OFFICE of SURFACE MINING
RECLAMATION and ENFORCEMENT

U.S. Department of the Interior

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For More Information:

Stephanie Hamlett
shamlett@osmre.gov
(202) 208-2802


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National Environmental Policy Act

OSMRE employees inspecting a formerly mined area.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (signed into law on January 1, 1970) establishes a basic framework for environmental protection in the United States. The overall purpose of NEPA is to ensure that federal agencies evaluate the potential environmental impacts of their actions and consider the consequences when determining whether or not to proceed with the action. OSMRE must comply with NEPA whenever the bureau proposes to take an action, or authorizes any other entity to take an action, that could possibly affect environmental resources.

The objectives of NEPA include:

  • Ensuring that federal agencies consider environmental concerns equally with technical, social and economic concerns, and
  • Enhancing public participation in government planning and decision making

For more information regarding NEPA related regulations and the Department of the Interior's NEPA responsibilities, please visit:

Guidance Documents

Reference Title
Reg-1 Directive 995: Handbook on Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Handbook National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Handbook

Signed Title Page
Appx. 1.1 Appendix 1.1: Waiver Request Template
Appx. 3.1 Appendix 3.1: OSMRE Review Process for AML Environmental Documents
Appx. 4.1 Appendix 4.1: Evaluation of a Proposed Action Template
Appx. 4.2-1 Appendix 4.2-1: Federal Regulatory Program – Permitting Approval Process
Appx. 4.2-2 Appendix 4.2-2: Federal Coal-Mining Plan Decision Document Approval Process
Appx. 4.2-3 Appendix 4.2-3: Federal Lands-Mining Plan Modifications Process
Appx. 4.2-4 Appendix 4.2-4: Indian Lands – Permit Approval Process
Appx. 4.2-5 Appendix 4.2-5: State RA AML Reclamation Process
Appx. 4.2-6 Appendix 4.2-6: Emergency AML Process
Appx. 4.2-7 Appendix 4.2-7: OSMRE (Federal) AML Reclamation Process
Appx. 4.2-8 Appendix 4.2-8: Indian Lands Emergency and Non-Emergency AML Reclamation Processs
Appx. 4.2-9 Appendix 4.2-9: AML Reclamation Economic Development Pilot Process
Appx. 4.3-1 Appendix 4.3-1: EA Process Coordination Points
Appx. 4.3-2 Appendix 4.3-2: EIS Coordination Points
Appx. 5.1 Appendix 5.1: NEPA Adequacy Review Form Example
Appx. 6.1 Appendix 6.1: Department of the Interior Categorical Exclusions
Appx. 6.2 Appendix 6.2: OSMRE Categorical Exclusions
Appx. 6.3 Appendix 6.3: Things to Consider When Determining Whether an EA or EIS is More Beneficial
Appx. 6.4 Appendix 6.4: Departmental Extraordinary Circumstances
Appx. 6.5 Appendix 6.5: AML Program-Specific Instructions for Categorical Exclusion Determination
Appx. 6.6 Appendix 6.6: AML Categorical Exclusion Determination Form
Appx. 7.1 Appendix 7.1: Public Involvement Plan (Example)
Appx. 7.2 Appendix 7.2: Strategies for Involving and Notifying the Public

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 7/31/19

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240
(202) 208-2565 | TTY: (202) 208-2694 | Email: getinfo@osmre.gov


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