NEPA Terminology

A brief overview of some commonly used terms associated with the NEPA process

Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) - The detailed written statement that is required by section 102(2)(C) of NEPA for a proposed major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

ROD means a Record of Decision as described at 40 CFR 1505.2.

Environmental Assessment (EA) - A concise public document that a Federal agency prepares under NEPA to provide sufficient evidence and analysis to determine whether a proposed agency action would require preparation of an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant impact.

Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) - A public document issued by a Federal agency briefly presenting the reasons why an action for which the agency has prepared an environmental assessment will not have a significant effect on the human environment and, therefore, will not require preparation of an environmental impact statement.

Supplemental EIS (SEIS) means an EIS prepared to supplement a prior EIS as provided at 40 CFR 1502.9(c).

Programmatic NEPA document means abroad-scope EIS (PEIS) or EA that identifies and assesses the environmental impacts of a DOE program; it may also refer to an associated NEPA document, such as an NOI, ROD, or FONSI.

Site-wide NEPA document means a broad-scope EIS (SWEIS) or EA that is programmatic in nature and identifies and assesses the individual and cumulative impacts of ongoing and reasonably foreseeable future actions at a DOE site; Site-wide may also refer to an associated NEPA document, such as an NOI, ROD, or FONSI.

Scoping means the process described at 40 CFR 1501.7; “public scoping process” refers to that portion of the scoping process where the public is invited to participate, as described at 40 CFR 1501.7 (a)(1) and (b)(4).

Supplement Analysis (SA) means a DOE document used to determine whether a supplemental EIS should be prepared pursuant to 40 CFR 1502.9(c), or to support a decision to prepare a new EIS.

A Notice of Availability (NOA) is a formal notice, published in the Federal Register, that announces the issuance and public availability of a draft or final EIS. The Environmental Protection Agency NOA is the official public notification of an EIS; a DOE NOA is an optional notice used to provide information to the public.

A Notice of Intent (NOI) is a formal announcement of intent to prepare an EIS as defined in Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1508.22). DOE publishes NOIs in the Federal Register in accordance with DOE NEPA regulations (10 CFR 1021.311). On rare occasions we may produce and issue an Advance NOI which means a formal public notice of DOE's intent to prepare an EIS, which is published in advance of an NOI in order to facilitate public involvement in the NEPA process.

A Record of Decision (ROD) is a concise public document that records a Federal agency's decision(s) concerning a proposed action for which the agency has prepared an environmental impact statement (See CEQ and DOE NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2 and 10 CFR 1021.315, respectively).

A Floodplain and Wetland Assessment is an evaluation that DOE prepares under DOE Floodplain and Wetland Environmental Review Requirements (10 CFR Part 1022) consisting of a description of a proposed action, a discussion of its potential effects on the floodplain or wetland, and consideration of alternatives. A Floodplain Statement of Findings is a brief document issued pursuant to 10 CFR 1022.14 that describes the results of the floodplain assessment.

A Mitigation Action Plan is a document DOE prepares in accordance with DOE NEPA regulations (10 CFR 1021.331) that describes the plan for implementing commitments made in a DOE environmental impact statement and its associated record of decision, or, when appropriate, an EA or FONSI, to mitigate adverse environmental impacts associated with an action.