OMB has issued guidance to agencies on carrying out a recent rule from the Council on Environmental Quality on environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act, saying that “all agencies must develop new or revised agency NEPA procedures, as necessary, including eliminating any inconsistencies with the CEQ regulations.”
Agencies must propose their new or revised procedures no later than September 14, 2021, said OMB memo M-21-1.
“The President has emphasized that the federal environmental review and permitting process should be coordinated, predictable, and transparent. To ensure that new or updated agency NEPA procedures are proposed by September 14, 2021, agencies need to prioritize this effort. As such, agencies should act promptly to begin updating their NEPA procedures to mitigate delays, promote collaboration consistent with the One Federal Decision policy, and support the President’ s Management Agenda,” it said.
Agencies are to submit within 30 days plan outlining the agency’s planned schedule for compliance, with a first status report due March 15 and a second due August 1. They must consult with CEQ in the development of new or revised procedures and “are encouraged to use all tools available, including contracts and memorandums of understanding with other agencies.”