United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 27, 2023
Cooperation of agencies; reports; availability of information; recommendations; international and national coordination of efforts
The Congress authorizes and directs that, to the fullest extent possible: (1) the policies, regulations, and public laws of the United States shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this chapter, and (2) all agencies of the Federal Government shall—
utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which will ensure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in planning and in decisionmaking which may have an impact on man’s environment;
identify and develop methods and procedures, in consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality established by subchapter II of this chapter, which will ensure that presently unquantified environmental amenities and values may be given appropriate consideration in decisionmaking along with economic and technical considerations;
consistent with the provisions of this chapter and except where compliance would be inconsistent with other statutory requirements, include in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, a detailed statement by the responsible official on—
reasonably foreseeable environmental effects of the proposed agency action;
any reasonably foreseeable adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented;
a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed agency action, including an analysis of any negative environmental impacts of not implementing the proposed agency action in the case of a no action alternative, that are technically and economically feasible, and meet the purpose and need of the proposal;
the relationship between local short-term uses of man’s environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity; and
any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of Federal resources which would be involved in the proposed agency action should it be implemented.
Prior to making any detailed statement, the head of the lead agency shall consult with and obtain the comments of any Federal agency which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved. Copies of such statement and the comments and views of the appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, which are authorized to develop and enforce environmental standards, shall be made available to the President, the Council on Environmental Quality and to the public as provided by section 552 of title 5, and shall accompany the proposal through the existing agency review processes;
ensure the professional integrity, including scientific integrity, of the discussion and analysis in an environmental document;
make use of reliable data and resources in carrying out this chapter;
consistent with the provisions of this chapter, study, develop, and describe technically and economically feasible alternatives;
any detailed statement required under subparagraph (C) after
January 1, 1970, for any major Federal action funded under a program of grants to States shall not be deemed to be legally insufficient solely by reason of having been prepared by a State agency or official, if:
the State agency or official has statewide jurisdiction and has the responsibility for such action,
the responsible Federal official furnishes guidance and participates in such preparation,
the responsible Federal official independently evaluates such statement prior to its approval and adoption, and
January 1, 1976, the responsible Federal official provides early notification to, and solicits the views of, any other State or any Federal land management entity of any action or any alternative thereto which may have significant impacts upon such State or affected Federal land management entity and, if there is any disagreement on such impacts, prepares a written assessment of such impacts and views for incorporation into such detailed statement.
The procedures in this subparagraph shall not relieve the Federal official of his responsibilities for the scope, objectivity, and content of the entire statement or of any other responsibility under this chapter; and further, this subparagraph does not affect the legal sufficiency of statements prepared by State agencies with less than statewide jurisdiction.1
1So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.
study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of action in any proposal which involves unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources;
consistent with the provisions of this chapter, recognize the worldwide and long-range character of environmental problems and, where consistent with the foreign policy of the United States, lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventing a decline in the quality of mankind’s world environment;
make available to States, counties, municipalities, institutions, and individuals, advice and information useful in restoring, maintaining, and enhancing the quality of the environment;
initiate and utilize ecological information in the planning and development of resource-oriented projects; and
assist the Council on Environmental Quality established by subchapter II of this chapter.
cite as: 42 USC 4332