The CEQ NEPA regulations provide, at 40 CFR 1506.12, that “Where emergency circumstances make it necessary to take an action with significant environmental impact without observing the provisions of the regulations in this subchapter, the Federal agency taking the action should consult with the Council about alternative arrangements for compliance with section 102(2)(C) of NEPA. Agencies and the Council will limit such arrangements to actions necessary to control the immediate impacts of the emergency. Other actions remain subject to NEPA review.” (Prior to September 14, 2020, a similar provision was stated at 40 CFR 1506.11.)

The provision in DOE’s NEPA regulations for taking emergency actions, at 10 CFR 1021.343(a), states that “DOE may take an action without observing all provisions of this part or the CEQ Regulations, in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.11, in emergency situations that demand immediate action. DOE shall consult with CEQ as soon as possible regarding alternative arrangements for emergency actions having significant environmental impacts. DOE shall document, including publishing a notice in the Federal Register, emergency actions covered by this paragraph within 30 days after such action occurs; this documentation shall identify any adverse impacts from the actions taken, further mitigation necessary, and any NEPA documents that may be required.”

“Emergency Actions and Alternative Arrangements” (below) lists the emergency situations in which DOE consulted with CEQ on alternative arrangements for NEPA compliance.