Draft Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Impacts

On February 18, 2010, CEQ released draft guidance for public comment on when and how Federal agencies must consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change in their proposed actions. CEQ has been asked to provide guidance on this subject informally by Federal agencies and formally by a petition under the Administrative Procedure Act. The draft guidance explains how Federal agencies should analyze the environmental impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change when they describe the environmental impacts of a proposed action under NEPA. It provides practical tools for agency reporting, including a presumptive threshold of 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from the proposed action to trigger a quantitative analysis, and instructs agencies how to assess the effects of climate change on the proposed action and their design. The draft guidance does not apply to land and resource management actions and does not propose to regulate greenhouse gases. CEQ received public comment on this guidance for 90 days.