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