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Draft Guidance Document Issued for NEPA Consideration of Climate Change and GHGs

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued draft guidance on the consideration of GHG’s in the NEPA process. The memorandum issued by CEQ states in part:

“NEPA demands informed, realistic governmental decision making. CEQ proposes to advise Federal agencies to consider, in scoping their NEPA analyses, whether analysis of the direct and indirect GHG emissions from their proposed actions may provide meaningful information to decision makers and the public. Specifically, if a proposed action would be reasonably anticipated to cause direct emissions of 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2-equivalent GHG emissions on an annual basis, agencies should consider this an indicator that a quantitative and qualitative assessment may be meaningful to decision makers and the public. For long-term actions that have annual direct emissions of less than 25,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent, CEQ encourages Federal agencies to consider whether the action’s long-term emissions should receive similar analysis. CEQ does not propose this as an indicator of a threshold of significant effects, but rather as an indicator of a minimum level of GHG emissions that may warrant some description in the appropriate NEPA analysis for agency actions involving direct emissions of GHGs.”

Comment on the Draft Guidance will be accepted until May 24, 2010 and should be submitted electronically to GCC.guidance@ceq.eop.gov, or in writing to The Council on Environmental Quality, Attn: Ted Boling, 722 Jackson Place, NW., Washington, DC 20503.

-Steven Silverberg