Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the
National Environmental Policy Act
Summary of Final Rule

Environmental Committee Feature

Kevin Keller
PG Vice President/Sr. Professional Associate HDR, Inc.
ARDA President, 2011- 2012

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a United States environmental law that promotes the enhancement of the environment and established the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The law was enacted on January 1, 1970. To date, more than 100 nations around the world have enacted national environmental policies modeled after NEPA. NEPA requires the government to assess the environmental impacts of any "major Federal action," and consider alternative options that are less damaging to the environment
The final rule updating the CEQ regulations implementing the procedural requirements of NEPA was issued on July 15, 2020, and published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2020. The effective date of the final rule is September 14, 2020. Any NEPA review begun on or after this date must comply with the updated regulations. Also, agencies may apply the updated regulations to any ongoing NEPA reviews begun before September 14, 2020.