Appendix 15: Department of the Interior

AuthorNicholas C. Yost
Department of the Interior Regulations and Procedures (DOI Part 516) Page 293
Department of the Interior
Departmental Manual
Eective Dat e: 9/1/09
Series: Environmenta l Quality Programs
Part 516: National Environmental
Policy Act of 1969
Chapter 3: Managing the NEPA Process
Originati ng Oce: Oce of Environmental Policy
and Compliance
516 DM 3
3.1 Purpose. is chapter provides supplementar y
instruc tions for implementing those provisions of the
CEQ Regula tions and the Depart ment’s National
Environmental Policy Act (N EPA) Regulations per-
taining to procedu res for implementing and man aging
the NEPA process.
3.2 Organiz ational Responsibilitie s for Environ-
mental Qua lity.
A. Oce of Environmenta l Policy and Compliance
(OEPC). e Director, OEPC, is responsible for pro-
viding advice a nd assis tance to the Depart ment on
matters perta ining to environ mental quality a nd for
overseeing and coordinat ing the Department’s compli-
ance with NEPA. (See als o 112 DM 4.)
B. Bureaus and Oce s. Heads of bureaus a nd oces
will designate org anizational elements or individuals,
as appropriate, at headquarters a nd regional levels to
be responsible for overseeing matters per taining to
the environmental eec ts of the bureau’s plans and
programs. e individu als assigned these responsibili-
ties should have manag ement experience or potential,
understand the bureau’s planning a nd decision mak-
ing processes, a nd be well trained in environmental
matters, including t he Department’s policies and
procedures so that thei r advice has signi canc e in the
bureau’s planning and decisions. ese orga nizational
elements will be identied in c hapters 8-15, which con-
tain all bu reau NEPA requirements.
3.3 Approval of Environ mental Impact Statements
A. A prog ram Assista nt Secretary is authorized to
approve an E IS in those ca ses where the resp onsibil-
ity for t he decision for which the EIS has bee n pre-
pared re sts with the A ssistant Secre tary or below. e
Assist ant Secretar y may further assign the auth ority
to approve the EIS if he or she choo ses. e AS/PMB
will m ake certai n that each progr am Assista nt Secre-
tary has adequate sa feguards to en sure that the E ISs
comply with NEPA, the Council of Environmen-
tal Qu ality (CEQ ) Regulations, the Department’s
NEPA Regu lations, and the Departmental Manual
B. e AS/PMB is authorized to approve an EIS i n
those cases where t he decision for which the EIS has
been prepared will oc cur at a level in the Department
above an individual prog ram Assistant Secretar y.
3.4 List of Specic Compli ance Responsibilities.
A. Bureaus and oce s shall:
(1) Prepare NEPA handbooks providing guidance on
the interpretation of NEPA, the CEQ regu lations, 43
CFR Part 46, and the applic able portions of this Part
in principal program a reas.
(2) Prepare program regulat ions or directives for
(3) Propose and apply categorical exclusions (CEs).
(4) Prepare and approve Environmental Asse ssments
(5) Decide whether to prepare an EIS.
(6) Prepare and publish NOIs and FONSIs.
(7) Prepare and, when assigne d, approve EISs.
B. Program Assist ant Secretaries shall:
(1) Approve bureau and oce ha ndbooks.
(2) Approve regulations or directives f or applicants.
(3) Approve proposed categorical exclusions.
(4) Approve EISs pursuant to 516 DM 3.3.
C. e AS/PMB shal l:
(1) Concur with regulations or directive s for
(2) Concur with proposed categorica l exclusions.
(3) Approve EISs pursuant to 516 DM 3.3. (See also 43
CFR 46.150).
Page 294 NEPA Deskbook
3.5 Bureau Requirement s.
A. Requirements speci c to bureaus appear a s separate
chapters beginni ng with chapter 8 of this Part and
include the following:
(1) Identication of ocia ls and organizational ele-
ments responsible for NEPA compliance.
(2) List of program regulat ions or directives wh ich pro-
vide information to applicants.
(3) Identication of major decision points in principal
programs for which an E IS is normally prepared.
(4) List of projects or groups of projects for which an
EA is normally prepa red.
(5) List of categorical exclusions.
B. Bureau requirements are found in t he following
chapters for the current bureaus:
(1) U.S. Fish and Wildli fe Service (Chapter 8).
(2) U.S. Geological Survey (Chapter 9).
(3) Bureau of Indian Aa irs (Chapter 10).
(4) Bureau of Land Management (Chapter 11).
(5) National Park Service (Chapter 12).
(6) Oce of Surface Mi ning (Chapter 13).
(7) Bureau of Reclamat ion (Chapter 14).
(8) Minerals Management Ser vice (Chapter 15).
C. Oces in the O ce of the Secretary (O/S) must
comply with the policy in th is chapter and will consult
with the OEPC about compliance ac tivities.
3.6 Information about t he NEPA Process. e
OEPC will periodic ally publish a Departmental list of
bureau contacts where inform ation about the NEPA
process and the stat us of EISs may be obtained. is
list will be ava ilable on OEPC’s website at: http://www.
Department of the Interior Regulations and Procedures (DOI Part 516) Page 295
Department of the Interior
Departmental Manual
Eective Dat e: 5/27/04
Series: Environmenta l Quality Programs
Part 516: National Environmental
Policy Act of 1969
Chapter 8: Managing the NEPA Process—
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Originati ng Oce: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv ice
516 DM 8
8.1 Purpose. is Chapter provide s supplementary
requirements for implementing provisions of 516 DM
1 through 6 withi n the Department’s U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Serv ice. is Chapter is referenced in 516 DM
8.2 NEPA Responsibilit y.
A. e Director is responsible for NEPA compliance
for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser vice (Service) activities,
including approving recommendat ions to the Assist ant
Secretary ( FW) for proposed referrals to the Council
on Environmental Qual ity (CEQ ) of other agency
actions under 40 CFR 1504.
B. Each Assist ant Director (Refuges and Wildlife,
Fisheries, International A airs, External A airs, and
Ecological Ser vices) is responsible for general guid-
ance and compliance i n their respective areas of
C. e Assista nt Director for Ecologica l Services has
been delegated oversight responsibil ity for Servic e
NEPA compliance.
D. e Division of Habitat Conservation
(DHC--Washington), which reports to the Assist ant
Director for Ecological Ser vices, is responsible for
internal control of the environmenta l review and anal-
ysis of documents prepared by other ag encies and envi-
ronmental statements prepared by the va rious Service
Divisions. is oce is a lso responsible for preparing
Service NEPA procedures, g uidelines, and instruc-
tions, and for supplying technic al assistance and spe-
cialized t raining in NEPA compliance, in cooperation
with the Servic e Oce of Training and E ducation, to
Service entities. e Washin gton Oce Environmen-
tal Coordinator, who reports to DHC, provides s ta
assistance on NE PA matters to the Director, Assista nt
Directors, and their div isions and oces, and serves
as the Servic e NEPA liaison to the CEQ, the Depa rt-
ment’s Oce of Environmental Policy and Compli-
ance (OEPC), and NEPA liaisons in other Federa l
agencies, in accorda nce with 516 DM 6.2.
E. Each Regiona l Director is responsible for NEPA
compliance in his/her a rea of responsibility. e
Regional Director should ensu re that Service decision-
makers in his/her a rea of responsibility contact aected
Federal agencies and St ate, tribal and local govern-
ments when initiating an ac tion subject to an EA or
EIS. An individua l in each Regional Oce, named by
title and reporting to t he Assistant Regional Director
for Ecological Ser vices, other appropriate Assistant
Regional Director, or the Regional Di rector, will have
NEPA coordination duties with al l program areas at
the Regional level sim ilar to those of the Washington
Oce Environmental C oordinator, in accordance w ith
516 DM 6.2.
8.3 General Se rvice Guidance. Ser vice guidance on
internal NEPA matters is found in 30 A M 2-3 (organi-
zational struc ture and internal NEPA compliance), 550
FW1-3 (in preparation), 550 FW 3 (documenting and
implementing Service deci sions on Service ac tions),
and 550 FW 1-2 (replacement to 30 AM 2-3 in prepa-
ration). ese guidance documents e ncourage Ser vice
participation as a co operating agenc y with other Fed-
eral agencies, encour age early coordination with other
agencies and the public to resolve issue s in a timely
manner, and provide techniques for strea mlining the
NEPA process and integrating t he NEPA process
with other Servic e programs, environ mental laws, and
Executive orders. Some Serv ice programs have add i-
tional NEPA compliance informat ion related to spe-
cic program plann ing and decisionmaking activ ities.
Service progra m guidance on NEPA matters must be
consistent with the Ser vice Manual on NEPA guidance
and Departmenta l NEPA procedures. For example,
additional NEPA guida nce is found in the Federa l Aid
Handbook (521-523 FW), refuge plan ning guidance
(602 FW 1-3), Handbook for Habitat Conservation
Planning and Incidenta l Ta ke Processing, and North
American Wetlands C onservation Act Grant Applica-
tion Instructions.
8.4 Guidance to A pplicants.
A. Service Permits. e S ervice has responsibility for
issuing permits to Federa l and State agencies and pri-
vate parties for act ions which would involve cert ain
wildlife specie s and/or use of Service-administered
lands. When applica ble, the Servic e may require per-
mit applicants to provide additional i nformation on
the proposal and on its environmenta l eects as may
be necessar y to satisfy the Service’s requirements to

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