Council on Environmental Quality
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works with agencies and White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. One of CEQ's major responsibilities is to develop and recommend national policies to the President that promote the improvement of environmental quality and meet the Nation's goals.
Congress enacted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to “declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.” 42 U.S.C. § 4321.
CEQ oversees NEPA implementation, principally through issuing guidance and interpreting regulations that implement NEPA's procedural requirements. CEQ also reviews and approves Federal agency NEPA procedures, approves alternative arrangements for compliance with NEPA for emergencies, and helps to resolve disputes between Federal agencies and with other governmental entities and members of the public. The Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970 and other statutes have provided CEQ with additional responsibilities and authorities.