Appendix 22: Application of NEPA to Proposed Federal Actions in the United States With Transboundary Effects

AuthorNicholas C. Yost
Application of NEPA to Proposed Federal Actions in the United States With Transboundary Effect Page 435
JULY 1, 1997
The purpose of this guidance is to clarify the applicability of the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to proposed federal actions in the United
States, including its territories and possessions, that may have
country's environment. While the guidance arises in the context of
negotiations undertaken with the governments of Mexico and Canada to
develop an agreement on transboundary environmental impact assessment
in North America, 1 the guidance pertains to all federal agency actions that
are normally subject to NEPA, whether covered by an international
agreement or not.
It is important to state at the outset the matters to which this guidance is
addressed and those to which it is not. This guidance does not expand the
range of actions to which NEPA currently applies. An action that does not
otherwise fall under NEPA would not now fall under NEPA by virtue of this
guidance. Nor does this guidance apply NEPA to so-called “extraterritorial
actions”; that is, U.S. actions that take place in another country or otherwise
outside the jurisdiction of the United States2. The guidance pertains only to
those proposed actions currently covered by NEPA that take place within the
United States and its territories, and it does not change the applicability of
NEPA law, regulations or case law to those actions. Finally, the guidance is
consistent with long-standing principles of international law.
harmony between human beings and their environment, promotes efforts
stimulates the health and welfare of human beings, and enriches the
understanding of ecological systems.3 Section 102(1) of NEPA “authorizes
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CEQ Transboundary Guidance

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