National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Definition - What does National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) mean?

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the law that establishes the broad framework for saving the environment. It was enacted on January 1, 1970. The main purpose of the law is to make sure that when any action is taken by federal agencies, they also consider environmental factors. The act also helps the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to prepare an annual report while implementing NEPA to keep an eye on the progress of federal agencies.

Petropedia explains National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

The National Environmental Policy Act protects the nation’s landscape from getting damaged by various human activities. It plays a vital role in promoting the general welfare that maintains conditions in which nature can exist in complete harmony. Moreover, NEPA is an action forcing piece of legislation that does not carry any civil or criminal sanctions. The process includes three levels, i.e., environmental assessment, categorical exclusion and finding of no significant impact.

The major actions taken under the act are:

  • Permit applications or make environmental decisions.
  • Adopt federal management actions.
  • Permissions required during construction of public owned properties.
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