United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 24, 2023
The term “environmental impact statement” means the detailed statement of environmental impacts of a project required to be prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
The term “environmental review process” means the process of preparing an environmental impact statement, environmental assessment, categorical exclusion, or other document under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) for a project study.
The term “environmental review process” includes the process for and completion of any environmental permit, approval, review, or study required for a project study under any Federal law other than the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
The term “Federal jurisdictional agency” means a Federal agency with jurisdiction delegated by law, regulation, order, or otherwise over a review, analysis, opinion, statement, permit, license, or other approval or decision required for a project study under applicable Federal laws (including regulations).
The term “Federal lead agency” means the Corps of Engineers.
The term “project” means a water resources development project to be carried out by the Secretary.
The term “project sponsor” has the meaning given the term “non-Federal interest” in section 1962d–5b(b) of title 42.
The term “project study” means a feasibility study for a project carried out pursuant to section 2282 of this title.
Any authority granted under this section may be exercised, and any requirement established under this section may be satisfied, for the conduct of an environmental review process for a project study, a class of project studies, or a program of project studies.
The Secretary shall include for each project study on the list under subparagraph (A) a description of the estimated amounts necessary to make substantial progress on the project study.
The Secretary shall develop and implement a coordinated environmental review process for the development of project studies.
The coordinated environmental review process described in paragraph (1) shall require that any review, analysis, opinion, statement, permit, license, or other approval or decision issued or made by a Federal, State, or local governmental agency or an Indian tribe for a project study described in subsection (b) be conducted, to the maximum extent practicable, concurrently with any other applicable governmental agency or Indian tribe.
The coordinated environmental review process under this subsection shall be completed not later than the date on which the Secretary, in consultation and concurrence with the agencies identified under subsection (e), establishes with respect to the project study.
At the discretion of the Secretary and subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the requirements of section 1506.8 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations), including the concurrence of the proposed joint lead agency, a project sponsor may serve as the joint lead agency.
The Federal lead agency shall invite, as early as practicable in the environmental review process, any agency identified under paragraph (1) to become a participating or cooperating agency, as applicable, in the environmental review process for the project study.
An invitation to participate issued under subparagraph (A) shall set a deadline by which a response to the invitation shall be submitted, which may be extended by the Federal lead agency for good cause.
Section 1501.6 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on
A participating or cooperating agency shall comply with this section and any schedule established under this section.
The Federal lead agency shall, after consultation with and with the concurrence of each participating and cooperating agency and the project sponsor or joint lead agency, as applicable, establish a plan for coordinating public and agency participation in, and comment on, the environmental review process for a project study or a category of project studies.
The plan established under clause (i) shall be incorporated into the project schedule milestones set under section 2282(g)(2) of this title.
As soon as practicable but not later than 45 days after the close of the public comment period on a draft environmental impact statement, the Federal lead agency, after consultation with and the concurrence of each participating and cooperating agency and the project sponsor or joint lead agency, as applicable, shall establish, as part of the coordination plan established in subparagraph (A), a schedule for completion of the environmental review process for the project study.
Nothing in this subsection reduces any time period provided for public comment in the environmental review process under applicable Federal law (including regulations).
Not later than 1 year after
The Federal lead agency, the cooperating agencies, and any participating agencies shall work cooperatively in accordance with this section to identify and resolve issues that could delay completion of the environmental review process or result in the denial of any approval required for the project study under applicable laws.
The Federal lead agency shall make information available to the cooperating agencies and participating agencies as early as practicable in the environmental review process regarding the environmental and socioeconomic resources located within the project area and the general locations of the alternatives under consideration.
The information under subparagraph (A) may be based on existing data sources, including geographic information systems mapping.
Based on information received from the Federal lead agency, cooperating and participating agencies shall identify, as early as practicable, any issues of concern regarding the potential environmental or socioeconomic impacts of the project, including any issues that could substantially delay or prevent an agency from granting a permit or other approval that is needed for the project study.
A meeting requested under this paragraph shall be held not later than 21 days after the date on which the Secretary receives the request for the meeting, unless the Secretary determines that there is good cause to extend that deadline.
On receipt of a request for a meeting under this paragraph, the Secretary shall notify all relevant participating and cooperating agencies of the request, including the issue to be resolved and the date for the meeting.
If a resolution cannot be achieved within the 30 day-period beginning on the date of a meeting under this paragraph and a determination is made by the Secretary that all information necessary to resolve the issue has been obtained, the Secretary shall forward the dispute to the heads of the relevant agencies for resolution.
The Secretary may convene an issue resolution meeting under this paragraph at any time, at the discretion of the Secretary, regardless of whether a meeting is requested under subparagraph (A).
A Federal jurisdictional agency shall complete any required approval or decision for the environmental review process on an expeditious basis using the shortest existing applicable process.
No transfer of funds under subparagraph (B) relating to an individual project study shall exceed, in any fiscal year, an amount equal to 1 percent of the funds made available for the applicable agency office.
The total amount transferred in a fiscal year as a result of a failure by an agency to make a decision by an applicable deadline shall not exceed an amount equal to 5 percent of the funds made available for the applicable agency office for that fiscal year.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for each fiscal year, the aggregate amount of financial penalties assessed against each applicable agency office under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 and any other Federal law as a result of a failure of the agency to make a decision by an applicable deadline for environmental review, including the total amount transferred under this paragraph, shall not exceed an amount equal to 9.5 percent of the funds made available for the agency office for that fiscal year.
The Federal agency from which funds are transferred pursuant to this paragraph shall not reprogram funds to the office of the head of the agency, or equivalent office, to reimburse that office for the loss of the funds.
Nothing in this paragraph affects or limits the application of, or obligation to comply with, any Federal, State, local, or tribal law.
If requested at any time by a State or project sponsor, the Secretary and other Federal agencies with relevant jurisdiction in the environmental review process, shall, to the maximum extent practicable and appropriate, as determined by the agencies, provide technical assistance to the State or project sponsor in carrying out early coordination activities.
If requested at any time by a State or project sponsor, the Federal lead agency, in consultation with other Federal agencies with relevant jurisdiction in the environmental review process, may establish memoranda of agreement with the project sponsor, Indian tribe, State and local governments, and other appropriate entities to carry out the early coordination activities, including providing technical assistance in identifying potential impacts and mitigation issues in an integrated fashion.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a claim arising under Federal law seeking judicial review of a permit, license, or other approval issued by a Federal agency for a project study shall be barred unless the claim is filed not later than 3 years after publication of a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the permit, license, or other approval is final pursuant to the law under which the agency action is taken, unless a shorter time is specified in the Federal law that allows judicial review.
Nothing in this subsection creates a right to judicial review or places any limit on filing a claim that a person has violated the terms of a permit, license, or other approval.
The Secretary shall consider new information received after the close of a comment period if the information satisfies the requirements for a supplemental environmental impact statement under title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (including successor regulations).
The preparation of a supplemental environmental impact statement or other environmental document, if required under this section, shall be considered a separate final agency action and the deadline for filing a claim for judicial review of the action shall be 3 years after the date of publication of a notice in the Federal Register announcing the action relating to such supplemental environmental impact statement or other environmental document.
Not later than 1 year after
The Secretary shall establish a program to measure and report on progress made toward improving and expediting the planning and environmental review process.
The Secretary shall prepare, in consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality and other Federal agencies with jurisdiction over actions or resources that may be impacted by a project, guidance documents that describe the coordinated environmental review processes that the Secretary intends to use to implement this section for the planning of projects, in accordance with the civil works program of the Corps of Engineers and all applicable law.