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National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 was created to ensure federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions and decisions. Federal agencies are required to systematically assess the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and consider alternative ways of accomplishing their missions, which are less damaging to and protective of the environment. NEPA Section 101(b) states "it is the continuing responsibility of the federal government to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of national policy" to avoid environmental degradation, preserve historic, cultural, and natural resources, and "promote the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without undesirable and unintentional consequences". Each agency designates a "responsible official" who must ensure NEPA issues are addressed as part of the agency's actions. All agencies must use a systematic interdisciplinary approach to environmental planning and evaluation of projects which may have an affect on the environment.

The information compiled in this website is for general informational purposes. This information is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in the agency's state and may or may not reflect the most current legal developments.   

The shortcut to this page is www.gsa.gov/nepa.


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