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News Archive

March 11, 2013
DOE Identifies its Preferred Alternative for Certain Hanford Tank Wastes

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing its preferred alternative for wastes contained in underground radioactive waste storage tanks evaluated in the Final Tank Closure and Waste Management Environmental Impact Statement for the Hanford Site, Richland, Washington (Final TC & WM EIS, DOE/EIS-0391, December 2012). With regard to those wastes that, in the future, may be properly and legally classified as mixed transuranic waste (mixed TRU waste). DOE's preferred alternative is to retrieve, treat, package, and characterize and certify the wastes for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico, a geologic repository for the disposal of mixed TRU waste generated by atomic energy defense activities.

March 5, 2013
CEQ Releases Two Handbooks on Improving Efficiency of Federal Environmental Reviews

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today released two new handbooks that encourage more efficient environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

February 22, 2013
DOE Issues Final Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for the Nevada National Security Site

The U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has issued the Final Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and Off-Site Locations in Nevada. This document presents an analysis of the potential environmental impacts of continued management and operation of the NNSS (formerly known as the Nevada Test Site), the Tonopah Test Range, and two locations in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Site-Wide EIS analyzes reasonably foreseeable missions, programs, capabilities, and projects for a 10-year period.

September 18, 2012
OMB and CEQ Memorandum on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on September 7, 2012, issued a joint memorandum calling for department and agency commitment to the goals identified in the Memorandum on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution, and the goals identified in related policy guidance.

September 18, 2012
EPA to Require Electronic Filing of EISs

Starting October 1, 2012, all Federal agencies must file their draft and final EISs electronically, pursuant to amended EIS Filing System Guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (77 FR 51530; August 24, 2012).

June 12, 2012
Secretarial Memorandum on Integrating Project Management with NEPA Compliance to Improve Decision Making

Declaring that “Compliance with [NEPA] is a pre-requisite to successful implementation of DOE programs and projects,” the Secretary has signed a memorandum on "Improved Decision Making through the Integration of Program and Project Management with National Environmental Policy Act Compliance." The memo urges better use of existing tools and guidance, and highlights principles for strengthening NEPA compliance – for example, through Field and Headquarters teamwork, realistic schedules, and performance accountability.

March 12, 2012
CEQ Issues Guidance on Improving NEPA Process Efficiency

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has issued new guidance titled “Improving the Process for Preparing Efficient and Timely Environmental Reviews Under the National Environmental Policy Act” (NEPA Efficiency Guidance) that encourages federal agencies to “provide the best use of agency resources in ensuring a timely, effective, and efficient NEPA review.” The NEPA Efficiency Guidance highlights existing provisions under CEQ NEPA regulations and emphasizes making use of existing tools.

October 3, 2011
Energy Department Revises NEPA Regulations to Improve Efficiency

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy will save time and money in its environmental reviews of many proposed energy projects under revised regulations approved September 27, 2011, to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions focus on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in 15 years. A categorical exclusion applies to a class of actions that an agency has determined normally do not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the human environment.

September 30, 2011
DOE Revises its NEPA Regulations, Including Categorical Exclusions

On September 27, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) approved revisions to its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, and on September 28th, submitted the revisions to the Federal Register. The final regulations, which become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, are the culmination of a 2-year process to review and update DOE’s NEPA implementing procedures. This process involved internal evaluation, public participation, and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) review.

December 20, 2010
DOE Proposes First Revision to its NEPA Rules in More than a Decade

Today, the Department of Energy issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations governing compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposals focus primarily on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in thirteen years. The Department sought public input earlier this year to assist in the preparation of the current proposals.