The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today provided two additional years for Federal agencies to propose updates to their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures, a deadline set in the 2020 NEPA regulations issued by the previous administration.
CEQ issued an interim final rule, published in the Federal Register, to extend this deadline for agencies. The extension will provide time for CEQ to review and potentially revise the 2020 NEPA rules. The deadline change also will ensure that agencies avoid expending their limited resources developing procedures to conform with regulations that may soon be updated.
Today’s action was announced previously in the Spring Unified Regulatory Agenda, which the Office of Management and Budget released on Friday, June 11, 2021.
CEQ’s 2020 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Rule (2020 Rule), published on July 16, 2020, required Federal agencies to propose updates to their agency NEPA procedures to be consistent with the 2020 Rule by September 14, 2021. This deadline was 12 months following the effective date of the 2020 Rule. Through this interim final rule, CEQ is revising 40 CFR 1507.3(b) to change the deadline from 12 months to 36 months. This change provides Federal agencies an additional two years, until September 14, 2023, to propose revisions to their NEPA procedures.
The step taken today is consistent with and follows upon a memo that the Office of Management and Budget sent to Federal agencies in April, revoking previously issued reporting requirements related to the development of updated NEPA procedures.