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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Evaluations

Resource evaluations (ecological and cultural) address the potential for natural resources protected by law to be impacted by a proposed action. Most of the resource evaluations on the INL are done to support a NEPA document. DOE’s NEPA implementation rules are designed to provide for thoughtful planning and informed decision-making. The Secretary’s policy statement on NEPA emphasizes this by stating: “The NEPA process is a valuable planning tool and an opportunity to improve the quality of the Department's decisions and build public trust.”

For federal agencies, there are three objectives for NEPA implementation:

  • To consider every significant aspect of the environmental impacts of a proposed action
  • To inform the public that the agency did indeed consider environmental concerns in its decision making process
  • To inform the agency decision maker of the environmental impacts and public concern associated with a proposed action.

Resource evaluations support these agency objectives by providing data on the presence or absence of resources in the vicinity of a proposed project and by assessing the likelihood of those resources being affected by the proposed action. This information can then be used by project mangers, the public and the agency to support planning and decision making.

ESER NEPA Support Documents

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