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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

  • Announcements & Documents
  • Process & Responsibilities
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Announcements

  • There are no announcements at this time.

Environmental Assessments (EA)

Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)

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All Army EIS documents are hosted on separate web pages:

Documents

Regulations

  • 32 CFR Part 651 – Environmental Analysis of Army Action (AR 200-2)
  • 40 CFR Parts 1500 to 1508  -  Regulations for Implementing NEPA
  • HRS 343 – Hawaii Revised Statutes; Environmental Impact Statements
  • HAR Ch. 11-200; Environmental Impact Statement Rules
  • HAR Ch. 11-200-8(11) Exempt classes of action for the acquisition of land
  • HAR Ch.11-201Environmental Council Rules of Practice and Procedure
  • AR 200-1; Environmental Protection and Enhancement

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. The Army's implementing regulation for NEPA, 32 CFR 651, sets forth the Army's policies and responsibilities for the early integration of environmental considerations into planning and decision-making.

The USAG-HI NEPA program assists leaders in analyzing the environmental effects of proposed Army actions before decisions are made. This process requires that environmental reviews are integrated early and concurrently with other Army planning and decision making actions to avoid delays in mission accomplishments.

The goal of the program is to balance realistic Army mission training requirements with ecological and cultural resources compatibilities, economic and community objectives.

The depth of the NEPA analysis depends on many things, including but not limited to the significance of the project, its effects on the public and the degree of environmental impact. There are three levels of analysis, and each requires a specific type of documentation as follows:

Categorical Exclusion (CATEX)
Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI)
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD)
For more information, contact the NEPA Office at 808-656-3075.

Process

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Responsibilities

If you are part of a reserve or active military component unit, civilian or tenant organization, contractor or other agency associated with USAG-HI operations, you have a role in the NEPA process and you must be familiar with the following key points: 

What You Must Know:

  • Early planning is imperative! Timely integration of proposed actions into the NEPA process prevents disruption in the decision-making process and avoids costly delays. 
  • Actions that could impact historic structures, cultural and natural resources, create new construction, introduce new training vehicles, maneuvers, and weapons requires environmental documentation.

What You Must Do:

  • Complete a Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) and submit to the Directorate of Public Works Environmental NEPA program for a 30 day evaluation.
  • Make sure all who needs to see, sign off and approve the action/project have done so.

What is NEPA?
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires federal agencies to take into account the environmental impacts of federal decisions which could significantly affect the environment. In implementing NEPA, federal agencies have to assess the environmental impacts of decisions and inform the public of any impacts. The public has the right to comment on any proposed EIS before action is taken.

What is a Categorical Exclusion (CATEX)?
A CATEX is when further environmental analysis is not needed. This generally involves small, routine projects where a record exist that demonstrates that these types of projects typically do not result in significant environmental impacts.

What is an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI)?
An Environmental Assessment (EA) is conducted for actions that are expected to have environmental impacts and to evaluate possible mitigation measures.  If the EA cannot describe a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) then, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is prepared.

What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD)?
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an extensive analysis of direct, indirect and cumulative environmental impacts as well as alternatives to the proposed project. A Record of Decision (ROD) is signed when the process is completed.

How long is the public comment period for Draft EISs?
45 days.

How long is the wait period for final EISs?
The Army is generally required to wait 30 days before making a  decision on a proposed action.

Where does Army Hawaii post its Notice of Availability for its EISs?
All Army EISs are filed with EPA, and EPA publishes a Notice of Availability each week in the Federal Register with information on who to contact regarding a specific NEPA document. Click here to access the EPA. Twice a month, the Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) announces the availability of EAs and EIS under public review in the State of Hawaii. Click here to access the Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Where can I find announcements about Army Hawaii NEPA actions and documents?
All Army EISs are filed with EPA, and EPA publishes a Notice of Availability each week in the Federal Register with information on who to contact regarding a specific NEPA document. Click here to access the EPA. Twice a month, the Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) announces the availability of EAs and EIS under public review in the State of Hawaii. Click here to access the Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control.

What is a REC form, when is it used?
A Record of Environmental Consideration form, Form 29, 29A is used when the proposed action is exempt from the more rigorous requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), or has been adequately assessed in existing documents and determined not to be environmentally significant. The REC describes the proposed action and anticipated timeframe, identifies the proponent, and explains why further environmental analysis and documentation is not required. It is a signed statement to be submitted with project/action documentation usually taking 30 days for approval.

When is a REC needed?
A REC is needed whenever there is a potential disturbance to the environment.  A potential disturbance can involve construction, renovation, demolition, excavation, maintenance, bivouac, shower, laundry, DECON water purification or treatment and disposal of water, water crossing or bridging operations, all staging/static operations and all other actions not described here shall require consultation with the NEPA Program Office to determine the appropriate course of action for NEPA compliance.

Why is a REC needed?
A REC is needed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. A REC is used to review and document federal actions and to show that the effects of the action on the environment are avoided, minimized, or mitigated.

Who is responsible to submit the REC?
The Action or Mission proponent is responsible for submitting the REC form to the NEPA Program Office, Building 105, 3rd floor. 

How is the REC form submitted?
REC forms may be submitted by dropping them off at NEPA Program Office, Building 105, 3rd floor, or sending them electronically to the NEPA Program Manager.  REC forms are to be filed with the NEPA Program Office no later than thirty days prior to occupying or preparing the field for training as part of the planning process.

I have a REC form, now what?
Once approved, REC forms are to be retained with the unit in the field. Engineer and other support units are required to have a copy of the approved REC, in hand, prior to any project and/or support action. The unit receiving support is the proponent responsible for submitting the REC for review and approval.

Who is responsible for signing the REC form?
E-5s and above can sign the RECs.

Who is responsible to determine approval of a proposed action?
Once received, the REC form is submitted to the NEPA Program. It is the responsibility of the NEPA Program Manager to approve the proposed action following the environmental review. The environmental review may necessitate having DPW Environmental Division personnel conduct site visits, natural and/or cultural resource surveys, inspections of setup and operations, and may result in the requirement for the Proponent to provide additional information.

Where can I obtain a hardcopy of the REC form?
You can obtain a REC form (Form 29, 29A) from the NEPA Program Office, Building 105, 3rd floor. 

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