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NEPA Analysis: Programmatic Environmental Assessment

“Programmatic” is defined by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) as any broad or high-level National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review that assesses the environmental impacts of proposed policies, plans, programs, or projects for which subsequent actions will be implemented either based on the Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) or Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

Programmatic NEPA is often utilized by federal agencies when the actions under a specific program(s) are routine actions done repeatedly and therefore are likely to have similar impacts that can be evaluated at a broad scale.

Program-wide NEPA compliance allows for greater efficiency in preparing NEPA compliance documentation for individual projects by reducing repetitive analysis.

For more information on Programmatic NEPA, see the CEQ’s guidance on Effective Use of Programmatic NEPA Reviews (pdf, 55 pages).

NIJ’s PEA and NEPA Compliance

There are three basic steps for achieving NEPA compliance for your project when it falls within scope of the PEA:

  1. Carefully review the NIJ PEA (pdf, 57 pages).
  2. Complete the NIJ Grants Program Checklist (pdf, 9 pages); see instructions.
  3. Attach the completed document to the grant application.

The NIJ PEA, completed in 2010, analyzes the environmental impacts of implementing projects funded by NIJ. By using a programmatic approach, NIJ evaluated the common types of actions that are routinely funded by NIJ. The PEA and resulting Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the CEQ regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508.

Info about subcontractors/subrecipients. Grant applicants are encouraged to contact prospective laboratories or other subrecipients with whom they intend to work to instruct them to complete the NIJ Programmatic Cover Sheet and NIJ Grants Program Checklist at their earliest convenience.

The grantee and any authorized subrecipients should ensure that they take the appropriate measures to adhere with applicable regulations or policies with regard to federal and/or any state or tribal environmental and historic preservation laws and regulations that apply to their application and project.

Date Created: September 9, 2019