White House Releases Final Guidance for Environmental Reviews Under NEPA

The White House Council on Environmental Quality on Tuesday released its final guidance for federal agencies to consider climate change under their National Environmental Policy Act reviews.

The final guidance, which will also be announced in the Federal Register in a few days, will help agencies describe climate change impacts and advise them on considering alternatives to make the proposed actions and the affected communities more resilient to the effects of climate change, the White House said in a statement. It will also stress the importance of using existing information and science when considering proposals.

The guidance will also help improve the efficiency and consistency of federal agencies environmental reviews of proposed actions, CEQ said.

The White House said the final guidance builds on a 2010 draft guidance and 2014 revised draft guidance, and incorporates comments and feedback received on those documents.

“Identifying important interactions between a changing climate and the environmental impacts from a proposed action can help federal agencies and other decision makers identify practicable opportunities to reduce GHG emissions, improve environmental outcomes, and contribute to safeguarding communities and their infrastructure against the effects of extreme weather events and other climate-related impacts,” CEQ wrote in a statement.

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