The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced e-NEPA, a new online system that allows federal agencies to submit environmental impact statements (EISs) electronically. Traditionally, EISs have been submitted to EPA in hard copy. e-NEPA eliminates the need to mail or deliver copies of EISs to EPA headquarters, reducing printing, shipping, and delivery costs. It also saves time through electronic filing and e-confirmation and improves transparency, allowing EPA to post EIS documents to EPA’s website.
“The release of e-NEPA is an important step forward in advancing the President’s commitment to streamline the federal environmental review process,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a press release. “Through electronic filing, we are making it easier for federal agencies to submit environmental impact statements, allowing them to save time and reduce costs, while making the process more transparent for the public.”The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental considerations into their decision-making processes by identifying the environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to their proposed actions. To meet NEPA requirements federal agencies prepare detailed analyses known as EISs. EPA reviews, provides comments, and maintains a national filing system for EISs.
Beginning on Oct. 1, 2012, all agencies were required to begin using the e-NEPA filing system.