National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)


At DTRA, we recognize that the work we do can potentially impact the environment.  Therefore, we actively strive to limit any adverse environmental effects and to be transparent with the public in our decision-making.  It is our policy to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by integrating environmental considerations into all Agency/Center activities at the earliest possible planning stage and by making decisions considering environmental consequences.

The NEPA process includes an assessment of environmental effects for proposed federal actions and alternative actions.  This enables us to make sustainable choices and informed decisions about potential consequences of our projects, to inform the public about our findings, and to take actions that will protect the environment.

The environmental review of an activity may result in one of the following three levels of documentation and analysis:

  • Categorical Exclusion (CATEX):  A CATEX is a category of Agency/Center actions which have been determined to normally not individually or cumulatively have significant impact on the environment and therefore neither an Environmental Assessment (EA) nor Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required.
  • Environmental Assessment (EA):  An EA is a concise public document used to provide sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or to comply with NEPA when an EIS is not necessary.
  • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):  A public document prepared for actions that may have a significant impact on the human environment.  An EIS examines the potential impacts of the proposed action, reasonable alternatives, and measures to mitigate those effects and will result in publication of a Record of Decision (ROD).