|Table of Contents|
Memorandum of the chairman
Table of Contents
II. Findings and conclusions
III. Introduction to the council
IV. Organization and funding
V. Major activities
Appendix A. National environmental policy act
Appendix B. environmental quality improvement act
Appendix C. Executive order No. 11514
Appendix D. Organizational chart
Appendix E. Number of personnel
Appendix F. Citizen's advisory committee
Appendix G. Comparison of authorizations and appropriations
Appendix H. Memo on guideline authority
Appendix I. Guidelines
Appendix J. Tables on impact statements from 102 monitor
Appendix K. List of CEQ studies and contract studies with cost and topic breakdowns
Appendix L. Recommendations of 1971 oversight
Appendix M. Educational backgrounds of staff
Appendix N. Description of indexes work
Appendix O. CRS evaluation of environmental quality--1974
Appendix P. List of oversight hearings on NEPA
h Congress CE
I Session COMMITTEE PRINT
COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL
UNITED STATES SENATE
Printed for the use of the
Committee on Interior and Insular
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1977
FRANK CHURCH, Idaho PAUL J. FNIN,
LEE METCALF, Montana CLIFRD P. HANSN, W i
J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, Louisiana MR .HTILOeo
JAMES ABOURERZK, South Dakota JAE A. McCLURE, Idaho
FLOYD K. HASKELL, Colorado DWYI.BRLTOlhm
JOHN GLENN, Ohio
RICHARD STONE, Florida
GRENVILLE GARSIDE, Special Couusel~ and Staff Drco
DANIEL A. DRElFus, Deputy Staff Drctor for Legislation
WILLIAM J. VAN NESS, Cif C
D). MICHAEL HARVEY, Dept Chief Couel
OWEN J. MAOE Seio CU11uel
W. 0. (FRED) CRF, Jr., Mnrty Counsel
44~444T444T~ 44 44 4 -~ 4 ~ 444 -
MEMORANDUM OF THE CHAIRMAN
To Members of the Senate Committee on Interior and In8ular Affairs:
It has now been made than 6 years since the enactment of the
National Environmental Policy Act and the creation of the Council
on Environmental Quality. During these years much attention has
been focused on the environmental impact statement requirement
of NEPA's section 102(2) (C). Because of this emphasis it is possible
that other equally important environmental policy goals of NEPA.
may have been ignored.
For example, the responsibilities of the Council on Environmental
Quality are not limited to oversight of the federal agency compliance
with the 102(2) (C) process. The CEQ was given a variety of roles
to fulfill under NEPA. These range from acting as Presidential
adviser, to educating the public on environmental issues, to researching
technical areas of environmental science.
As we enter into a new Administration and a new Congress, I[
believe that it would be appropriate for the Committee to review the
performance of the Council on Environmental Quality in light of the
experience which the Committee has gained under NEPA.
As background for oversight hearings early this year, I have
requested the Committee staff to prepare a study on the Council which
suggests areas of future inquiry for the Committee. Ms. Deborah
Merrick has conducted a series of interviews with the Council and
several staff members and has researched the available background
material and commentary on the CEQ.
This paper reviews the activities of the Council, compares then
with its statutory mandate and identifies several issues which might-
be further explored in oversight hearings. To make this information.
readily available to the Committee members and staff, other members
of the Congress and others with an interest in the development of
environmental policy, I have ordered it to be printed as a Committee
HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman.
This report on the Council on Environmental Quality is the result
of a study conducted from February through May 1976 by a staff
member of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs working in
consultation with the Environmental Policy Division of the Congres-
sional Research Service of the Library of Congress (CRS).
During this four-month period, fourteen Congressional documents,
seven CEQ publications, three books and thirteen articles or papers,
were read for information and opinions on the Council. A bibliography
of materials on the National Environmental Policy Act, compiled by
CRS, provided a starting point for independent research by Interior
On March 10, 1976, responding to a February 11th request of Sena-
tor Jackson, the Council's Staff Director sent an organizational chart
and list of professional staff members, including their backgrounds,
responsibilities and terms of service, to the Committee.
On March 16, 1976, Senators Jackson and Fannin wrote to Chair-
man Russell Peterson requesting his cooperation with the Commit-
tee's legislative oversight effort and arranging for Miss Deborah
Merrick to conduct interviews with the staff and members of the
Council. A copy of that letter is included at the conclusion of this
A list of interview questions was developed with the assistance of
Wallace D. Bowman and H. Steven Hughes of the CRS and the first
interview was held with the Staff Director of the 'Council. He then
scheduled meetings for Miss Merrick with eight other staff members
and the three Council members. The dates of the interviews and
names of the interviewees are listed below:
April 5, 1976: Steven D. Jellinek, Staff Director
April 6, 1976: Edwin H. Clark, III, Senior Economist;
James J. Reisa. Jr., Staff Member
April 12, 1976: Gary L. Widman, General Counsel (recently
April 16, 1976: William Matuszeski, Assistant Staff Director
May 17, 1976: Charles P. Eddy, Senior Staff Member
May 20, 1976: Russell Peterson, Chairman (recently resigned);
Beatrice E. Willard, Council Member; Malcolm Baldwin, Senior
May 24, 1976: Lee M. Talbot, Assistant to the Chairman for
International and Scientific Affairs; John A. Busterud, Council
Many of the persons interviewed provided supplementary written
information which was also studied. Some of this information is in-
cluded in the Appendices of the report.
After completing the series of interviews and her study of the
written materials listed in the report's bibliography, Miss Merrick or-
ganized the information she had compiled into a format intended to be
useful for Committee oversight hearings.
This report is intended to identify areas of the Council's ex
and performance which might warrant further investigation
cushion in Committee hearings. It is, therefore, intended to s
needs of the Commttee members and staff in preparing for o
While an effort has been made to place the questions raise(
report into context, the report is not, and was not intended to bi
prehensive statement of the activities and accomplishment
Council on Environmental Qualti". The seven annual repot
Council should be consulted for further discussion of envi
issues and the Council's views.
This report was informally reviewed in draft by app
members of the Environmental Policy Division of the CR
the General Council and Staff Director of CEQ. An efforll
made to accommodate the comments received particularly
-were corrections to the text. The staff of CEQ, however, was in
disagreement with both the findings and presentation of
Inasmuch as the intention of the report is to identify arei
quiry for oversight hearings, the staff of CEQ and others V
disagree in whole or in part with the report may aippro
spond in the hearings. The Committee also invites any writt
xnunications commenting on the report.
CoMAivrrrri ON INTERIOR AND INsuLA AFAT
Wa, hington, D.C., March 15.
lion. RUSSELL W. PETERSON,
CThairman, Cowrwil on Environmental Quality
DEAR CHI-7%AI N PETERSON: It has now been more than s
since the enactment of the National Environmental Policy I
Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs believes
would be appropriate to review the performance of the Coi
Environmental Quality in light of the experience which has n
gained under the Act.
As background for possible committee oversight hearings h
year, we have requested the committee staff to prepare a std
CIouncl's execution of its responsibilities under the NPA. I
asked Ms. Deborah Merrick of the committee staff to conduct
of interviews with appropriate members of your staff and r
of the Council concerning the Council's activities. She will be
by the Environmental Policy Division of the Congressonal T
Service and such other members of the committee staff as m
useful concerning specific issues.
Dr. Daniel Dreyfus, Deputy Staff Director of the Commit
be contacting you about the interviews. We are requesting you
ance, and cooperation with this study. We believe that a le
oversight review can be of great assistance to both the Coi
HENRY IM. JAmS1N
PAUL J. FNI
Ranking Minority Mfe
Memorandum of the Chairman---------- III
Methodology ---------- --------------------------------------v
I. Summary--------------------------- 1
II. Findings and conclusions-
III. Introduction to the Council---------11
IV. Organization and funding-- 13
The Council -------------- -------------------- 13
The Council's staff-- -15
Advisory Committee--- 16
V. Major activities ------------------------------------- --------19
Oversight of NEPA process----19
Guidelines ---------------------- -------------------20
Review and comment--21
Problems ------------------------------------------ 23
Environmental education, research, and monitoring- 24
Background ---------------------------- -24
General research--------- ------26
Monitoring and indices research--....- 29
Public education and information_ --------------- 30
Environmental policy advisor to the President- --------- 34
YI. Bibliography_ ---- 43
Statutes, regulations, Executive orders 43
Congressional documents ---------------------------------- 43
CEQ publications---------- 44
List of persons interviewed-- -- ---.- 45
A. National Environmental Policy Act ----------------------------- 49
B. Environmental Quality Improvement Act -------------------------57
C. Executive Order No. 11514.-61
D. Organizational chart -----------------------------------------65
E. Number of personnel -----------------------------------------69
F. Citizen's Advisory Committee- --.- 73
G. Comparison of authorizations and appropriations------------------ 77
H. Memo on guideline authority ----------------------------------81
I. Guidelines- 89
J. Tables on impact statements from 102 Monitor-........-107
K. List of CEQ studies and contract studies with cost and topic
breakdowns ----------------------------------- 111
L. Recommendations of 1971 oversight-......- 121
M. Educational backgrounds of staff-...............-127
N. Description of indexes work -----------------------------------131
0. CRS evaluation of Environmental Quality-1974 ------------------135
P. List of oversight hearings on NEPA-.......-163
Digitized by the Int(
THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY-OVERSIGHT REPORT
I. SUMM ARY
The Council on Environmental Quality was created by the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969. It was given a wide range of
responsibilities by NEPA, the Environmental Quality Improvement
Act of 1970 and Executive Order 11514 of 1970. The Council's current
performance of these responsibilities is the central topic of this
The CEQ is a branch of the Executive Office of the President. The
internal organization is headed by the three Council members and
their Executive Office and consists of the office of the Staff Director,
the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Assistant to the
Chairman for International Affairs, and the Administrative Office.
The Chairman of CEQ, Russell W. Peterson, was appointed by
the President in 1973. Council members Dr. Beatrice E. Willard and
John A. Busterud have been with the Council since 1972. Mr. Peterson
resigned in September 1976 and was replaced by Mr. Busterud.
The Environmental Quality Improvement Act makes it clear that
the Chairman has primary responsibility for the work of the Council
but the statutes leave the duties of the other two members undefined.
The Council has been allocated 40 permanent staff positions for
the current fiscal year, a reduction of 25 positions from its greatest
size in 1972.
Most of the staff members work in the Office of the Staff Director
where they are assigned responsibility for policy analysis and other
NEPA duties in a "functional area"-land-use, air pollution, etc.-
within the realm of environmental policy.
The General Counsel's Office is responsible for the review of legis-
lative and regulatory matters regarding the implementation and
interpretation of NEPA. The Office of Assistant to the Chairman for
International and Scientific Affairs, includes a scientist staff member
and two international officers.
In addition, the Council is directed by statute to consult with the
Citizen's Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality which
was established by Executive Order 11472 in 1969.
The Council is funded under two statutes; NEPA contains a con-
tunuing authorization of $1 million, and EQIA provides a 2-year
authorization at a level of a $3 million authorization through fiscal
The responsibilities of the Council on Environmental Quality, as
derived from NEPA, EQIA and Executive Order 11514, can be
organized into, three categories of "major activities." These are: over-
sight of the environmental impact statement process, envi
education, research and monitoring; and environmental policy ad
to the President.
The Council's most publicized responsibilities is its oversight of
environmental impact sttmentprocs reqired of all aece -
Setion 102 (2) (C) of NEPA.
CEQ exercises its oversight authority through general guidel
and memoranda, and review and comments on specific im
The guidelines have been revised three times during the
existence. The General Counsel's Office is considering
guidelines for several issues which have emerged from
tion and from suggestions of various groups and idivu
Impact statement review provides the Council with mostf
to day contact with the Federal agencies. Agency
Council's expertise in this area may also allow CEQ to part
in environmental policy making.
The Council has no legal authority to enforce its guid
recalcitrant agencies however. It has therefore a a
role to the Federal courts in this area and has tailored its
to the leading court decisions on NE PA.
In addition, because of the revolutionary nature of ET E
meat, the Council must expend efforts defending NEPA and ui
the public and the rest of government that the EIS p
The Council's second major duty under NEPA is to pro
public, including Congress, with information about the en
This includes preparing the Environmental Quality Reprt, no
ing research relating to environmental quality and devlop
virounental indices and monitoring systems. The authority to
public hearings and to coordinate federal environmental
the responsibility of informing Congress about. the envi
issues relating to the Federal nonnuclear energy research and d
ment program are also encompassed in the Counci's edati
CEQ's general research is not performed completely in
but is shared with other agencies or contracted out. The
approves the topics and staff monitor the projects.
Subjects for research are determined by the requests of th re
dent and Congress and the interests of staff. The Council h
especially interested in issues which overlap or fall between
jurisdictions. Topics have included the environmental
energy, land use issues and the economic impacts of Federal en
Little research has been done, however, on improving the
of environmental impact statements. The Council has begun to
this area more fully in recent months.
The Council publishes an Annual Environmental Quality Rp
which is its most widely disseminated contribution to public envirc
mental education. It also produces special "public education" re
through some of its contract studies and holds public he
conferences on environmental issues.
The Council gained a new responsibility for public education un'
the Federal Non-nuclear Energy Research and Development Act
1974. It must hold public hearings, do a study, and report to Congress
on the environmental and conservation aspects of Federal energy
R. & D. programs.
One of the Council's primary roles as envisioned by the Congress
and set forth in NEPA, is environmental policy advisor to the Presi-
dent. However, in contrast to the Council's responsibility for oversight
of the EIS process, which has become more important than Congress
expected it to, CEQ's advisory role has become less predominant during
the past four or five years.
By law and Executive Order, the Council was given powers to guide
the policies and actions of other Federal agencies. These powers are
limited however, by CEQ's ability to persuade the President to take
action. The Council is only one of many advisors who must compete for
the President's attention and its success has varied with the political
climate for environmental goals. Some tangible evidence of the degree
of success or failure CEQ has had in its advisory role may be found in
the record of environmental legislation proposed by the Administra-
tion and of consultations between the Council and the President.
In 1971, 1972, and 1973, the Administration produced "The Presi-
dent's Environmental Programs" which were largely CEQ's work.
Now, the Council no longer aggressively initiates legislation but has
shifted its emphasis to working backstage with agency decision
makers. There is a consensus among Council and staff that most of
the major environmental legislation has been passed or is pending in
Congress. Other external political factors have placed the Council
in a more defensive position now than in earlier years.
CEQ is still attempting to perform an advisory function within
the executive branch by rationalizing existing Federal policies. Ex-
amples of its current activities include meetings with agency heads on
environmental impact statement issues, participation in OMB's
"Director's Reviews" of agency budgets, and the use of 'CEQ studies
to influence policy. The Council has also encouraged agencies to coordi-
nate their land use planning assistance programs by acting as an inter-
mediary and neutral advisor. Finally, the Council's advisory duties
include advising the President on international environmental
II. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
This report attempts to outline issues for further study relating to
the Council on Environmental Quality as an institution. The activities.
of the CEQ are compared with the legislative history and language:
of the Council's authorizing legislation, and C EQ's size and structure
are analyzed in relation to its statutory responsibilities.
During the Committee's study of the Council, several issues and
problem areas emerged. These will be briefly discussed in this section,
and more fully analyzed in the body of the report. No attempt has been
made to assign an order of importance to the listed "problems."
As it operates at present, the Council has both weaknesses and
strengths. And it is apparent that many of the conditions the Council
works under are two-sided coins-both advantageous and disadvan-
One example is the placement of CEQ within the Office of the
President. This provides the Council with the opportunity to in-
fluence high-level federal policy from the inside. However. it also
places some restraints on the Council's independence and its ability to
publicly criticize administration policy. In its early years CEQ
refused to criticize agency compliance with NEPA, choosing instead
to work quietly within the executive branch. The contrast between the
Council's quiet role and the public activism of EPA and the federal
courts had an adverse effect on the Council's relationship with its
environmental group constituency. Lately however, CEQ has been less
hesitant to make critical public statements as it has realized that its
effectiveness as a White House advisor will not be impaired.'
The Chairman of the Council has indicated that he feels free to
criticize administration policy when necessary. After giving his
formal testimony for the Administration on the Hill for example,
Chairman Peterson makes it clear that his answers to subsequent
questions reflect his own views.2
The creation of CEQ as a policy making advisory body rather than
a line administrative agency has also proven significant. On the one
hand the public and other agencies view CEQ as concerned about the
whole environmental policy system and therefore more objective than
a mission agency. Thus CEQ is the natural leader for coordinating
inter-agency policy. as in the land use area, or for organizim task
forces. On the other hand,, CEQ lacks the bureaucratic muscle built up
by line agencies with specific programs to carry out.
CEQ must promote a relatively new set of values without the in-
fluence or authority of a line or mission agency as it competes for
Presidential acceptance of its proposals and as an advisory body,
I Richard Liroff, "NEPA and its Aftermath: the Formation of a National Piicy for the
Environment" (draft for publication by Indiana University Press) .ully 1975. p. 10:1.
CEQ's review comments have played an important role in two court cases. the Yrm
,prin- Darn case, Warm Springs Dam Task Force v. Gribble. 4 ELR 206 7 Douglas. Circuit
Justice, June 17, 1974) and the plutonium recycling decision, NRDC v. NRC Nos. 962.
1051 (2nd Circuit, May 26, 1976).
2 Interview. Chairman Peterson has resigned sliwe this interview was held.
its ability to effect policy change depends upon the commit
President to environmental quality goals. As we will see,
only a brief period in CEQ's history when the Presider
-high priority on environmental issues.
As a result of these political factors no comprehens
'mental legislative programs have been produced by the A
tion in the past three years. In addition, although CEQ
coordinated all of the executive branch environmental legi
Office of Management and Budget now has control of this
The Council's responsibility to review and evaluate Fi
grams in light of the policy set forth in Title I of NEPA
ibe mentioned in the context of its advisory role. Proper]
this review responsibility could provide a significant
the Council's advisory duties; yet this section of NEPI
neglected by the CEQ, largely because of staffing constra
The practical problem of inadequate staffing has adverse
the Council's performance of the advisory role assigned it
It hampers the Council's ability to effect policy changes I
the number of issues the 'Council can become involved in. Tl
size has been partially repsonsible for its concentration
issues and its neglect of comprehensive, long range po1
Finally, due to its lack of statutory authority the Coun
frustrated by its purely advisory role and the need to ci
the President's attention. Certainly, the fate of CEQ is tied
of environmental quality as a political goal and the Cou:
realize its potential under NEPA without Presidential
Briefly restated, these are the problems in the Council
mental advisory role which this report introduces-
(1) There have been no environmental program
by the Executive office with the Council's assistance
(2) OMB rather than CEQ controls the coordina
(3) CEQ's limited size has forced it to concentral
and center problems and to neglect comprehensive and
(4) CEQ must promote a relatively new set of vali
the influence or authority of a line or mission agency
petes for Presidential acceptance of its proposals.
In one area, the Council does have a role similar to that c
agency. That is the oversight and implementation of the
impact statement requirement under NEPA. Yet here the (
lacks statutory enforcement authority; it can only guP
toward compliance with NEPA procedures. However, th
lack of power to force agencies to adopt 102(2) (C) proced
sistent with the action-forcing policy behind NEPA. Despi
reluctance or recalcitrance of many agencies, the impac
process has-with the help of the federal courts-become
alized in the federal bureaucracy, only 6 years after the
Of course, the impact statement process is not without it
For the purposes of this report we will focus on problen
Council's role in the 102(2) (C) process.
The Council has the responsibility, under Executive Order No.
11514, to issue guidelines to all Federal agencies. However, court
-decisions have treated them inconsistently and only one circuit has
given them legal effect. Federal agencies therefore, are uncertain as
to how strictly they must adhere to the guidelines. This has lead to
uneven implementation of Section 102(2) (C).
An important part of the Council's oversight role is the review
of the impact statements, which are received by CEQ at a rate of
over one hundred a month. However if a comprehensive program of
quality control" is desirable, then the Council's system for a review
is inadequate. Only a few are chosen for detailed review and those
usually involve highly significant projects.
The Council's lack of statutory enforcement powers and the
resultant active role of the federal courts has led to other implementa-
tion problems. Since adjudication is necessarily focused on individual
Situations and fact patterns, the court's interpretation of NEPA's
responsibilities has not always been crystal clear to the agencies. Thus,
overly long and diffuse impact statements may result from cautious
agency lawyers' attempts to satisfy every element of various judicial
The usefulness of impact statements depends in part upon the
quality of the scientific information they contain. The Council has not
given high enough priority to its responsibility to develop the methods
and procedures and scientific bases for environmental impact analyses
-required by Section 102 (2) (B). Recently however, CEQ has begun
to step up its efforts in this area.
A final issue is that the burden of its EIS responsibilities by the
Council has caused the policy goals in Section 101 of NEPA to suffer.
Although a procedural emphasis may have been necessary in order to
effect a radical change in agency decision making methods, many feel
-that the Council should now emphasize the environmental policy
values expressed in NEPA.
A brief restatement of the issues related to CEQ's role in the EIS
(1) The Council's inability to enforce the EIS requirement has
placed responsibility on the Federal courts and has led to im-
(2) Inconsistent treatment of CEQ's guidelines by the courts
has led to uneven implementation of Section 102 (2) (C).
(3) The Council's system for reviewing draft and final impact
statements is inadequate.
(4) The development of "methods and procedures" and scientific
bases for environmental impact analysis have been given com-
paratively low priority by the Council and the contents of impact
statements have suffered.
The third major function of the Council discussed in this report
-includes environmental education, research, and monitoring conditions
and changes in the environment. The Council's implementation of its
statutory responsibilities in these areas has been incomplete in several
One difficulty the Council faced at the outset was the conflict between
the role of environmental educator and source of public informa-
-tion and that of confidential Presidential advisor and policy maker.
The Council chose to give priority to the latter role. While this choice
may have been more beneficial to NEPA implementation at that time
Tne environmn-, nr L pon cy reopxmwncaulons.
One research issue is the ne for coordination of Fe
The Council has the legal authority to be the coor 4intir
but has not been inclined to take on such an overwlme D
Finally because CEQ monitors its contract s es 1
the range of research topics is limited by the expe
the sma profesional staff and many areas which. he
like to study have had to be neglected.
For example the development of environmental ind e
ing echniques waa research topic given high priority
of NEPA. Yet CEQ's efforts in this area were muted uin
with the requisite interests and expertise joined the stai
The following list summarizes the poble hich
environmental education, research, and monitoring pr
(1) Little research has been done aimea t
scientific cogent of environment impact statements
(2) The Council has incomplete information c&
mental and ecological research being done in other
(3) Research topics have been limited by availa
pertise, as for example, the development of a moniori
(4) The Annual Report does not conform
Finally, three issues which are discussed in the "Orga:
Funding" section of the report should be highlighted]
three members of the Council, the Chairman is the onl I-
authority and a well-defined role. This may prevent the
bers from actively contributing to the Council's work.
Second, the CEQ has two authorizing statutes (NEPA
Although it is a minor iss ue, this double authorization is
and has created some confusion among Congressional c
The third and major problem area is the size of the c
The number of full time positions has been steadily dec
1972. Budget increases have provided money for cont
rather than for additional personnel. Although staff ci
be explained as p art of an overall attempt to reduce thi
Executive Office, the reductions at CEQ have had an advei
NEPA implementation and the development of en
The size of the Council has advantages and disadv
of the small size there is an esprit de corps atCEQ not fc
bureaucracies. Communication within the Council is go
members are able to see direct results of their activities
the staff is dedicated and bright-" here because they w
Yet all agree that the staff is overworked and has not been able to
pay full attention to some aspects of NEPA.
An early commentator on CEQ noted that the agency had initially
concentrated on short range problems rather than on the more compre-
hensive mandate of NEPA.4 Today it continues to be difficult for the
Council to work from an overview or long range perspective; fire-
fighting operations come up daily and priorities must constantly be
Those areas of NEPA which have been neglected are noted through-
out this report. They include CEQ's responsibility to evaluate federal
activities and programs in light of the environmental policies set forth
in Section 101 and to encourage research to improve the quality of
scientific data on the environment and quantify environmental values.
With its limited staff the Council has not been able to work well in
these and other areas.
In some respects, however, implementation of NEPA and the
Council's role therein has entered a secondary phase which warrants
close examination. The development of environmental policy legisla-
tion by CEQ is receiving less emphasis than in the past, in part because
the targets are no longer as obvious. The question now is whether
CEQ is taking the right tack in its current policy activities.
The 102(2) (C) process may now be virtually institutionalized;
the next challenge for CEQ is to help make the process meaningful.
This means insuring that impact statements are useful to and used by
decisionmaker and integrating NEPA's substantive policy goals into
the 102(2) (C) process.
This latter task is related to an overall need for the Council and
the Congress to take a second look at all of NEPA's goals and
requirements. With new Congressional direction, the Council will be
able to more fully discharge its responsibilities under the National
Environmental Policy Act.
41Richard N. L. Andrews, "The Council on Environmental Quality: An Evaluation,"
Journal of Soil and Water Con8erration, Jan.-Feb. 1972.
III. INTRODUCTION TO THE COUNCIL
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) was created by the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [NEPA]l to be an en-
vironmental advisory body within the executive branch. The Council's
statutory duties include advising the President, monitoring the status
and trends of the environment, reviewing federal programs and
policies, and providing information to the public on environmental
matters. The Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970
[EQIA] 2 lists some related functions and establishes an Office of
Environmental Quality to provide staff support for the Council. In
addition, Executive Order 11514 gives the Council specific responsi-
bility to promulgate guidelines for agency compliance with NEPA's
impact statement requirement.
Thus the Council on Environmental Quality was presented with a
spectrum of responsibilities, ranging from high level policy negotia-
tions to guidelines written on the procedural aspects of NEPA. Some
of its roles conflict with each other and the Council has had to ad-
just its emphases accordingly. A few responsibilities have received
little attention because of the small size of the Council's staff and
others have been afforded low priority for political reasons.
This report will focus on the CEQ as an institution today-its cur-
rent strengths and weaknesses in relation to its responsibilities. The
past performance of the Council will be discussed where relevant for
purposes of comparison or contrast.
The major sources for this report were written commentaries on
NEPA and interviews with the Council members and staff. The cur-
rent views of officials of other federal agencies, environmental and
other client or interest groups and others who work with the Council
on. Environmental Quality were not solicited for this report. Such
opinions would be useful in any future, more detailed, oversight re-
port on the CEQ.
I Pub. L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4377, January 1, 1970, as amended by Pub. L. 94-83,
August 9, 1975. [Appendix A]
2Pub. L. 91-224, 42 U.S.C. 4371-4374, April 3, 1970. [Appendix B]
"Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality," March 5, 1970. [Appendix C]
IV. ORGANIZATION AND FUNDING
The Council on Environmental Quality was created as part of the
Executive Office of the President by Sec. 202 of NEPA. It is divided
into five offices (see chart, Appendix D) : The Executive Office; the
Office of the Staff Director; the Office of General Council; Special
staff and the Administrative Office.
The Executive Office consists of the three Council members and
support staff. The three members are appointed by the President sub-
ject to Senate confirmation. In the words of the statute, each member
is to be "exceptionally well qualified to analyze and interpret environ-
mental trends...; to appraise programs and activities of the Federal
Government...; and to formulate and recommend national policies
to promote the improvement of the quality of the environment."
The Chairman of the Council is Russell W. Peterson. (He resigned
September 20, 1976.) Prior to his appointment to the CEQ, Chairman
Peterson was the Governor of Delaware. While Governor from 1969 to
1,973, he served as Chairman of the National Advisory Commission on
Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, Chairman of the Committee
on Crime Reduction and Public Safety of the National Governor's
Conference, Chairman of the Education Commission of the States, and
Chairman of the Delaware River Basin Commission. From 1942 to
1968, he was with the DuPont Company. In 1971 Chairman Peterson
was named Conservationist of the Year by the National Wildlife Fed-
eration and was given the Gold Medal Award by the World Wildlife
Dr. Beatrice E. Willard and John A. Busterud (who is now Chair-
man) are the other members of the Council, both appointed in 1972.
Dr. Willard, an ecologist, is former President of the Thorne Ecological
Institute of Boulder, Colorado, an ecology center for industrial and
government decisionmakers. She served as Chairman of the Denver
Olympic Planning Board and as Secretary of the Colorado Air Pollu-
tion Control Commission. She has been a professor of biology at the
University of Colorado and was a ranger naturalist in the National
Parks. She is the author of books on alpine ecosystems.
Mr. Busterud was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for En-
vironmental Quality from 1971 to 1972. Prior to that, he practiced
law with a San Francisco firm specializing in conservation and anti-
trust law. He was a member of the Assembly in the California legisla-
ture. His activities have involved him in many conservation projects.1
The Council does not operate as a troika. The Environmental Qual-
ity Improvement Act makes it clear that the Chairman is to direct
the CEQ's operation and to have primary responsibility for the work
Council on Environmental Quality, The Fifth Annual Report 1974, p. 495.
of the Council. The duties of the other two members are n
fined and seem to depend on their interests and experts(
Dr. Willard, for example, works with the scientific asp
impact statement process and in the area of ecological res,
speaks often to public groups on ecological principles ar
She also chairs a federal committee which is working on baa
for Environmental Education and is designing a course o-
process for all levels of agency personnel.3
Mr. Busterud, a lawyer with an economics degree, act
pated in the Law of the Sea conferences as the United State
mental negotiating delegate. He is also the chief environnei
sentative in the Law of the Sea interagency task force.
As a delegate to the Economic Council of Europe, Mr.
has attempted to spread the idea of environmental assess.
impact statements to foreign countries. He works with the
omists on reviewing the Council's studies on environmen
and the economic sections of the Annual Reports. Mr. IBu
chairs a legal committee created by the US/USSR Envi
The Chairman divides his time among several activities.
ticipates in administration policy discussions and budge rc
speaks for the Administration to Congress and the public
of environmental policy. Chairman Peterson meets with
individual agencies on EIS issues and on the environment
of proposed legislation or regulations. International confe
programs and meetings with various national interest grou
a substantial amount of his time.
In addition, the Chairman attempts to further the goals
and the EIS process by educating the public and admiisl
ficials through speeches and Council studies.
Two of the substantive issues which Chairman P
phasized during his tenure are world population probe
vironmental economics.' Although the Chairman takes
policy formulation, the three Council members consul
other in forming policy positions and thus far have
on any major issues. If there is disagreement, the Clairmir
final decision. They, together with the senior staff member
annual goals for CE's activities."
The council form of organization has not posed a significaz
for CEQ's operation, however, it does not seem to have ad
either. CEQ's structure could be simplified into an office
director and it would operate just as efficiently as it now doe
they have no real responsibilities or power the two Counci
5 See. 205 of NEPA requires the Council to consult with the Citizen's Adviso:
on Environmental Quality... and with such representatives of science, idu
ture, labor. conservation organizations, State and local governments and oth
it depms advisable.
*CEQ has succeeded in placing an office for population problems In the Stat
and Peterson has discussed the issue with President Ford.
7Essentially the thesis is that environmental values and economic dev(
co-exist. It is backed up by CEQ studies such as one which shows that the new e,
protection industries have created more jobs than were lost when plants closed
environmental regulation. See 102 Monitor, April 1976.
have a difficult time finding substantive roles to play. It would prob-
ably be more efficient in terms of the Council's structure to replace
them with staff.
THE COUNCIL'S STAFF
Under NEPA Sec. 203, the Council may employ such "officers and
employees" and "experts and consultants" "as may be necessary to
carry out its functions under this Act." In addition, the staff of the
Office of Environmental Quality, is attached to the Council under the
Environmental Quality Improvement Act. See. 203 of EQIA author-
izes up to ten "specialists and other experts" as well as such "em-
ployees as may be necessary" to help the Council.
Under these authorizations the Council is authorized 40 permanent
and 17 temporary positions by the Office of Management and Budget
for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1977. As of December 1976 the
Council had a total of 61 employees: 48 permanent, 8 temporary, and
5 on detail. Of these 40 are professionals. Since 1972 the authorized
staff has been reduced. Since 1972 the staff has been reduced by OMB
from 64 permanent employees to its current size.9
Most of the staff members work in the Office of the Staff Director.
That office is responsible for "policy analysis and development, prep-
aration of the CEQ Annual Report, conduct of special studies, over-
sight of agency implementation of NEPA and the duties assigned
under Section 11 of the Non-Nuclear Energy Research and Develop-
ment Act; it also assists the Council in the coordination of Federal
Environmental Policy, and reviews and evaluates Federal activities
which have a potential effect on the environment." 10
The Staff Director has assigned one or two staff members to a
"functional area" within the realm of environmental policy-i.e. land
use, air pollution, etc. Each staff member is then responsible for per-
forming the aforementioned duties of the staff director's office in
his area of expertise. In practice however, the organization is less
symmetrical; for instance, one staff member concentrates on the Non-
Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act report and is ex-
empted from other responsibilities. A few others concentrate solely
on impact statement evaluation."
The General Counsel's Office is responsible for the review of legis-
lative and regulatory matters regarding the implementation and inter-
pretation of NEPA.2 Its work includes the development of the CEQ
Guidelines, coordination with the Justice Department on NEPA
litigation, negotiations with OMB on administration environmental
policy and work on international environmental law issues.'
The Office of the Assistant to the Chairman for International and
Scientific Affairs includes a staff member and two international officers
on detail from the Department of State and concentrates on inter-
national environmental issues and issues relating to living resources
and wildlife. Finally, there is a small Administrative office.'4
The staff of the Council has been described as skeletal and, as
this report will demonstrate, CEQ's personnel limitations and budg-
9See, Appendix E.
10 tter rom Staff Director, March 10, 1976.
12Letter from Staff Director, March 10, 1976.
14 Letter from Staff Director, March 10, 1976.
etary constraints have hinderE
The staff cutbacks made by C
overall reduction in the size of
however, they may also reflect i
istration and by Congress.
The composition of the staff
nical and scientific expertise ,'
sided implementation of theCc
given the fact that the Coun
rather broadly, i.e., the total h
pollution control, the number
the staff is supportable.'"
1 I 1" -I -
The Council is directed by statute" to consult t
Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality in
powers. functions, and duties under NEPA. The Advi
was established in 1969 by Executive Order and receives h
the CEQ. It meets approximately four times a year ( Al
The Council addresses the Advisory Committee meetin a
to their reports. The Committee has developed several i
books on the Environment.'8
The Council on Environmental Quality receives fwidiu
statutory sources. The National Environwtal oli j
authorized $300,000 for fiscal year 1970, $700,000 for f
and $1,000,000 for each fiscal year thereafter.
The Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 197
Office of Environmental Quality which became par of ti
Council utilizes the EQIA budget authorization for i o
That authorization was on a sliding scale through f
was then extended through fiscal year 1976 ata level of
bill providing a two year authorization through
level of $3,000,000 was passed by Congres in May. The a
prations are modest considering CEQ's broad mandate nn
CEQ's double authorization apparently has not crea
tional difficulties. It has, however, resulted in some
referral of funding authorizations Cal
Appropriation Committees (Subcommittees on H.UD. an
's See, text at n. 86, infra.
6 Fo example, the 6th Annual Report states at p. 656 "Under NEPA t
must focus on the "human environment," and some of our major con
development, transportation plans and other large capital projects inv
economie effects on housing, public services, jobs, schools, etc. To add
adequately requires more and better application if the social sciences,
agencies are recognizing."
'- NEPA See. 205.
'llSee Appendix G. "The appropriation request fr fiscal year 1977 of $2,91
$50.00 for support of the Citize's Advisory Commttee on Envro
is an increase of $179,000 over that of fiscal year 1976. The major er
An increase of 5,000 in the amount available for contract stu .
An increase of $25,000 in the reimbursement the Council is required
An increase of $76,000 in salaries and benefits, primarily due to the 01
general pay increase." (From Statement of Russell W. Peterson before th
on H.U.D. and Independent Agencies of the Senate Committeeon Appropriati
it Agencies) handle both authorizations together. A tabulation of the
council's authorizations and appropriations by fiscal years is attached.
The problems alluded to throughout this section can be summarized
(1) The Chairman is the only member of the Council with a
well defined role and authority. This may prevent the other mem-
bers from actively contributing to the Council's work.
(2) The Council is under-staffed.
(3) Budget increases have provided money for contract studies
rather than for additional prsonnel.
(4) The staff composition may not adequately represent scien-
tific and technical disciplines.
(5) The Council's double authorization is unnecessary and awk-
V. MAJOR ACTITIEs
OVERSIGHT OF FEDERAL AGENCY COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIONAL
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT
The "action-forcing" provisions of the National Environmental
Policy Act, in particular the impact statement requirement of Section
102(2) (C),1 have been the subjects of most of the public discussion
on NEPA and of the litigation to enforce it. As a result, oversight of
the environmental impact statement process is the Council on Environ-
mental Quality's preeminent responsibility in the eyes of the public.
The Council exercises its oversight authority by writing guidelines
and memoranda on the implementation of NEPA, and making advi-
sory comments concerning the need for, or adequacy of, specific envi-
ronmental impact statements. CEQ's authority to take such actions
,derives from NEPA, the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of
1970 and Executive Order 11514.
NEPA itself does not specifically delegate guideline responsibility to
QEQ. In fact, the Act's legislative history implies that OMB was
intended to supervise and coordinate NEPA's procedural require-
nents.3 There is, however, support for a strong CEQ oversight role in
the general review activities assigned to it under Title II of NEPA.4
Executive Order No. 11514, issued March 5, 1970, clarified the
Council's responsibilities under NEPA and gave it specific authority,
inter alia, to:
(f) coordinate Federal programs related to environmental
(h) issue guidelines to Federal agencies for the prepara-
tion of detailed statements on proposals for legislation and
other Federal actions affecting the environment, as required
by section 102(2) (c) of the Act. [NEPA]
1Frederick R. Anderson, NEPA in the Courts (1973), p. 3. The other action forcing
provisions are: 102(2) (A) which calls upon the agencies to approach environmental prob-
lems through the integrated use of natural and social sciences and "environmental design
arts" ; 102(2) (B) asks that agencies develop methods for taking unquantified environmental
values into account on a part with the usual technical and economic considerations.
102(2) (D) stresses the critical requirement of 102(2) (C) (iii) that less damaging alterna-
tives to proposed action be sought out. 102(2) (E) calls upon the agencies to help improve
man's global environment. In addition, Section 103 directs agencies to review their policies
and practices and bring them into line with the Act.
2 Council on Environmental Quality, "CEQ Authority Respecting Federal Agency Con-
pliance with the National Environmental Policy Act," memorandum written at the request
of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Subcommittee on the Environment,
March 25, 1975. (Appendix H).
U.S. Congress, Senate, "National Environmental Policy," Hearings before the Senate
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs on S. 1075, S. 237 and S. 1752. 91st Cong.,
1st sess., p. 112-128. Liroff, p. 59. Daniel A. Deyfus and Helen Ingram, "The National
Environmental Policy Act: A view of Intent and Practice," draft prepared for publication
in the "Natural Resources Journal," p. 26.
'Section 204(3) defines CEQ's role with respect to the rest of the Executive Branch-
"to review and appraise the various programs and activities of the Federal Government in
light of the policy set forth in title I of this Act ..." See also EQIA Section 203(d) (2) (5)
(i) issue such other instructions to agencies, and req
such reports and other information from them, as mai
required to carry out the Council's responsibilities under
Pursuant to this authority the Council has issued four ss o
sively more detailed guid the ra
meant process. The most recent s fis
report (40 CFR Part 1500 (1974).Appendix I).5
The Council has supplemented its guidelines with a
randa to the heads of all federal agencies, letviu
cies and informal meetings with agenicestodsuspt
The Council is currently considering drafting ne uie
several impact statement issues. These issues incl
handle" problem; improved or revised coordination wi
for EIS review and comment ; revised emergency orw
dures, and program i statementss7
It has been suggested that CEQ could help agencies im o
tent of EIS's by constructing special guidelines for
frequently recurring projects, i.e., offshore oil eases, a
water resource programs! The policy of the C i,
to let the individual agencies write specific guide ies if the s
CEQ asserts that it does not have the staffcpab t to
absolute state of the art for impact assessments on speci
This policy is based upon one of NEPA's primary obj ives
to require all agencies to develop their own methods and p
environmental a essments.
New guidelines have also been proposed by commentators or
as a method to force agency consideration obf Section 101 poli4
NEPA implementation has been criticized as overly proceed
there is a perceived need for integrating NEPA's substantive
goals into the impact statement procedures required under
In the opinion of its General Counsel however, OEQ
ity by statute on Executive Order to issue su
Moreover he feels it would be extremely difficult to deterii
sort of substantive guidelines would be specific enough to
general enough to apply to all Federal Agencies. CEQ is now o
ing a suggestion that an ES should indicate how the pli&
tion 101 are satisfied by a proposed federal action."'
5See, for general commentary on CEQ guidelines, Andrews, supra ,p.
59-62: and Lynch, "The CEQ Guidelines: Cautious Updating oftheEv
Impact Statement Process," 11 Cal. West. L. Rev. 297 (Witer 197)Foa i
the influence on the guidelines on court decisions see, Herbert F. Stevess, "I
guidelines and their influence on NEPA," 23 Catholic U. L. Rev. 7
CEQ memorandum, supra, n. 29.
Ex les are a memorandum dated Feb. 10, 1976 on the length of
an explanatory memorandum on Scrap 11 dated March 8. 1976.
8 Richard Carpenter, "The Adequacy of Scientific Information for t
of the National Environmental Policy Act," paper presented at the CRI
the National Environmental Policy Act, December 1975, p. 11.
10 Richard. N. L. Andrews "NEPA in Practice: Envronmental Policty or Ad
Reform ?" pp. 22, 16, 34, paper presented at the CRS Workshop on the
mental Policy Act.
1 Workshop on the National Environmental Policy Act, Dec. 1975. Suggestion
Richard N. L. Andrews. See, CRS, Workshop on the National Environmental F
report prepared pursuant to the request of the Subcommittee on Fisheries
life Conservation and the Environment of the Committee on Merchant Marine and
U.S. House of Representatives, Serial No. 94-E, 94th Cong., 2d sess., p. 8.
-Review and Comnmwnt
An integral part of the Council's implementation of this NEPA
requirement is the review of impact statements. NEPA states merely
that CEQ is to receive the statements when they are made available
to the President and the public; furthermore, Congress "did not
intend for the Council to become involved in the daily decision making
of federal agencies." 12 Yet, the Council has found that review of
impact statements is necessary to identify weaknesses in agency 102 (2)
Moreover it has been suggested that the impact statement review
"provides a means for CEQ to become involved in an environmentally
partisan manner in debates within the Federal Government concern-
ing the wisdom of individual project proposals." 13 Interviews with
CEQ staff reinforce this view; the "stewardship of the EIS process"
provides CEQ with most of its day to day contact with agencies.
Within the bureaucracy, impact statements are recognized as CEQ's
,"turf." Therefore CEQ can use its procedural oversight function as
a wedge to enter into agency policymaking. Thus by commenting on
EIS's and federal projects as well as through informal encouragement
CEQ attempts to enforce NEPA's policy goals.'5
During the six years of NEPA's existence the Council has received
draft and final impact statements on over 7,000 "federal actions."
(See tables, Appendix J). Statements come into the Council at a
rate of over one hundred per month, where they are logged in and
listed for the public's information in the monthly "102 Monitor".
No staff members review impact statements exclusively, but twelve of
the twenty-three professionals are NEPA liaisons to individual agen-
cies. They are involved in giving advice before statements are written
as well as in reviewing the drafts submitted to CEQ. The staff does
not attempt to look at every single statement received by the Council.
Gross procedural errors are checked for on most statements and are
easily corrected-usually by a phone call. Review of the adequacy of
a statement's discussion of. impacts is more unusual however; formal
comments were made on only about 30 statements in 1975.16
When the Council wishes to obtain a modification or to complain
.about a statement deficiency, the staff reviewer will first attempt to
persuade the NEPA liaison of the agency in question over the tele-
phone. Although CEQ has no enforcement powers, the staff reviewer
may emphasize that ignoring the Council's informal advice will result
in a formal c mplaint-usually in a letter to the departmental secre-
tarv. The threat of litigation by environmental groups also serves
CEQ as an indirect stick for NEPA implementation.17
At present, CEQ reviews and comments primarily on those impact
statements which concern "celebrated issues," large water resources
projects or major agency programs.
Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, "National Environmental Policy
Act of 1969." S. Rep. No. 91-296, 91st Cong., 1st. Sess. 24 (1969) [hereinafter cited as
S. 1075 Report]
IsLiroff, p. 66.
16 Council on Environmental Quality, 102 monitor, Volume 6. No. 3, p. 102, April 1976.
(Appendix-Tabular Summary of 102 Statements filed through March 31, 1976 by Agency)
and Table by years).
Section 309 of the Clean Air Act provides for
imp ents fromEPA totheCEQ.Th
rare; thepastsixmonths Co i
which the heads of all agencies would mae "3O9rtype"
Council has been mentioned as a possible alter ye p
Impact statemets are continal yhce o e
focus. The Council is concerned that o y long
statements are never read and therefor are use
This issue and other problems with agencyim
NEPA are discussed in a CEQ report.2
a year long review, using questionnaires othe EIS
related litigation, and state experiences with NEPA. TI
not only as an oversight or status report but as a defi
For example, sections of the report adrdesscomplain
caused by the EIS process and NEPArelated coStS21
One other problem which although it is not an Qifici
a staff member evinced concern about is a growing tei
agencies to hire private contractors to do envir
ses. This prevents the agency from developing in-ho
subverts the purposes of NEPA.
Both the Chairman of CEQ and his staff complain
does not pay enough attention to environmental iml
and the comments of CEQ whn they fund- projects or
pedite administrative proceedings.
As part of it's .role as defender of NEPA and the 102
the Council must expend efforts refuting charges and
misinformation about NEPA, even at White House pq
CEQ staff are aware of a continuing need to asr the
EIS process works and feel that additional resourcesN
to minimize public criticism and improve the results c
Despite its continuing efforts and primarily because
tory enforcement authority, the Council has played a
in the federal courts in the enforcement of the i mpac
quirement of NEPA. A student of NEPA, writing in e-
The CEQ has not filled in the vacuum left by I
enforcement of the 102 process.... Because the .
the institutional power of 0MB over funding, it i
how CEQ can assure effective agency compliance w
1Clean Air Act. 42 USC 1857h-7 (1970) ; Interview (Interior's
sales in the Gulf of Alaska and Corps of Engineers Bi8 on Marcos Islp
EPA must review and comment publicly in writing on a wide a
related to the scope of its authority including all
action, legislative proposal or regulation commented upon is deemE
from the standpoint of public health, welfare, or environmental quality,
be "referred" to CRQ. See, generally, Do and Guilbert eds., "Fed4
Law," pp. 267-273, n. 128.
"I Interview. See also, Memorandum from Russell Peterson to Heads
February 10, 1976. Guideline 1500.8 (a).
20 Council on Environmental Quality, "Environmental Impact Stateme:
Six Years' Experience by Seventy Federal Agencies, March 1976."
2 ID. pp. 2635, 43-49.
2 Interviews. Council staff referred to "Pork Barrel Projects" and
gress might by legislation create an "adequate" EIS out of a stateme
EPA found inadequate (FPC s Alaska Natural Gas Transportation EIS)..
Live Order 11514 and the CEQ Guidelines. It is significant
that the Council still does not disapprove particular agency
procedures, statements, relying instead on informal consul-
atio..... So far as administrative enforcement of NEPA
is concerned, therefore, the responsibility for policing the
agencies appears to have fallen between two stools. ... In
these circumstances, responsibility has fallen back on the
The Council appears to have accepted this secondary role. During
House oversight hearings in 1975 Chairman Peterson was asked if he
believed NEPA would be strengthened if CEQ had the authority to
require the filing of environmental impact statements even when an
agency has determined that a statement need not be prepared. Chair-
man Peterson replied that such a responsibility could be counter-
productive, not only because it would require a tremendous increase
in the Council's staff but also because:
... many of the agencies would see us as more of a judicial
body looking over their shoulder, and thus not take their as-
signment as seriously... NEPA has to become a way of life
in the agency. If some other agencies, like ourselves, tried to
police the set-up we might do more harm than good.27
Although the Council does not want to become a judicial body it is
not loathe to use the threat Of litigation to bargain with recalcitrant
agencies. Moreover, in recognition of the importance of federal court
decisions in the interpretation of NEPA, CEQ's General Counsel en-
deavors to promote GEQ's guidelines by discussing pending NEPA
cases with Department of Justice attorneys. There is no formal mech-
anism for consultation of CEQ by the Justice Department. Often in
the past the trial was handled at thei regional level and positions were
set which were contrary to the Council's., Although appeals were
handled in Washington and often coordinated with CEQ it was dif-
ficult for the appellate division to argue different positions than had
been argued below. CEQ is now consulted at the early stages of most
The Council's guidelines do not have the force and effect of law
and therefore do not have to be followed by a court considering NEPA
compliance. However, most of the circuits have given varying de-
grees of deference to the guidelines in their opinions. In one unusual
case, the Supreme Court has given, great weight to a CEQ letter on
the issue of the sufficiency of the information supplied in an EIS.30
Problems with the EIS process in general must be distinguished
from problems with CEQ's role within the EIS process. The success
or failure of the former does not perfectly reflect the success or failure
of CEQ as an institution. Since the impact statement requireinent's
26 Anderson, pp. 12, 13.
2 U.S. Congress, House of Representatives. National Environmental Policy Act Oversight,
Hearings before the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environ-
ment of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 94th Cong., 1st sess., Ser. No.
94-14, pp. 224-226.
213 See text at n. 44, supra.
'o See n. 29, supra. See also "Comments : Supreme Court Ushers in New Era for CEQ in
Warm printsis Case." 4ELR 10130 (1974). The case is unusual because CEQ rarely com-
ments in public on the adequacy of EIS content.
hitr ha bee, choice an ay,ed bymn
Ins xy, these are:
(1) TheCouncil's guiidelines ar pur'elydisr
the Executive Oder. Court decions have trte th
only one circuit has given them lega effect. F,
fore, are uncertain as to how closely they must 61k
This leads to uneven implementation of 102(2) (C)
(2) The Council's system frreviewing draft
statements is inadequate. Oly a few statmnsa
tailed review, and the choices overwhel
publicity. A counter argut m be that CQ i
under current law for detailed statement review.
signed oversight of the 14)2(2) (C) poeue hl
tion 309 of the Clean Afir Act, was meant to dvere
content of impact statements. The fact remains
tailed review is not being done by anyone for
statements now written.
(3) The Council's inability to enf he
responsibility to the courts. Since adju ctin s
on individual situations and fact pa the c
NEPA's responsibilities has not always been cryst1
cies. This has led to implementation problems Foi
long and diffuse impact statements may result fron
lawyers' attempts to satisf every e n o a
However, the court's enforcement of NE has be
have helped to define the requirements of the act and
many agencies toward full compliance faster than I
have. Adjudication also affords a direct opportuni
volvement in federal decision aking.
(4) Over emphasis of the procedural aspects of NI
cil and the courts has caused the poliy goals of Sec
Although this emphasis may have been ne ry ir
radical change in agency decision-ma nsz methods,. n
Council should now start fleshing out the bones of NE
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, rESEARCH AN-D N
The Council's second major duty under NEPA
public, including Congress, with information about
Title II directs the Council to assist and advise the
p ration of an Environmental Quality Rportto
the Congress each year.3
CEQ is authorized to gather and analyze in
ditions and trends in the environment, to nuct
to environmental quality and to document an efi
natural environment. Title I calls upon all federal
31 Sees. 201, 204 (1).
ai S.e. 204 (2) (5) (6). The authority under 204(5) to conduct
and research relating to "ecological, systems" was transferred t
No. 3 of 1970. CEQ retained "environmental quality" response
separation Is probably of questionable Importance In practice. Interview
suit with the Council in identifying and developing "methods and
procedures, . which will insure that presently unquantified envi-
ronmental amenities and values may be given appropriate considera-
lion in decisionmaking along with economic and technical
TL'he statute creating the Office of Environmental Quality (which is
encompassed by the Council) confers additional research and educa-
tion responsibilities on the CEQ. These include the development of
environmental quality criteria and the review of existing systems for
monitoring and predicting environmental changes. EQIA also gives
the Council sole source authority for contracting with public or pri-
The President's Executive Order on NEPA and the Council re-
emphasizes the research responsibilities of CEQ, particularly the de-
velopment of indices and monitoring systems.35 Finally, the Federal
Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974 3 gives
CEQ the responsibility of informing the public about the environ-
mental issues related to nonnuclear energy research and development.
The authorizing legislation makes it clear that the Council is
intended to perform three educational roles. The first is to conduct
research relating to environmental quality. The second is to develop
and improve the basic tools of environmental research. The third is
to provide information to the public on the state of the environment.
As to the first two roles, the legislative history of NEPA repeatedly
identifies "the need for sounder environmental information." The
"shortcomings of available environmental information" and the "lack
of established legitimacy of environmental expertise" were recognized
as impediments to environmental decisionmaking.37 For example, Law-
rence Rockefeller observed during early Congressional hearings on
The area where greater knowledge would help is the resource
decisionmaking process. Many Federal Resource decisions are
still made on a benefit-cost ratio which does not adequately reflect
environmental factors. We know-or are told-precisely what
dollar benefits are for flood control, irrigation, or highway traf-
fic-but no one can tell us the cost of various alternatives in long-
term environmental values.-3
While the authors of NEPA designed the environmental impact
statement requirement to force consideration of environmental factors
in federal decisionmaking, they also wanted the content of impact
statements to be scientifically and technically credible so as to be help-
ful to the decisionmakers. Thus CEQ was enjoined to improve the
"state of the art" of environmental analysis.
Congress also intended for the CEQ to be a body within the gov-
ernment to which citizens could turn for objective information on the
state of the environment.39 This involves the roles of environmental
SSee. 102 (b).
U Sections203(d) (3) (4) (6) (7) ; Section 203(e).
5 Sections 3() and (k).
342 U.S.C. 5901-7.
3' Dreyfus and Ingram, p. 7.
30 U.S. Congress, "Hearings to Discuss National Policy for the Environment," before the
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, U.S. Senate, and Committee on Science and
Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives, Joint House-Senate Colloquium, 90th Con-
gress, 2nd Sess. 6 (1968).
S. 1075 Report (See n. 39) ; Ltroff p. 71.
the ifkher hand, it was
lie inomto on er
* . in its public inv
it could publicly reva
shut off from-effective
Chairman Train, ,
hearings that CEQ sb
I think, gentlemen, to be very honest aboui
here .... We cannot be... the public onbu
the same time be confidential adviso t to I
policy. It is just an impossibility to fl bth
The Council chose to give priority to it
created some constituency problems for tl
Environmental lawyer 3 Sax comme
cii's rol will in essence be that of a spokes
rather than-as had been widely hoped
openly expressing views which might at ti
ministration's position and thereby
stituency as leverage to induce the Admi
environmental policies." 43
In the words of one staff member the
could be achieved through the use of 'mc
gar,, i.e., that private encouragement won
tal consciousness of a federal agency betti
The Council's past and current activity
adisor will be discussed in a later section
consider how the Council has been perfoi
General Research 45
The Council has never had ti
"in-house" research on environ
house" work and uses contract
the Council staff persons are i
their time in the capacity of sa
40 See. 3(d).
4Liroff, P. 73.
42U.S. Congress, House of Represent
with Section 102(2) (c) and Section 103
before the Subcommittee on Fisheries &
on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 9.
[Hereinafter cited as Dingell 1970 Overst
3 Joseph Sa D t
in Liroff, p 78, 79.
Lroff p. 80..-
45Except where footnotes indicate otl
an economic and research director at CE<
be done in a particular project, monitor it closely through meetings,
and participate to some extent in research and writing.
The Council also shares its projects with other agencies. By arrang-
ing joint research projects CEQ is able to choose its own topics
and to expand its research funds. Thus although approximately 25%
of CEQ's current budget is spent on contract studies, the Council
actually manages contracts representing three times that amount.8
Topics for studies are chosen by the senior staff members and the
council members who look for issues that have been neglected or that
fall in between agency jurisdictions. The personal interests of staff and
their conception of the importance of an issue are also important
On the other hand, many studies are requested by Congre and the
President and other topics simply emerge as issues and demand atten-
tion by the Council.
Not including the Council's "status and trends" work,. discussed
below, the contract studies can be divided into five categories.
The first group of studies relate to the environmental effects of
energy. The second group concern land use issues: the social, environ-
mental and economic costs of development; the secondary effects of
federal actions on land use; the effectiveness of land use controls.
Studies on the economic impacts of federal environmental policy com-
prise a third category and studies on NEPA implementation a fourth.
The fifth group is the catch-all category for studies done for Congress
or the President or on issues that "come up." A list of published studies
and current contracts is appended to this report, along with computa-
tions of the total amounts of contract money spent per category.,
in general, the research done in all these categories is policy-
oriented. It involves the interpretation and analysis of data rather
than primary research.
The Council decides at the outset of a study who its audience will be
(usually an agency but often Congress, state and local officials and
the general public) and tailors the study's design, writing and distribu-
tion to that audience. The studies are used either as tools'for policy
making or to inform the public about important environmental issues.
An example of the latter study would be The Costs of Sprawl and of
the former, Interceptor Sewers and Suburban Sprawl.
Several problem areas can be identified in the Council's general
research program. The Council has for example, done little research
aimed at improving the content of environmental impact statements.
Although this type of research would seem to be mandated by the
Council's responsibility for the implementation of NEPA it has relied
on the individual agencies to develop specific guidelines for EIS
preparation.' It must be noted however that the inability of scientific
groups to agree on substantive standards of EIS quality or on pre-
ferred methodologies demonstrate how extraordinarily difficult this
.7Many agencies, (NRC, DOT, HUD, Corps of Engineers) have done their own research
directed at producing substantive handbooks for EIS preparation. Others (ERDA, EPA)
have begun to do so. CEQ has done studies of secondary land use Impacts which have been
useful for improving EIS content.
major existing and ererg
voked a grt deal of interest amn g the ageies b
to have had any demonsrable eft o
The Council has just hegun a major study of -nvir
assessment which it hopes to complete by 1977. The stu
shortenin~g imnpact statements and4 im~proving their cn
poduct of thea study will be a handbook for pr4es&
environmental assessments, with an executive su
aers who wish to consider adapting the recommnde
A second problem is the ioplete informatiqn a
and other fedral agencies about what research is ber
the federal government. The Counci has no for
coordinating environmental research or of keeping trl
Of course there are informal lines of conunp io
receives most of its information through its NPA
and through involvement in interagency pro jects. Neve
one staff member felt that dupliation of effort ws cc
ronmental research and that there were serious gapsin f
Ostensibly the CEQ could "become a major institutioi
lating, funding, and coordinating" of environmnt
Lynton Caldw suggested that fll implent4i9
NEPA would provide legal authority for thism
Sections 204 (5) and (:6) supplement eby Seetion' 2(
the Council ".. to utilize to the fullest exen t pqsi
facilities, and information., of puhic and private
organizations and individuals. .,, 1" as the -ources ot
There are two types of ordination which the C
federalJ agency might do. One is active-atuall1y aflb
monies and making decisions about what should be stu
is passive -molitoring the research being done and pr
inghouse or informational service for federal research
The Council has had some experience wtih active c
few years ago it was asked by OMB to allocate EP)
money for environmentally relate energy research T
Nn-nuclear Energy Research and Development Act,
ing federal research in that field. Tn the future, this ma
A project which will provide a national inventor
monitoring programs has been sponsored by CEQ i
48 The MERES (
in the Sixth Annual
luato n of Env
0 Lynton K. Cal,
pect," p. 17, pape:
Policy Act, Decembi
lals for Enei
National Marine Fisheries Service, ERDA, and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service.51 This project is a sample of what is being done
to provide information on all types of environmental research, a job
which could occupy CEQ full time.
The task of overall federal research coordination--either active or
passive-is not sought by the Council however. Staff members inter-
viewed acknowledged that coordination would be useful but said that
it was not a top priority. Moreover, given the Council's present staff
and budget limitations, it was felt to be an impossible task.53
A third problem area, and one which affects all of the Council's
activities is the size of its staff. Because CEQ manages its contract
studies so closely, it is essential that the responsible staff member know
a great deal about a topic before the study is contracted out. This limits
the types of research to topics within available staff expertise and has
caused some projects to suffer when staff leave the Council.
An area which is not being studied by CEQ is the implementation of
air and water pollution control laws. The staff interviewed felt that
there was a need to work on secondary impacts and do cross-media
analysis of federal pollution legislation." However the area is too
technical for the Council to study on its own and the EPA has not
been responsive to the idea of a joint project.55
Environmental monitoring, environmental health, economic en-
vironmental analysis and the Council's new responsibilities under the
Non-nuclear Research and Development Act also warrant more at-
tention than the Council's small staff is able to give.5
Monitoring and Indices Research
Although (by statute and Executive Order) the Council was as-
signed the mission of improving the quality of information on environ-
mental conditions and trends and making such information useful in
national policy making, it had made little progress until recently.
In the past the Annual Environmental Quality Report has encom-
passed all of the Council's monitoring work. In its 1972 Annual Re-
port 5 the Council wrote that it was working with other federal agen-
cies in atfrmpting to develop meaningful indices of environmental
quality. To stimulate discussion and analysis, the Council published in
the 1972 Report, tentative, untested indices as well as a preliminary
list of those aspects of the environment which should be monitored
In 1974 the Council reported limited progress, except in the devel-
opment of air quality indices, and concluded that-
The present unsatisfactory state of our development of envi-
ronmental indices and other interpretive techniques has there-
fore been due both to the difficulties of the problem and to a cau-
tious attitude of the Federal Government and the scientific com-
5 (Because of budget constraints and changed priorities in recent years) Interview.
57 See generally "Status and Trends" chapters in the 2nd and 4th Annual Reports, "The
Quest for Environmental Indices and Forecasting" chapters in the 3rd Annual Report
and the "Environmental Conditions and Trends" chapters In the 5th and 6th Annual
58 Council on Environmental Quality, The Fifth Annual Report of the Council on Environ-
mental Quality, 1974, p. 333.
The staff problems referred to earlier not only involve
staff but also their educational
Council was criticized asf
professionals) than scientists (4). TeHouse Snbor
series and Wildlife Conserv
Report that "the future gro of CEQ in staff and b
lish a strong interdisciplinary capability in evm i
(See Appendix L for detailed recomendation) T
the Office of General Counsel and the Council
sionals hold degrees in phy iences and six in o,
The monitoring program is now e
Report to include -the publication of two annual"
entitled "Environmental Quality Indicatos an"h
environmental Statistical ort." The f will b
vironmelital briefing document" a graphicsum
mental trends, factors influencing ths trends and n
designed for the layman. The latter report, summa
in a multidisciplinary tabular format, will be an env
natural resources analog to the Statistical A 4
signed for use by professionals who need interdiscip
report will provide a backup for "Environmental
A sond component of the Council's monitoring
development of a Uniform Air Pollution Inde by
Task Force on Air Quality Indicators (published~ in
a study of water quality indicators. 1
The Biomonitoring Inventory and MERES Syste
in this report are also part of the Council's monitorir
Public Education and [nformatiom
The Council provides the public with infor tion 0]
matters through the publication of its Annual Enviroi
Report. In addition, those contract sWdies which are
related to Federal agency policy have produced specify
have added to the public's perception of environmeT
Executive Order, the Council may hold public
ences on the environment 1 and it is required under t
Act to sponsor an annual hearing on the enviro nta
eral energy researcher
CEQ's contract studies have been discussed above i
research function. The subjects of some of its "pvbli
ports are: ocean dumping, toxic substances, land use, I
1 U.S. Conzresq. flouqe of Representatives, Administration of the Nal
Policy Act. Report by the Committee on Merchant Marine and risherb
92nd Cong. 1st sess., pp. 40-45; Letter from CEQ Staff Director, March
Interview. see description : Annendix 0.
Robert Cabn. "Impact of NEPA on Public PerceTtion of Envlronr
paner presented at the Work on the Nainal Eviro tal F
*'xee. Order 11514 Sec. 3f4W.
OS911n~ ..I '0 ------ A-4.. -* IEhP1
urban sprawl, outer continental shelf oil and gas, energy conservation,
offshore nuclear power plants, and leisure homes and recreational de-
velopment. The Council conducted public hearings on continental
shelf offshore oil development in 1973 and on the ERDA energy pro-
gram in 1976.65
The Annual Reports required by Sec. 201 of NEPA are the Coun-
cil's most widely disseminated contributions to public environmental
education. More than 200,000 copies of the first five Annual Reports
had been distributed by CEQ or sold by the Government Printing Of-
fice as of last year.66
The entire CEQ staff is involved in the preparation of Environmen-
tal Quality part-time over a four to six month period. A managing
editor and chapter editors are appointed from ,the staff and employees
make contributions in their own areas of expertise. In the past, staff
has analyzed data, provided by other agencies; however, this year the
Council has begun to use its own data, developed under the monitor-
ing program discussed above.67
There is an established review and comment procedure for the annual
report. Preliminary drafts are sent to several agencies where tech-
nical staff double check information. OMB has the standard clearance
authority to excise any statements which may be contrary to Admainis-
tration policy or have adverse budgetary implications. They have
never exercised this power, 6 however, in 1972 three chapters of the
Annual Report were "censored" by advisors 'to President Nixon 'for
policy reasons. Reporters were allowed to come in and read the chapter
drafts; two have since been expanded and reworked into CEQ
in general the Annual Reports have been judged extremely useful
by.schools, environmental groups, industry and citizens.70 Whether or
not they have fulfilled the role envisioned by Congress is a separate
question however. (For example, see Congressional Research evalua-
tion of the 1974 Report, Appendix P.)
In the language of NEPA, Section 201, the Annual Report,-
shall set forth (1) the status and condition of the major
.. enironmental classes of the Nation... ; (2) current and
foreseeable trends in the quality ... of such environments
and the effects of the trends...; (3) the adequacy of avail-
able natural resources...; (4) a review of the programs and
activities ... of the Federal Government, the State and local
governments, and non-governmental entitles or individuals,
with particular reference to their effect on the environment
., ; (5) a program for remedying the deficiencies of existing
programs and activities, together with recommendations for
The Counci's status and trends work was discussed in -the preceding
section on monitoring. This aspect of the report was criticized in The
Cahn (42 U.S.C. 5801), p. 15.
9 Interview. The published studies are "Energy and the Environment-Elective Power"
and "The Delaware River Basin-an Environmental Assessment". The third chapter con-
cerned recycling and the problem of economic discrimination in transportion rates, etc.
against recycled materials and suggested tax credits to encourage recycling.
70 Cahn, op. cit., p. 15.
with summaries of available data, explanations of dab
tions of its gaps and inadequacies and termed the 1974
lated and inadequate." 71
The Council's statistical publications introduced this
meet those criticisms. Also, the Annual Report for I
shorter than previous reports.72
The report has never containedan analysis of the adeq
able natural resources for current and future national ne
Director's explanation for this omission is simply that tl
never employed anyone who knew about the area. Al
agencies keep records of resource availability none do an-
ysiS73 as intended by NEPA.
In May 1973 Chairman Dingell of the House Subcomnr
eries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environment w
man Train to request that CEQ organize "an interage
to assess current Federal activity in developing informso
ing resource adequacy." Mr. Dingell noted that :
"Many Committees of the Congress have long been C(
the question of resources adequacy dueto the pressures
growth, industrial expansion and. our ever rising sta
ing .... the need for full scale, systematic study of U.S.
recognized by the Congress when it established the Cou
ronmental Quality. In order to avoid future dependen
studies, the legislation that established CEQ stated that
port to Congress should include information "on the adeq
able natural reurces... In each of CEQ's three annual
ever, only cursory treatment has been given to this vil
Approximately one year later the Council's task force
study on existing sources of data, the state of the art in re
and demand projections and proposals for a continuing
this field. The report concluded that "public needs for th
are apparently currently fulfilled adequately."
Finally, the Annual Report was intended to present t]
program of environmental legislation and policy reco
This purpose has been of decreasing importance in rece
Environmental Quality. The 1970 report boldly listed E
policy needs in its concluding chapter. The second volun
cussed the advantages of effluent fees as tools of environs
But the last four volumes "have had almost no discuss
tive policies, except occasional favorable comments on
previously proposed by the president. One gets the stro:
that [Environmental Quality] has become very much
71 Edwin S. Mills and Frederick M. Peterson. "Environmental Qualit
Years," American Economic Review, p. 261, June 1975 (the authors are c
issues other than pollution problems are "peripheral").
7MC(ouncil on Environmental Quality, the Seventh Annual Report
Environmental Quality, 1976.
73 Interview (the 1974 and 1975 Reports cover this subject in table
,4 U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Growth and its Impllcatio
Part 4, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife
the Environment of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries
Sess.. Ser. No. 93-35, p. 689.
7 Ibid., p. 693.
and very little the policy statement of the Administra-
A staff person interviewed offered two explanations for the Annual
Report's dearth of policy recommendations. The first was that the
po i formulation schedule in the Executive Branch is not coordi-
nate with the Annual Report time schedule. Policy proposals come
out of the White House from January through March while the
Report is published in August or September. The second and funda-
mental reason is the Council's judgment that it would never get the
Report out if it were a vehicle of policy formulation because the proc-
ess would become bogged down with arguments.7
CEQ's responsibility to provide the public with information, carries
with it the duty to consult with the public about the environmental
issues which concern them. The Council has endeavored to comply with
Section 205 of NEPA by meeting periodically for question and
answer sessions with various interest groups in Washington and with
local groups in their home communities. According to the Chairman,
the lines of communication between CEQ and environmental public
interest groups are very strong, as are relations with scientists,
industry, academia and labor.""
The Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act
of 1974 added three new responsibilities to the Council's existing
duties. Section- 11 of the Act directs the Council on Environmental
Quality to evaluate the non-nuclear energy R&D programs in terms
of their attention to energy conservation, the environmental, conse-
quences of application of new technologies, and environmental protec-
tion. The Council is also instructed to hold annual public hearings
on the conduct of energy research and development and the probable
environmental effects of the application of energy technologies.
Finally, CEQ must consider the probable environmental consequences
of trends in the development and application of energy technologies
in its Annual ReportY9 Thus Section 11 amplifies the Council's duty to
inform the public about important environmental issues.
This section of the act is unusual legislation because it instructs
CEQ, an agency within the Executive branch, to report directly to
Congress rather than the President on the activities of other agencies
(ERDA and EPA) in the Executive branch. The Council staff mem-
ber in charge of the NNERDA program felt that this would place
CEQ in an awkward position in presenting its final report.80
Since NNERDA became effective the Council has had one staff
member working full time and one half time on its Section 11 activities.
In addition, a substantial amount of work has been contracted out.81
Public hearings were held in Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Los
Angeles, in September 1975. A report on those hearings was published
and distributed to Congress in January 1976.82
76 Mills and Peterson, p. 260.
2 U.S X.. 5901 (19T4). See, The Council on Environmental Quality, The 79th Annual
Report, 1976, pp. 116-122.
3 Interview. Draft report will be available in June 1976 but the final report may
be held up by the agency review and clearance process. In particular, staff anticipates
that OMB will not agree with CEQ's assessment that conservation R&D is not getting
enough money compared to resource development R&D.
82 Council on Environmental Quality, Report on 1975 Public Hearings, Environmental
Effects and Energy Conservation Aspects of the Nonnudlear Energy Research, Development,
and Demonstration Programs, January 1976.
The 6th Annual Environmental Quality Report coti
4l's first discussion of the environmental imp of t
application and development of energy technologies
The Council is now drafting its first report to Co
the non-nuclear research and development program
EPA in terms of their attention to conservation and
The report will look at the agencies' planning anan
tens for research and development, focusing on c
as case examples. As an assessment technique, C
what environmental and conservation programs a ei
given technology and then compares its finding with t
developed by ERDA and EPA. The agencies have
mary results of CEQ's assessments to aid, themin
Concurrently, CEQ's energy staff is working ith ER
that ERDA complies with the National Environmenta
as it makes research decisions.4
The following list is a summary of the problems, des
which have affected CEQ's environmental educat
(1) Little research has been done aimed at imp
tific content of environmental impact statements.
(2) The Council has incomplete information
mental and ecological research being done in oth
(3) Research projects may suffer due to staff
(4) Research topics have been limited by available
tise as the development of a monitoring
(5) The Annual Report does not conform to
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ADVISOR TO THE PRESIE
One of the primary roles envisioned by the Congress f
on Environmental Quality was advisor to the Presiden
NEPA is replete with instructions to the Council to r
programs, to develop and recommend national and
environmental policies and to make studies and report;
dent on matters of policyand legislation. Executive Or
of 1970 further details the Council's duties with
the President and proposing legislation on environs
In 1972 one commentator noted that the CEQ ha
combination of powers by law and Executive Order whi
by few if any agencies in the executive office, except
Management and Budget, to guide and influence the pc
tions of other federal agencies."' Moreover, CEQ's acti
1s Counsel on Environmental Quality, The 6th Annual Report, 1975, p
s Section 204(3) (4- (7) and (8).
s Section 1, See. 3 (a) (b) (c) (f) (g).
taken "in the context of a clear mandate from both Congress and the
President to harmonize federal actions with environmental quality
The limits of CEQ's powers must also be noted ....
CEQ is not an environmental czar, nor even a new national
resources planning board. It has no authority to veto the
actions of any other agency, nor even to require an agency to
file the detailed statement of environmental impact required
by Section 102(2) (C) of NEPA. It does have the power to
review agency actions for environmental impact and to give
advice both to the agency and to the President. But in any
intractable conflict with another agency, CEQ's power is
limited to its ability to persuade the President to take
The Council on Enivornmental Quality was modeled on the Council
of Economic Advisers created by the Employment Act of 1946.88
While the Nixon Administration preferred a small advisory body in
the executive office, Congressman Dingell and Senator Jackson were
"committed to a body with sufficient stature to be influential in the
executive branch and with sufficient staff capability to monitor and
advise upon the state of the environment.89
A study of the Council of Economic Advisers concluded that the
relationship between CEA and the President is moved more by the
President's acceptance of CEA than by his dependence upon it and is
more personal than institutional.9
Like the OEA, the CEQ must persuade the Administration to accept
its positions rather than force its views upon it. The Council is only
one of many advisors who must compete for the President's attention.
The result, more often than not, is government by consensus, with CEQ
thrashing out positions with OMB, the Domestic Council or the
Energy Resources Council.
Then, whether or not its advice is accepted, it must explain and de-
fend the President's economic or environmental programs to Congress.
Nevertheless, CEQ potentially could have more influence than CEA
f or two reasons.
First, CEQ has a stronger legal basis for consulting with
agencies, because Executive Order 11514 assigned CEQ over-
sight responsibilities for the environmental impact statement
process. This process has no procedural counterpart in the
legislation that established CEA.
Second, CEQ has a larger natural constituency, comprised
of numerous active environmental groups. often intensely
concerned with specific issues of federal environmental
On the other hand, CEA has the strength of a discipline which is
recognized and within which there is a measure of agreement upon
paradigms to support its policy arguments.
87 Andrews, "The Council on Environmental Quality: An Evaluation," pp. 8-9.
860 Stat. 28 (1946).
**Dreyfus and Ingram, p. 11.
9oEdward Flash, Economic Advice and Presidential Leadership: The Council of Eco-
nomic Advisors (1965), at 292, 313, quoted in Liroff.
91 Liroff, p. 78.
The degree of success or failure t Council has
advisory r~ole over the past six yers~ is not eayt
tangible evidence may be found in the environment
posed by the Administration and in the record of conE
the Council and the President on matters of environ
During the Nixon administration there were few
sonal contact between the President and hisCouncil,
with President Nixon only twice in three y
the annual Environmental Quality Report. hair
saw the President more frequently, particularly inc
work on international conventions and bi
routine work the Council dealt with a sdential
vironmental matters who reported to John Erlih
the Domestic Council Staff, who then reported to th
In 1974, President Nixon resigned and was replace&
In the more accessible Ford White House, Chairmar
has been personally consulted by President Ford on
sionsY3 In hearings before the Senate Appropriatii
1975 Chairman Peterson testified that during t
months" he had had three private sessions with
and about a dozen sessions with the President in
His testimony at the 1976 hearings also noted abou
over the course of the year. The subject matters disci
world population problem, strip mining legislation,
public lands and the annual Environmental Quality
Chairman Peterson testified that the Councg had
in the executive decision to waive supersonic noise
standards to permit the Concorde to land in the I
though it did review EPA and FAA's impact s
The Chairman also participates in group poli
Domestic Council and Energy Resources Council m
because of the current political climate, with its hi
frontation between development and environmer
House discussions often pit "everybody against the
CEQ is frequently called upon to defend the Nation
Policy Act before other officials. Although the Cou:
its batting average for accepted ideas is not hi .9
Moreover, although the CEQ may have better ac
House, the environmental policy legislation actuall-
Administration has decreased significantly in qua
When the Council was created in early 1970 envii
were given high priority at the executive level. Th
92Ibid, pp. S1, 82.
93ihid. P. 82.
9'U.S. Congress, Senate, Department of Housing and Urban Psi
Independent Azencies Appropriations, Hea before the Seate C
ations. H.R. 8070, 94th Congress, 1st Session, p. 546 (hereinafte
0 (Russell Peterson and Russell Train) Interview.
91 Interview; he also said that many of CEQ's ideas which areJ
istration "turn up" on the Hi11.
annual message on the environment demonstrated this interest. "The
time has come when we can wait no longer to repair the damage al-
ready done, and to establish new criteria to guide us in the future." 99
The Council and its staff recognized that the "window was open
wide" for environmental legislation during the first two or three
yeArs of the Nixon Administration. The President's 1971 Environ-
mental Program was CEQ's work from beginning to end.00 The staff
-drafted legislation and shepherded it through the executive clearance
In 1971 and 1972 the Administration sent 25 environmental legisla-
tive proposals to the Hill. Five additional proposals were sent in
For many reasons 1971 was the "high-water mark" of CEQ legisla-
tive success.'" After that the climate began to change within the
bureaucracy and the Administration. Staff interviewed felt that OMB
responded to a general feeling among many agencies that a strong
environmental policy voice was not desirable in the Executive
Office 103 by circumscribing the activities of the CEQ. At the same
time, "troubled by national economic problems, and perhaps by in-
dustry complaints ... the Administration consciously began to mod-
erate its environmental rhetoric.'04
The President's 1K 2 Environmental Program was a joint 0MB and
CEQ 'effort apparently produced more through arguments than
through cooperation. The 1973 Program, which combined environ-
mental and natural resources legislation, reflected OMB's influence
even more strongly.'10
As Chairman Peterson testified at a recent CEQ appropriations
hearing, no comprehensive environmental program has come out of
the Executive Office in the past three years. President Ford's letters
to Congress introducing the annual Environmental Quality Report
are, the only formal statement of Administration environmental
policy.'e Any legislative proposals or policy recommendations that
are made during the year are found sprinkled throughout the "Events"
chapter of the Annual Report.
President Ford's environmental policy is one of balancing economic
development with environmental protection 17in reality an attempt
to temper environmental initiatives in his Administration. Chairman
Peterson on the other hand, has asserted that the values of environ-
mental protection and economic development can co-exist successfully.
An example of the Council's attempt to defend environmental pro-
tection policies is the publicity CEQ has given the number of jobs
created by the pollution control industry compared with the jobs
lost by factory shutdowns due to environmental regulation.
Faced with a lack of receptivity within the White House, the Council
no longer -aggressively initiates environmental policy legislation but
has shifted its emphasis to working backstage with agency decision
99 Liroff, p. 82.
10 Erica L. Dolgin and Thomas G. P. Gilbert, eds., Environmental Law Institute,
Federal Environmental Law, 1974, pp. 13-136.
102 Liroff, p. 84.
'11. Mroff, p. 84.
106 1976 Appropriations Hearings (n. 121).
makrs.CEQ staff attribute this de mi imi eiltv
environmental legslation has been pase or is edi
(The Council does not have the personnel reqire o o
on every proposal for environmental legation
pend on the ine cy most involv wih
there is no conce lin agency, as
stances, and Power Plant Sting, CEQ will
The second reason is the changing climate for envi
tives within the bureaucracyan the Anistr
eternal factors such as tr eergy crisis and the
is more on the defensive in its advisory role nowthni
The fact that 0MB controls the coordination o n
legislation within the Administration grvtshssf
Council used to perform this rol and some staff
still should.10 In the viw o CEQ staff, there has
in the legislative clearance process which began with
tion of the Nixon Adiitainadhsctnudr
other agencies can no longer be assured
will "fy"at the White House or that a bill w
tions about won't be signed before it has
bill wich was labelled "Adinist
proposed Energy Facilities Sitin
cerned agency except FEA. Thus CEQ has foun it
to propose legislation.11'
[CEQ staff also places "blame for its wea
on the Congress because NEPA, unlike most lawshsn
on the Hill. They feel that Congress has not heW
hearings which would let the Admnistration know iw
NEPA implementation.112 A listof NEPAove h Ii
in Appendix Q.] a
Although its style and methods may have hne n
influence diminished, CEQ is still attempting to perform
function within the executive branch. One NEP4 Q
positively about the Council's potential i this :,
It may be suggested that CEQ's influence within e
tive branch diminished because of de adminis
interest in environmental matters nd increased
inflationary pressures and energ-y supplies. But sc
delusion can only be reached with considerable unce
To be sure, in 1973 new administration environ n
tives did not seem to flow as quickly as oceth
ever, some concern for environmental impactsha
to take root in the federal bureaucracy and this risi
vironmental consciousness was accompanied by reco,
that CEQ was a useful source within the executive
110 Interview-One problem with returning this function to CEQ Is that
must be defined.
guidance and information concerning environmental decision-
making. CEQ, in its advisory capacity, was perhaps in abetter
position to promote environmental considerations than if it
itself were a line environmental protection agency.113
The Chairman and Staff of the Council are eager to list CEQ's
accomplishments as executive advisor. Yet the differences between the
Council's early years and the present are apparent. Some of the current
activities of the Council are discussed below.
At present, most of the Council's advisory meetings with agency
heads are tied to the environmental impact statement process. Through
these the Council sometimes has a broader influence on agency policy.
Chairman Peterson has had ten meetings with Secretary Kleppe on
impact statement issues which he feels have resulted in a new attitude
of cooperation from the Interior Department. For example, both CEQ
and EPA worked hard to strengthen environmental safeguards in
Interior's coal easing regulations and succeeded in getting Interior
to accept their proposals. Later, Interior's support of CEQ drafted
amendments to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act helped the
Council convince the Administration to propose them.'14
Another way in which the Council attempts to influence federal
policy is through 0MB. As a member of the Office of the President,
Chairman Peterson takes part in "Director's Reviews" of agency
budgets. Here he has tried to encourage more research on environ-
mental data b EPA and to provide more manpower at BLM to im-
prove. the qua ity of public lands. These recommendations however
inevitably collide with OMB's interest in reducing the federal
OEQ's current work in federal land use policy reflects the Council's
decision to work quietly within the executive branch to help make
existing federal policies more rational.
One example is CEQ's work with the EPA on the land use effects
of EPA's Waste Water Treatment Grant Program. The CEQ study
on Interceptor Sewers and Suburban Sprawl demonstrated the second-
ary effects which sewer systems have on development patterns and led
to new EPA regulations.
Another aspect of CEQ's internal work with agencies has been a
"low key effort" to encourage agencies to improve coordination of their
respective land use planning assistance programs
At present the federal government has a plethora of specialized
land use planning programs. These, include, The Comprehensive Plan-
ning Assistance (701) Program, Housing Act of 1954 (HUD); Out-
door Recreation Program, Land and Water Conservation Fund Act
of 1965 (Interior); The Area Wide Water Planning Program (208-
EPA); the Coastal Zone Management Program (Commerce) ; and the
Urban Mass Transportation Program and Highway Planning and
In the past, the two favorite approaches to coordination (as char-
acterized by a CEQ staffer) have been (1) to put all programs into one
'Liroff, p. 88.
114 Interview. The amendments would separate exploration and development decisions
and provide a hiatus after the discovery of off-shore oil for the applicant to make satis-
factory plans to deal with secondary socio-economic on-shore impacts.
big po ind th "lowest common de
programs an arrive at a document that everyone a g
of these approches have ccessful. I t
focuses on one-on-one >panning agreements. Under this a
prodc a write expression of their intent toutlz o
iment ad data~ and cordinaeporm t h ai
CEQ's role in this coodntn effort is tobrnth
o r area s neut vo. Q rt
ongoing progams it migtw t o protect orexad
are knot suspiious of its motives in proposi s n
agireent. Thereire currently 2-3 dznitecn(
Finally, the Council's-advisory duties inld ad
dent on international environmuntal coprtn.NP
agencies of the Fedeal Gov to recognizeh
long-range charace of environetlpoemad h
with the foreign policy of the UnitedS
port to intiatives, ios, ad pr d I
international cooperation in antipangndrentg
the quality of mankind's world environment." 117 hs1
bined with Sec. 204 creates implt authority for 0
view, appraise, and recoin d federal p and t
for international cooperation. Executive Order 11514, Se
this authority explicit. The C cil is to a]d
President and the agencies in achieving international coo
dealing with environmental problems, under the f
ance of the Secretary of State."
CEQ's international activities a
bers and by the Chairman's Assistant for International
Affairs and his staff. o1
The Council was given innovative responsibilities fro
authorities. Therefore, it has worked on develop poli
ating international environmental programs r
opee. For example the State D tent's enviro
created to operate programs which CEQ initiated.
The Council's continuing is
global environment is adequately considered in U.S. foi
Otherwise, w there are gaps m agency ponsibilit
it has unique expertise, CEQ will perform substantive Qi
CEQ is involv in both biltr and multilateral eff1
national cooperation. The "Agreement for
mental Protection"' signd between Russia rand thU.S.
Nixon's Summit meeting in Moscow was created and inil
mented by CEQ.
CEQ initiatives were r nsile for the Ocean
tion, the International Endangered Species Convention ar.
n Sec. 102(2) (E).
1s The international Staff consists of -oe person on a one year re
State and one from USIA, and an international lawyer from the General
He also has one scientific assistant and two temporary staff members ha
studies on American Wildlife and International Fisheries.
Heritage Trust Convention. The international office worked on the
development of the U.S. position for the U.N. Conference on the
Human Environment at Stockholm.20 Chairman Peterson was a
representative at the U.N. Habitat conference last summer. Although
the State Department had originally conceived of the conference as
strictly concerned with housing, at the time of the Chairman's inter-
view, CEQ had changed the conference emphasis to one of a "holistic
view" of the quality of life.'2'
The Council is conducting a study of U.S. policy toward the living
resources of the Sea and is participating in the Law of the Sea Con-
ferences. A final example is CEQ's work on international and domestic
population problems. Chairman Peterson considered population to be
the single most important variable in the quality of life. He served
as deputy head of the U.S. delegation to the World Population Con-
ference in Bucharest.122
The Council's international office also assists the domestic staff on
environmental impact statement issues relating to the Department of
State and AID. Until recently these agencies considered their foreign
programs to be exempt from the requirements of Sec. 102(2) (c).
Backed up by recent court decisions, CEQ has actively pushed AID
to develop NEPA procedures during the past year.3
An additional statutory responsibility which should be mentioned in
the context of CEQ's advisory role is to-
... review and appraises the various prorams and activities
of the Federal Government in the light of the policy set forth
in Title I of this Act (NEPA) ... and to make recommenda-
tions to the President with respect thereto *.24
Pursuant to this language, the Office of the Staff Director lists as
one of its duties "evaluating federal activities which have a potential
effect on the environment." 125 Properly fulfilled, this review respon-
sibility could provide a significant back-up to the Council's advisory
duties. Yet, both staff and Council members admit that CEQ has
neglected this section of NEPA.12' The Council's ability to make a
more thorough review and appraisal of federal activities is severely
limited not by attitude but by the size of its staff.'27 Staff review is
not very comprehensive and tends to focus on specific issues which
are brought to CEQ's attention. Because of staffing constraints and
perhaps for other policy reasons, the Council has made a decision to
channel its manpower toward other statutory duties and to ignore its
review and evaluation responsibilities.
Similarly, inadequate staffing affects the Council's performance of its
advisory role and hampers its ability to effect changes across a wide
spectrum of bureaucratic policy by limiting the number of issues the
Council can become involved in. This practical problem should be
considered along with any political problems connected with the
Council's advisory role.
24 NEPA Sec. 204(3).
12 Letter from staff director, March 10, 1976.
There are several areas for onl
environmental advisor to the Exem
to assess this r cord however, it won
of other agencies and~ of public inte
to remember that by statutory d
President. Therefore its strength and
policies are primarily determined b
the President and his staff.
Briefly stated, these are~ the pro'
report has. introduced:
(1) There have been no environip
Executive office with the Council's as
(2) 0MB rather than CEQ control
(3) CEQ's limited size has fprck
center"' poblerns-and to neglt COM4
(4) CEQ must promote a relativE
influence or authority of a-1ine or mis
acceptance of it proposals.
STATUTES, REGULATIONS, EXECUTIVE ORDERS
The Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970, Pub. L.
91-224,42 U.S.C. 4371-4374, April 3,1970.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as Amended, Pub.
L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, January 1, 1970, as amended by Pub.
L. 94-83, August 9,1975.
Executive Order 11514, "Protection and Enhancement of Environ-
mental Quality," March 5,1970.
"Preparation of Environmental Impact Statements: Guidelines,
40 CF.R. Chap. V, Part 1,500 C1974.
Environmental Policy Division, Congressional Research Service,
Library of Congress, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969,
Environmental Indices-Status of Development Pursuant to Sections
102(2) (B) and 204 of the Act, at the request of Henry M. Jackson,
Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, U.S. Senate
93rd Congress, 1st Session, Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing
Environmental and Natural Resources Policy Division, Congres-
sional Research Service, The Library of Congress, Workshop on the
National Environmental Policy Act, a report prepared pursuant to
the request of the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conserva-
tion and the Environment of the Committee on Merchant Marine and
Fisheries, U.S. House of Representatives, Serial No. 94-#, 94th Cong.,
2nd Sess., Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office 1976.
U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Administration of the
National Environmental Polic 1972, Hearings before the Sub-
committee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation of the Committee
on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 92nd Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial No.
92-24, Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office, (1972).
U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Administration of the
National Environmental Policy Act, Report by the Committee on
Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Rept. No. 92-316, 92nd Cong., 1st
Sess., Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office, (1971).
U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Environment Miscel-
laneous-Part 1, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Fisheries and
Wildlife Conservation and the Environment of the Committee on
Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 93rd Congress, 1st Sess., Serial No.
93-23, Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1974.
U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Environmental Citizen
Action, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife
Conservation of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,
92nd Cong., Serial No. 92-23, Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Print-
ing Office, 1972.
U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Hearings on
Agency Compliance with Section 102 (2) (C) and Section 1i
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, before the
tee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation of the
Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 91st Cong., 2nd
91-41, Washington, D.C., Govt. Pri g Office, (1971).
U.S. Congress, House of Represent aties, Growth
cations for the Fur Part 4, larings
Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environmer
Com hitee on- Merchant Marine and Fiseis 3dCn.,
Serial No. 93-35, Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. 'P7
US. Congress, House of Repi, Vv'
Policy Act Oversight, Hearings before the Subcmiteo'
and Wildlife Conservation and the Environ nt of
on Merchant Marine and Fieies, 94th Cong., 1stS
94-14, Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing 0i. (1
U.S. Congress, Senate, DeparmnofHuigadU
velopment, and Certain Independnt Agencies Appri
ings before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, H.R 8
Congress, 1st Session, Washing-ton, D.C., Govt. Printing
U.S. Congress, Senate, National Environmenta Pfli
before the Senate Committee on Interior and
S. 1075, S. 237, -and S. 1762, p1st Congress, 1st Sess., Wsig
Govt. Printing Office, 1969.
U.S. Congress, senate, National Environmental P
Hearings before the Conmittee on Public Works
on Interior and Insular Affairs, 9d Cong. 2nd Sess.,
H32, Washing-ton, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office, (1972
U.S. Congress, Senate, Na0tional Enviromental Poic
Report to accompany S. 1075,. Rept. o. 91-296,91
Session, Washington, D.C., Govt. Printing ffice,
U.S. Congress, Hearings to Discuss National Policy fo
vironment, before the Committee on Interior and Ins
U.S. Senate, and Committee on Science and Astronautic
of Representatives, Joint House-Senate Coloqu
2nd Sess., Washington, D.C., Govt. Printing (
Council on Environmental Quality, E~nvironmenital Q.ualit-
ington, D.C., Govt. Printing Office, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 19
Council on Environmental Quaity. Environmental Inpa
ments: An Analysis of Six Years' Experience by Sevent
Agencies, Washington, D.C., U;S. Govt. Printing Office,
Anderson, Frederick R., NEPA in the Courts: A
of the National Environmental Policy Act, Washington, I
sources for the Future, Inc., 1973.
Dolgin, Erica L. and Guilbert, Thomas G. P., eds., ExrA
Law Institute, Federal Environmental Law, St. Paul, Min
Publishinq Co., 1974.
Liroff, Richard A., NEPA and its Aftermath: The Worrx
a National Policy for the Environment, July 1975, (draft for
tion by the Indiana University Press).
Andrews, Richard N. L., "The Council on Environmental Quality:
An Evaluation," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, January-
February 1972, p. 8.
Andrews, Richard N. L., "NEPA in Practice: Environmental Policy
or Administrative Reform?," paper presented at a Workshop on the
National Environmental Policy Act, Congressional Research Serv-
ice, the Library of Congress, December, 1975).
Cahn, Robert, "Impact of NEPA on Public Perception of Environ-
mental Issues," paper presented at a Workshop on the National En-
vironmental Policy Act, Congressional Research Service, the Library
of Congress, December 1975).
Caldwell, Lynton K., "The National Environmental Policy Act:
Retrospect and Prospect," (paper presented at a Workshop on the
National Environmental Policy Act, Congressional Research Serv-
ice, the Library of Congress, December 1975).
Carpenter, Richard A., "The Adequacy of Scientific Information
for the Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act,"
(paper presented at the Workshop on the National Environmental
Policy Act, Congressional Research Service, the Library of Con-
gress, December 1975).
Dreyfus, Daniel A. and Helen Ingram, "The National Environ-
mental Policy Act: A View of Intent and Practice," 1976, (draft
prepared for publication in the Natural Resources Journal).
Lynch, Robert S., "The 1973 CEQ Guidelines: Cautious Updating
of the Environmental Impact Statement Process," 11 Cal. West. L.
Rev., 297 (Winter 1975).
Miller, Alan S., Frederick R. Anderson, and Richard A. Liroff,
"The National Environmental Policy Act and Agency Policy Mak-
ing: Neither Paper Tiger nor Straitjacket," (draft paper presented
at a Workshop on the National Environmental Policy Act, Congres-
sional Research Service, the Library of Congress, December 1975).
Mills, Edwin S., and Frederick M. Peterson. "Environmental
Quality: The First Five Years," 65 American Economic Review,
259-268 (June 1975).
Schindler, D. W., "The Impact Statement Boondoggle," Science,
Vol. 192, No. 4239, May 7, 1976.
Stevens, Herbert F., "The CEQ's Guidelines and Their Influence
on NEPA," 23 Catholic U.L. Rev. 547-573 (1974).
"Supreme Court Ushers in New Era for CEQ in Warm Springs
Case." 4 Environmental Law Reporter, 10130, (1974).
Wichelman, Allan, "Administrative Agency Implementation of
NEPA" (draft, for publication on the Natural Resources Journal,
LIST OF PERSONS INTERVIEWED
Russell W. Peterson Malcolm Baldwin
Beatrice E. Willard Charles P. Eddy
John A. Busterud James J. Reisa, Jr.
Steven D. Jellinek Gary L. Widman
William Matuszeski Lee M. Talbot
Edwin H. Clark, III
National Environmental Policy Act
THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT OF 1969, AS AMENDED
42 USC Chap. 55, 4321 if
CHAPTER 55,-NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
4321. Congressional declaration of purpse.
SUBCHAPTER I.-POLICIES AND GOALS
4331. Congressional declaration of national environmental policy.
4332. Cooperation of agencies; reports; availability of information; recommen-
dations; international and national coordination of efforts.
4333. Conformity of administrative procedures to national environmental policy.
4334. Other statutory obligations of agencies.
4335. Efforts supplemental to existing authorizations.
SUBCHAPTER 11.--COU-CIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
4341. Reports to Congress; recommendations for legislation.
4342. Establishment; membership; Chairman; appointments.
4343. Employment of personnel, experts and consultants.
4344. Duties and functions.
4345. Consultation with the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Environmental
Quality and other representatives.
4346. Tenure and compensation of members.
4347. Authorization of appropriations.
321 Congressional declaration of purpose
The purposes of this chapter are: To declare a national policy which will en-
courage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment;
to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment
and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the under-
standing of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation;
and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.
Pub.L. 91-190, 2, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852.
SUBCHAPTER I.-POLICIES AND GOALS
4331. Congressional declaration of national environmental policy
(a) The Congress, recognizing the profound impact of man's activity on the
interrelations of all components of the natural environment, particularly the
profound influences of population growth, high-density urbanization, industrial
expansion, resource exploitation, and new and expanding technological advances
and recognizing further the critical importance of restoring and maintaining en-
vironmental quality to the overall welfare and development of man, declares
that it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with
State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organiza-
tions, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and techni-
cal assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare,
to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in
productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of
present and future generations of Americans.
(b) In order to carry out the policy set forth in this chapter, it is the continu-
ing responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable means, con-
sistent with other essential considerations of national policy, to improve and
coordinate Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the
(1) fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environ-
ment for succeeding generations;
(2) assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, and estl
and culturally pleasing surroundings;
(3) attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment
degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and uni
(4) preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of
tional heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment
supports diversity and variety of individual choice;
(5) achieve a balance between population and resource use wh
permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenity
(6) enhance the quality of renewable resources and approached m
attainable recycling of depletable resources.
i(c) The Congress recognizes that each person should enjoy a healt
vironment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the p
tion and enhancement of the environment.
Pub.L. 91-190, Title I, 101, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852.
4332. Cooperation of agencies; reports; availability of information; rec
dations; international and national coordination of efforts,
The Congress authorizes and directs that, to the fullest extent possit
the policies, regulations, and public laws of the United States shall t
preted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this
and (2) all agencies of the Federal Government shall-
(A) utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which will i
integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environment
sign arts in planning and in decisionmaking which may have an ii
(B) identify and develop methods and procedures, in consultati
the Council on Environmental Quality established by subchape'r 11
chapter, which will insure that presently unquantifled enviro
amenities and values may be given appropriate consideration in
making along with economic and technical considerations;
(C) include in every recommendation or report on proposals for lega
and other major Federal actions significantly affecting thequalit
human environment, a detailed statement by the responsible social
(4) the environmental impact of the proposed action,
(ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided
the proposal be implemented,
(iii) alternatives to the proposed action,
(iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of man's
ment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term pro&
(v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resource
would be involved in the proposed action should it be implement
Prior to making any detailed statement, the responsible Federal
shall consult with and obtain the comments of any Federal agency wi
jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any enviro
impact involved. Copies of such statement and the comments and ,
the appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, which are authc
develop and enforce environmental standards, shall be made availa.
President, the Council on Environmental Quality and to the public
vided by section 552 of Title 5, and shall accompany the proposal
the existing agency review processes;
(D) Any detailed statement required under subparagraph (C) af
uary 1. 1970, for any major Federal action funded under a program o
to States shall not be deemed to be legally insufficient solely by r
having prepared by a State agency or official, if:
(i) the State agency or official has statewide jurisdiction and
responsibility for such action,
(ii) the responsible Federal official furnishes guidance and parl
in such preparation,
(iii) the responsible Federal official independently evalusi
statement prior to its approval and adoption, and
(iv) after January 1, 1976, the responsible Federal official
eprly notification to, and solicits the views of, any other Statei
Federal land management entity of any action or any alternativE
which may have significant impacts upon such State or affected
land management entity and, if there is any disagreement on such im-
pacts, prepares a written assessment of such impacts and views for
incorporation inot 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 state-
mt or of any other responsibility under this Act; and further, this subpara-
graph does not affect the legal sufficiency of statements prepared by State
agencies with less than statewide jurisdiction;
(E) study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended
courses of action in any proposal which involves unresolved conflicts con-
cernngalternative uses of available resources;
(F) recognize the worldwide and long-range character of environmental
poblems and, where consistent with the foreign policy of the United States,
l appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed
to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventng a decline
in the quality of mankind's world environment;
(G) make available to States, counties, municipalities, institutions, and
individuals, advice and information useful in restoring, maintaining, and
enhancing the quality of the environment;
(H) initiate and utilize ecological information in the plannng and develop-
ment of resource-oriented projects; and
(I) assist the Council on Environmental Quality established by subchapter
II of this chapter.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title I, 102, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 853; Pub. L. 94-83, Aug. 9, 1975,
89 Stat. 424.
Codication note: Pub. L. 94-83 Inserted a new subsection (D) and redesignated original
tons (D)-(H) as (H)-(I) respectively.
y of administrative procedures to national environmental policy
a of the Federal Government shall review their present statutory
authority, administrative regulations, and current policies and procedures for
the purpose of determining whether there are any deficiencies or inconsistencies
therein which probit full compliance with the purposes and provisions of this
chapter and shall propose to the President not later than July 1, 1971, such
mea as may be necessary to bring their authority and policies into con-
formity with the intent, purposes, and procedures set forth in this chapter.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title I, 103, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat, 854.
4334. Other statutory obligations of agencies
N in st 4332 or 4333 of this title shall in any way affect the specific
tutory oblgations of any Federal agency (1) to comply with criteria or stand-
ards of environmental quality, (2) to coordinate or consult with any other Fed-
eral or State agency, or (3) to act, or refrain from acting contingent upon the
recommendations or certification of any other Federal or State agency.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title I, 103, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 854.
4335. Eforts supplemental to existing authorizations
The pol and goals set forth in this chapter are supplementary to those set
forth in testing authorizations of Federal agencies.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title I, 105, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 854.
SUBCAPTER .-COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
434L Reports to Congress; recommendations for legislation
The President shall transmit to the Congress annually beginning July 1, 1970,
an Environmental Quality Report (hereinafter referred to as the "report")
which shall set forth (1) the status and condition of the major natural, man-
made, or altered environmental classes of the Nation, including, but not limited
to, the air, the aquatic, including marine, estuarine, and fresh water, and the ter-
restrial environment, including, but not limited to, the forest, dryland, wetland,
range, urban, suburban, and rural environment; (2) current and foreseeable
trends in the quality, management and utilization of such environments and the
effects of those trends on the social, economic, and other requirements of the
Nation (3) the adequacy of available natural resources for fulfilling human and
economic requirements of the Nation in the light of expected population pres-
sures; (4) a review of the programs and activities (including regulatory activi-
ties) of the Federal Government, the State and local governments, and non-
governmenal entities or incim
the environ t and on the ci
resources; and (5) a program
and activities, together th ri
Pub. L. 91-0. Title II. 201.
There is created in the Exeutive e
mental Quality (hereinafter to e e
composed of three members who shall be a ited by theP
his pleasure, by and with the advice and ent of .
shall designate one of the m rs of the lto
member 11 be a person who, as a result of his train
ments, is onally qualified to analyze a nt
trends and inf tion ofall s; to ise
Federal Government in the light of the policy set
chapter; to be conscious of and responsive to the sci e,
ethetic, and cultural -needs and inteess of the Nationi; and to f
recommend national policies to promote the improve t of t
Pub. L. 91-190, Title II, 202, Jan. 1,1970,83 St4. 85.
4343. Employment of personnel, experts and consultants
(a) The Council may employ such officers an ml
to carry out its function under this chapter. In addition, the Counc
and fix the compensation of such e and consultants as may
the carrying out of its function under this chapter. in ae
3109 of Title 5 (but without regard to the last sentence
(b) Ntihanding section 37(b), of the Revised Saue
(b)), the Councl y and employ voluntary and ui
in furtherance of the purposes of the Council.
-Pub. L. 91-190. Title 1, 203, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stait. 855; Pu.
1975, 89 Stat. 2W&
4344. Duties and f auctions
It shall be the duty and function of the Council-
(1) to assist and advise the President in he preparation a
ment Quality Report required by section 4341 of this title
(2) to gather timely and authoritative information
tions and treads in the quality of the envi ent
tive, to analyze and interpret such info tion for the
mining whether such conditions and trends are interfering, o
interfere, with the achievement of the policy set forth in
this chapter, and to compile submit to the President
such conditions and trends;
(3) to review and appraise the various programs and ac
Federal Government in the light of the policy set forth si
this chapter for the purpose of dete ing the et to w
grams and activities are contributing to the achi of s
to make recommendations to the President with respect theo
(4) to develop and recommend to the President national po
and promote the improvement of environmental quality to
tion, social, economic, health, and other requirements and
(5) to conduct investigations, studies, surveys, research,
relating to ecological systems and environmental quality:
(6) to document and defne changes in the natural environi
is. and to ao
analysis of l
-,e each year
to the President on
(8) to make and furnish such studies, reports
tions with respect to matters of policy and i a
Pub. L. 91-190, Title II, 204, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 855.
....... 7 .... r------
4345. Consultation with the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Environmental
Quality and other representatives
In exercising its powers, functions, and duties under this chapter, the Council
(1) consult with the Citizens' Advisory Committee on Environmental
Quality established by Executive Order numbered 11472, dated May 29, 1969,
and with such representatives of science, industry, agriculture, labor, con-
servation organizations, State and local governments and other groups, as
it deems advisable; and
(2) utilize, to the fullest extent possible, the services, facilities, and in-
formation (including statistical information) of public and private agencies
and organizations, and individuals, in order that duplication of effort and
expense may be avoided, thus assuring that the Council's activities will not
unnecessarily overlap or conflict with similar activities authorized by law
and performed by established agencies.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title II, 205, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 855.
4346. Tenure and compensation of members
Members of the Council shall serve full time and the Chairman of the Coun-
cil shall be compensated at the rate provided for Level II of the Executive Sched-
ule Pay Rates. The other members of the Council shall be compensated at the
rate provided for Level IV or 1 the Executive Schedule Pay Rates.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title II, 206, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 856.
4346a. Acceptance of Travel Reimbursement
The Council may accept reimbursements from any private nonprofit organiza-
tion or from any department, agency, or instrumentality of the Federal Govern-
ment, any State, or local government, for the reasonable travel expenses incurred
by any officer or employee of the Council in connection with his attendance at
any conference, seminar, or similar meeting conducted for the benefit of the
Pub. L. 94-52, July 3, 1975, 89 Stat. 259.
4346b. Expenditures for International Travel
The Council may make expenditures in support of its international activities,
including expenditures for: (1) international travel; (2) activities in imple-
mentation of international agreements; and (3) the support of international
exchange programs in the United States and in foreign countries.
Pub. L. 94-52, July 3, 1975, 89 Stat. 259.
4347. Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the provisions of this
chapter not to exceed $300,000 for fiscal year 1970, $700,000 for fiscal year 1971,
and $1,000,000 for each fiscal year thereafter.
Pub. L. 91-190, Title II, 207, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. F56.
Table of Parallel Citatioas
PL 91-190, 83 Stat. 852-The National Sec. 42 USC
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 204 (NEPA 204) -------------- 4344
Sec. 42 USC 205 (NEPA 205) --------------4345
2 (NEPA 2) ---------------- 4321 206 (NEPA 206) --------------4346
101 (NEPA 101) --------------- 4331 207 (NEPA 209) --------------- 4347
102 (NEPA 102) --------------- 4332 PL 94-52, 89 Stat. 258
103 (NEPA 103) --------------- 4333 2 (NEPA 203(b)) --------- 4343(b)
104 (NEPA 104) -------------- 4334 3 (NEPA 207) ------------- 4346a
105 (NEPA 105) --------------- 4335 (NEPA 208) ------------- 4346b
201 (NEPA 201) --------------- 4341
202 (NEPA 202) -------------- 4342 PL. 94-83, 89 Stat. 424
203 (NEPA 203(a) ) --------- 4343(a) ----------------4332(D)
1 So in original.
Environmental Quality Improvement Act
M JEA IBOMETAI. QUALITY. IMPROVEMENT ACT or 1970, PUBIuC LAw 91P224,
TITLE HI-ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (OF THE WATER QIT&LIY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF
SEC. 201. This title may be cited as the "Environmental Quality Improvement
,Aec of 17,1
1 idi0, .ladtm, ..... pupoe
SEC 202. (a)~ The Congress inds--
(1) tfat man has caused changes in the environment;
(2) tt ma)ny of these changes mnay affect the relationship between man
ard his enirnmen; and
(3) ta popilatio increases. and urban concentration contribute directly
o plution a the degradation of our environment.
(b) (1) The Congress declares that there is a national policy for the environ-
ment wich rovides for the enhancement of environmental quality. This policy
is evdec statutes heretofore enacted relating to the prevention, abatement,
d o ronmenal pollution, water and land resources, transportation,
and ecoomic' an regional development.
(2) Ty respqnsibility for implementing this policy rests with State
(3) The 'ederal Government encourages and supports implementation Of this
policy thog appropriate regional organizations established under existing law.
(c) The purposes of this title are-
(1) to s sgire that each Federal department -and agency conducting or
suppoing public works activities which affect the environment shall imple-
ment the police tablshed nder existing law; and
2 authorize an Offce of Environmental Qality, Which, notwithstand-
n othr provision fftlaw, shall provide the professional and administrative
r h Council of Environmental Quality established by Public Law
Offer of Environmental Quality
SEc. 203..(a) There is established in the Executive Office of the President an
o1le to be known a' the Office of Environmental Quality (hereafter in this title
refrrd to as the "Office"). The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Qual-
ity established by Public Law 91-190 shall be the Direefor of the Office. There
shall be in the Office a Deputy Director who shall be appointed by the President,
:b athe advice -and consent of the Senate,,
(b) The compensation of the Deputy Director shall be .fixed by the President
at a rate not in exces of the annualrate of compensation payable to the Deputy
Director 'fthe Bureau of the Budget.
79 -922- -77-----5
(c) The Director is authorized to employ such officers and employees (in
ing experts and consultants) as may be ncsry to enable the Office to
out its functions under this title and Public Law 91-190, except that he
employ no more than ten specialists and other experts without r
provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the
petitive service, and pay such specialist and experts without regard t
. rviong of chapter .1 iind, sueaper-111 -o hapter tf utiteult
classification and General Schedule-pay r but no such specialist or e
snall be paid at a rate in excess of the maximum rate for GS-18 of the Ge
SchedulIe under seietio 5330of title 5. 7
(d) In carrying out his functions the Director shall assist and advise
President on policies and programs of the Federal Government affecti*d
(1) providing the professional and administrative staff
for the Council on Environmental Quality estblise by
(2) assisting the Federal agencies and +deprmni
effectiveness of existing and proposed facilities pgms
activities of the Federal Governentp
des I iated by the President which do not *rqIre idvdilp
authorization by Congress, which affect envi4ronm it
(3) reviewing+ the adequacy of, isting systems for:
predicting environmental changes in order to ahieve ef
efficient use of research facilities and other
(4) promoting the advancement of scientifc d o
actions and technology on the environment andencoura
of the means to prevent or reduce advrse effec that an
andwell-being of man;
(5) assisting In coordinating, among the Federal
agencies those programs and activities which affect, pr
(6) assisting the Federal departments and enis
and interrelationhdps of environmental quality criteiaa
established through the Federal Government;
(7) collecting, co rating, analyzing, and interprting data a
tion on environmental quality, ecological research, and evalua
(e) The Director is authorized to contract with public or
institutions, and organizations and with individuals without
3618 and 3709 of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C. 529; 41 .5 I
out his functions.
SEC. 204. Each Envronmental Quality Report +req+uireP
91-190 shall, upon transmittal to Cogress, be referred to each si
having jurisdiction over any part of the subject m erf the
SEC. 205. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated not to
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970, not to exceed $750.00 for e
year ending June 30, 1971, not to exceed $1,250,000 for the fisal ear
June 30, 1972, and not to exceed $1,500,000 for the fiscal year ending J
1973. These authorizations are in addition to those contained in Public
Approved April 3,1970.
Executive Order No. 11514
ExEcrTv ORDER 11514, PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF ENVIONMENTAL
QUALITY, MARCH 5, 1970
By virtue of the Authority vested in me as President of the United States and'
in furtherance of the purpose and policy of the National Environmental Policy
Act of 1969 (Public Law No. 91-190, approved January 1, 1970), it is ordered as
SECTION 1. Policy. The Federal Government shall provide leadership in protect-
ing and enhancing the quality of the Nation's environment to sustain and enrich
human life. Federal agencies shall initiate measures needed to direct their poli-
cies, plans and programs so as to meet national environmental goals. The Council
on Environmental Quality, through the Chairman, shall advise and assist the
President in leading this national effort.
SEC. 2. Responsibiliies of Federal agencies. Consonant with Title I of the Na-
tional Environmental Policy Act of 1969, hereinafter referred to as the "Act",
the heads of Federal agencies shall:
(a) Monitor, evaluate, and control on a continuing basis their agencies' activi-
ties so as to protect and enhance the quality of the environment. Such activities
shall include those directed to controlling pollution and enhancing the environ-
ment and those designed to accomplish other program objectives which may
affect the quality of the environment. Agencies shall develop programs and
measures to protect and enhance environmental quality and shall assess progress
in meeting the specific objectives oftsuch activities. Heads of agencies shall consult
with appropriate Federal, State and local agencies in carrying out their activities
as they affect the quality of the environment.
(d) Develop procedures to ensure the fullest practicable provision of timely
public information and understanding of Federal plans and programs with en-
vironmental impact in order to obtain the views of interested parties. These pro-
cedures shall include, whenever appropriate, provision for public hearings, and
shall provide the public with relevant information, including information on
alternative courses of action. Federal agencies shall also encourage State and
local agencies to adopt similar procedures for informing the public concerning
their activities affecting the quality of the environment.
(c) Insure that information regarding existing or potential environment prob-
lems and control methods developed as part of research, development, demonstra-
tion, test, or evaluation activities is made available to Federal agencies, States,
counties, municipalities, institutions, and other entities, as appropriate.
(d) Review their agencies' statutory authority, administrative regulations,
policies, and procedures, including those relating to loans, grants, contracts,
leases, licenses, or permits, in order to identify any deficiencies or inconsistencies
therein which prohibit or limit full compliance with the purposes and provisions
of the Act. A report on this review and the corrective actions taken or planned,
including such measures to be proposed to the President as may be necessary to
bring their authority and policies into conformance with the intent, purposes, and
procedures of the Act, shall be provided to the Council on Environmental Quality
not later than September 1, 1970.
(e) Engage in exchange of data and research results, and cooperate with agen-
cies of other governments to foster the purposes of the Act.
(f) Proceed, in coordination with other agencies, with actions required by sec-
tion 102 of the Act.
SEC. 3. Responsibilities of Council on Environmental Quality. The Council on
Environmental Quality shall:
(a) Evaluate existing and proposed policies And activities of the Federal Gov-
ernment directed to the control of pollution and the enhancement of the environ-
ment and to the accomplishment of other objectives which affect the quality of
the environment. This shall include continuing review of procedures employed in
the development and enforcement of Federal standards affecting environmental
quality. Based upon such evaluations the Council shall, where appropriate, recom-
mend to the President policies of environmental quality and shall, where appro-
priate, seek resolution of significant environmental issues.
(b) Recommend to the President and to the agencies priorities among pro-
grams designed for the control of pollution and for enhancement of the
(c) Determine the need for new policies and programs for dealing with en-
vironmental problems not being adequately addressed.
(d) Conduct, as it determines to be appropriate, public hearings or conferences
on issues of environmental significance.
(e) Promote the development and use of indices and monitoring systems (1)
to assess environmental conditions and trends, (2) to predict the environmental
impacton proposed public and private actions, and (3) to determine the. effective-
ness of programs of protecting and enhancing environmental quality.
(f) Coordinate Federal programs related to environmental quality.
(g) Advise and assist the President and the agencies in achieving interna-
-tional cooperation for dealing with environmental problems, under the foreign
policy guidance of the Secretary of State.
(h) Issue guidelines to Federal agencies for the preparation of detailed state-
ments on proposals for legislation and other Federal actions affecting the envi-
ronment, as required by section 102 (2) (C) of the Act.
(i) Issue such other instructions to agencies, and request such reports and
other information from them, as may be required to carry out the Council's
responsibilities under the Act.
(j) Assist the President in preparing the annual Environmental Quality Re-
port provided for in section 201 of the Act.
(k) Foster investigations, studies, surveys, research, and analyses relating to
(i) ecological systems and environmental quality, (ii) the impact of new and
changing technologies thereon, and (iii) means of preventing or reducing adverse
effects from such technologies.
SEC. 4. Amendments of E. 0. 11472. Executive Order No. 11472 of May 29,1969,
including the headings thereof, is hereby amended:
(1) By substituting for the term "the Environmental Quality Council",
wherever it occurs, the following: "the Cabinet Committee on the Envi-
(2) By substituting for the term "the Council", wherever it ocurs, the
following: "the Cabinet Committee".
(3) By inserting in subsection (f) of section 101, after "Budget,", the
following: "the Director of the Office of Science and Technology.".
(4) By substituting for subsection (g) of section 101 the following:
"(g) The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (established by
Public Law 91-190) shall assist the President in directing the affairs of the
(5) By deleting subsection (c) of section 102.
(6) By substituting for "the Office of Science aid Technology", in section
104, the following: "the Council on Environmental Quality (established by
Public Law 91-190)".
(7) By substituting for "(hereinafter referred to as the 'ommittee')" in
section 201, the following : "(hereinafter referred to as the 'Citizen' Commit-
(8) By substituting for the term "the Committee", wherever it occurs,
the following: "the Citizens' Committee".
THE WHITE. Ho0USE.
COUNCIL 014 ENVIRONMENTAL OQALtT
OFFICE OF STAFF DIRECTOR
Staff Director GS-18
Asst..Staff Director GS-16
Senior Staff Member (6)GS-16
Staff Member GS-15
Staff Member (5) GS-14
Staff Member GS-13
Staff Member GS-12
Staff Member GS-11
Staff Member i3S-9
Staff Member "GS-7
Secretary (3) GS-8
Assistant to the Chairman
for. International and
Scientific Affairs GS-;
International Off.(Z) FSO
'Public Info. Officer GS-]
February 1, 1976
R. Peterson Chairman
J. Busterud Member
B. Willard Bember
Conf. Asst. to the Chairman GS-13
Conf. Asst. to the Member (2) GS-11
General Counsel GS-18
Administrative Officer GS-1!
Administrative Asst. GS-9
On detail from Department of
State & SU$S
Number of Personnel
NUMBER OF PERSONNEL
Personnel status as of Apr. 30,1976
Permanent personnel -----------44 43
Temporary personnel -----------17 16
Of the 43 permanent personnel, 23 are professionals and 20 are ad-
ministrative or clerical. Of the 16 temporary personnel, 15 are pro-
fessionals and 1 is clerical.
Citizen's Advisory Committee
ADVISORY COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
addition to the Presidentially appointed Citizens' Advisory Committee on
ronmental Quality, the Council has appointed the Advisory Committee
Alternative Automotive Power Systems. As required by Executive Order 11007,
members, a brief description of their functions, and the dates of their meet-
are listed below.
CITIZENS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
tablished by Executive Order 11472, May 29, 1969, this committee advises
President and the Council on Environmental Quality on all aspects of en-
imental quality and recommends actions by federal, state, and local govern-
.s and by the private sector. The Council consults with the Committee pur-
t to section 205 of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4345).
Governor Tom McCall
NBERS Jack B. Olson
. Joseph Boyle Olson Boat Company
s Angeles, Calif. Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
)bert Cahn Laurance S. Rockefeller
inservation Foundation Chairman
ashington, D.C. Rockefeller Brothers Fund
New York, N.Y.
chard M. Fairbanks III NwYrNY
chadabn, D kC. Willard F. Rockwell, Jr.
mes S. Gilmore, Jr. Rockwell International
more Broadcasting Corporation Pittsburgh, a.
daazoo, Mich. Lelan F. Sillin, Jr.
thur Godfrey Northeast Utilities
thur Godfrey Productions Hartford, Conn.
W York, N.Y. Mrs. Thomas Wallet
. Joseph Hailer Bedford Hills, N.Y.
)Uidaysburg, Penn. Mayor Pete Wilson
,s. Terese T. Hershey San Diego, Calif.
pteuber 29-30,1974, Madison, Wisconsin
!bruary 14, 1975, Washington, D.C.
ay 30, 1975, Washington, D.C.
,ptember 29, 1975, Washington, D.C.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ALTERNATIVE AUTOMOTIVE POWER SYSTEMS
The Committee advises the Council on research and development programs and
her technical progress toward developing low-emission, surface-vehicle power
stems as alternatives to the present internal combustion engine.
AIRMAN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
r. David V. Ragone Saunders B. Kramer
ean of Engineering Environmental Protection Agency
diversity of Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.
an Arbor, Mich.
Comparison of Authorizations and Appropriations
COMPARISON OF AUTHORIZATIONS AND APPROPRIATIONS
Appropriation authorizations for the Council are contained in the National
viro-nmental Policy Act of 1969, and the Environmental Quality Improvement
.ct of 1970. Only one appropriation is received thus the authorizations shown
elow are also combined.
Fiscal year Authorization request Appropriation
70 -------------------------------------------------------------$Sc0, 000 $350, 000 $350, 000
71 ------------------------------------------------------------- 1,450,000 1,500,000 1,500,000
72 ------------------------------------------------------------- 2, 250,000 2,300,000 2,300,000
73 ------------------------------------------------------------- 2,500,000 2,550,000 2,550,000
74 ----------------------------------------------- 2, 500, 000 2,466,000 2,466,000
75 ------------------------------------------------------------- 3, 000,000 2, 525,000 2, 500,000
76 ------------------------------------------------------------- 3, 000, 000 2, 750,000 2,736, 000
4 247A~ ~
Memo on Guideline Authority
it ~v 1/ [IL
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
CouNciL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QuALITy,
Washington, D.C., March 25,1975.
AUTHORITY RESPECTING FEDERAL AGENCY COMPLIANCE WITH THE
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PoLmcY ACT
is memorandum responds to the request of the Committee on Merchant
ne and Fisheries, Subcommittee"on the Environment, for a report on
ial deference to the official statements and positions of the Council on
raimental Quality, and court interpretations of this authority as it relates
federal agency compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of
(NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4221, et seq.).
;ues of CEQ's authority have arisen in two contexts: CEQ guidance to the
cies on the implementation of NEPA; and in CEQ advisory comments con-
.ng the need for or the adequacy of specific environmental impact statements.
authority of CEQ to take such actions is based in NEPA, the Environmental
ity Improvement Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4371, et seq.) and Executive Order
I(March 5, 1970). This memorandum will examine these authorities and
narize their treatment by the courts.'
ie basic source of authority is, of course, NEPA itself. While most of
on 204 specifies the general duties and functions of CEQ, subsection 204(3)
es CEQ's role relative to the rest of the Executive Branch. Under this sub-
on, CEQ has two separate functions:
shall be the duty and function of the Council-
) to review and appraise the various programs and activities of the Federal
'rnment in the light of the policy set forth in title I of this Act for the purpose,
termining the extent to which such programs and activities are contributing
e achievement of such policy, and to make recommendations to the President
respect thereto; (Emphasis added.)
ction 102 of NEPA imposes a correlative duty on the Federal agencies:
te Congress authorizes and directs to the fullest extent possible: . all
les of the Federal Government shall-
[) assist the Council on Environmental Quality established by Title II of
Le legislative history of the National Environmental Policy Act, while dis-
Ing some difference in the viewpoints of the House and the Senate, supports
sitive, constant role for CEQ in the review of Federal agency programs and
ities. The House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee anticipated a
ig CEQ review and appraisal role. It stated that CEQ should perform these
maintaining a constant review of federal programs and activities as they may
t the policies [of the Act], and keeping the President informed... The en-
imental auditory function of the Council falls squarely within the functions
ied in this subsection. [H. Rept. 91-378, 91st Cong., 1st Sess. (1969) 8].
ie Senate, at the outset, envisioned a more general role:
Le [Senate Interior] Committee does not view this direction to the Board
4] as implying a project by project review and commentary on Federal pro-
is. Rather, it is intended that the Board will periodically examine the gen-
direction and impact of Federal programs and in relation to environmental
aly CEQ's authority with respect to the Environmental Impact Statement process
be examined. It will not treat those other powers which might be exercised through.
'residential advisory role of the Council and through its dealings with non-BIS inter-
,y environmental problems.
trends and problems and recommend general changes in the direction or s
mentation of such programs when they appear to be appropriate.
It is not the Committee's intent that the Board be involved in day to d
cisionmaking processes of the Federal Goverment or that it be involved i
resolution of particular conflicts between agencies and departments. These
tions can best be performed by the Bureau of the Budget, the President's
agency Cabinet-level Council on the Environment or by the President hims
[S. Rept. 91-296, 91st Cong., 1st Sess. (1969) 24-25]
The Senate concept of a general review was preempted by subsequent c
CEQ was given specific review responsibility under Executive Order 1151
the Cabinet-level Council on the Environment was dissolved. Moreover, s
after passage of NEPA, Congress enacted the, Environmental Quality Im
ment Act of 1970, authorizing staff, funding and contracting authority for
The 1970 law also clarified CEQ's authority, providing, inter alia that
In carrying out his functions the [Chairman] shall assist and advise the
(2) assisting the Federal agencies and Departments in appraising the- effi
ness of existing and proposed facilities, programs, policies, and activities
Federal Government, and those specific major projects designated by the
,dent which do not require specific project authorization by Congress, which
(5) assisting in coordinating among the Federal departments and ar
those programs and activities which affect, protect and improve environi
(6) assisting the Federal departments and agencies in the development
terrelationship of environmental quality criteria and standards estal
through the Federal government.
It is thus clear that Congress intended that CEQ be involved in the revi
appraisal of specific agency programs, policies, and projects, and thatit a
resolving interagency problems.
The provisions of NEPA and the Environmental Quality Improveme
make no specific reference to agency programs and activities for coxplyin
NEPA; but it is clear that the activities of agencies which go to compliani
NEPA, including the preparation of environmental impact statements, an
which "affect, environmental quality." Thus, CEQ has specific statutory f
ity to review, appraise, and make recommendations on the NEPA-Implen
programs and activities of Federal agencies, and, in addition, has status
thority to coordinate the NEPA activities of the Federal agencies.
Subsequent to the passage of the two laws, the President, through Exi
Order 11514 further extended and clarified the authority of CEQ vis
executive agencies by specifying that the CEQ shall, among other function
(f) Coordinate Federal programs related to environmental quality.
(h) Issue guidelines to Federal agencies for the preparation of d
statements on proposals for legislation and other Federal actions affect
environment, as required by section 102(2) (C) of the Act [NEPA].
(i) Issue such other instructions to agencies, and request such repo
other information from them, as may be required to carry out the C
responsibilities under the Act [NEPA].
These authorities clearly establish that the Council on Environmental
has administrative responsibility for overall execution of the National E:
mental.Policy Act by Federal agencies. However, both the statutes a
Executive Order leave a major unanswered question: as a legal matter
weight should be attached to CEQ's actions in the administration of I
As with many NEPA issues, this determination has been left to the cow
B. THE JUDICIAL VIEW OF CEQ AUTHORITY
1. The Force of OEQ Guidelines
Pursuant to these authorities, the Council on Environmental Quali
issued Guidelines to the Federal Agencies for Preparation of Envirox
Impact Statements. (40 CFR Part 1500)1 Agencies in turn issue their ow
lations and procedures. The CEQ Guidelines have been in issue in se,
NEPA court decisions. These cases have involved deficiencies in the pr4
of Federal agencies implementing NEPA, and the courts have generally
2Preliminary Guidelines were issued on April 30, 1970. Formal Guidelines w
published on April 23. 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 7724). The present Guidelines were
gated on August 1, 1973.
vily on the CEQ interpretations of the law in reaching their decisions by
l g to CEQ's position as the agency charged with overall responsibility for
hES process. This section summarizes the principal decisions.
The Ninth Circuit has given the full force of law to the CEQ Guidelines,
generally treating them as the applicable law when interpreting the require-
ts of NEPA and giving them the same force as properly promulgated regu-
ns. See, Robinswood Country Club v. Volpe,- F. 2d [6 ERC 1401]
th Cir. 1974) ; Jicarilla Tribe of Indians v. Morton [3 ERC 1919] (D. Ariz.
), aff'd 471 F. 2d 1275 (9th Cir. 1973) ; Keith v. Volpe, 352 F. Supp. 1324
(C.D. Cal. 1972). Decisions have thus turned upon a reading of the Guidelines
rather than NEPA itself. While the Ninth Circuit decisions do not fully explain
this great deference to CEQ, there is reference to CEQ as the "watchdog orga-
ilzation created by NEPA." Robinswoof Country Club v. Volpe, 8upra.)
While the Ninth Circuit stands alone in giving full regulatory force to the
-Guidelines, several other circuits have specifically recognized that CEQ is the
.agency charged with the administration of NEPA and therefore have given CEQ's
,Guidelines "great weight." Agency guidelines or specific agency actions have been
overturned when not in compliance with CEQ Guidelines. For example, the Fourth
Circuit in the case of Ely v. Velde (451 F.2d 1130, 1135-6, Note 14 [3 ERC 1280]
(4th Cir. 1972)) took the position that the CEQ is the agency created to admin-
ister NEPA and gave the Guidelines overriding weight. Thus, while not giving the
full force of law to the Guidelines, Ely is a strong statement in support of obli-
gatory agency deference to the CEQ Guidelines. Similarly, the Sixth Circuit, in
the case of Environmental Defense Fund v. TVA, 468 F.2d 1164 [4 ERC 1850]
(1913), explicitly stated that CEQ is the agency "charged with implementing and
.administering the NEPA," and that the interpretation of NEPA by the CEQ
(through the Guidelines) is entitled to "great weight."
Other circuits, while denying the Guidelines the force of law or great weight,
have relied upon the Guidelines for guidance and authority to varying degrees.
'The District of Columbia Circuit, since the early days of NEPA implementation,
has utilized the Guidelines as authoritative on issues of NEPA interpretation.
(See e.g., Calvert Cliffs' Coordinating Committee v. AEC, 499 F.2d 1109 (D.C.
eir. 1971)). The only explicit statement of the weight given the Guidelines in
-that circuit comes from the district court opinion of Skelly Wright in SCRAP V.
U.S., 346 F. Supp. 189 [4 ERC 1313] (1972). In this case, Judge Wright states that
the Guidelines lack "force of law" but indicates, citing Greene County, infra, that
the CEQ interpretation must be given serious consideration. The Guidelines in
that case were determinative on the issue of the requirement for an EIS.
The position of the Second Circuit was established in Greene County Planning
Board v. FPC, 455 F.2d 412 (2d Cir. 1972). The court stated that: "Although the
Guidelines are merely advisory and the Council on Environmental Quality has
-no authority to prescribe regulations governing compliance with NEPA, we would
not lightly suggest that the Council, entrusted with the responsibility of devel-
eping and recommending national policies 'to foster and promote the improve-
ment of the environmental quality' * has misconstrued NEPA."
The "merely advisory" language has been quoted by itself as a limitation on
CEQ's authority. Nonetheless this and other Second Circuit cases indicate that in
that Circuit considerable deference will be given to the Council's interpretations
of NEPA. (See, e.g., Hanly v. Kleindienst, 471 F.2d 823 (2d Cir. 1972) ).
The Fifth Circuit has taken the position that the CEQ Guidelines are merely
advisory and that CEQ does not have the authority to prescribe regulations gov-
ierning NEPA compliance. In the case of Hiram Clarke Civic Club v. Lynn, 476
Y.2d 421 (5th Cir. 1973), the court states, "Unlike agency regulations, which have
the force of law, their guidelines [the CEQ's] are merely advisory * *" and
further, "HUD noncompliance with CEQ guidelines raises no legal issue." This
holding, however, is based on Greene County, and the court neglected to quote the
-emainder of the Second Circuit's language, that "we would not lightly suggest
that * [CEQ] * has misconstrued NEPA." Interestingly, in spite of its
protestations in Hiram Clarke the court decision was in most respects consistent
with the CEQ Guidelines.
These seemingly unequivocal statements must be viewed in light of a number
-of Fifth Circuit cases which cite the Guidelines and other CEQ memoranda, giv-
ing them, at times, substantial weight. See, e.g., Sierra Club v. Callaway,
F.2d (5th Cir. 1974). Hence the Fifth Circuit, while strongly denying the
force of law to the Guidelines, gives CEQ a degree of deference which is not ade-
-quately reflected in the oft-quoted language that states that the Guidelines are
need for or the ae of d envi
whic hroueag with Gu e has b.gven great deeeMo
boithring on orffec. Thud s a ee al prpsiin C
also alic are whn s
Specfcal, more tha a doe corto
reliBe o CVQs comments a
of aLn impact sttemet In NtOe e ~ Pf,
Valei Authrt, 36F1. S 18(E. Th e I ), a .
(T Cir. ), the court's decision pivoted on a seerf' c
of CEQ which e the cnet that a pIpc t
able in soestuations to inividual prjet imat stae
on the inaduaey of an enviro nmental impact statment
regardig sig ialnt def e Gi the ras Efo, wer Cetoed the
district courte h e P v. U.., 340 F. Supp. 8i (io Do. I
Circuit has ad at CEQ's viewson the aeq of aen
statement are entitled to "careful consea to."
EnVironm tal Deority Fund v. Arm on, 487. d 3) 4 (
Greene Count Planin Board v.FPGg .4U
(D.C. Cir. 1973), Ford v. Train, 4 's 20177o(W. D. Wion a
In the ase r Spns Dam Thak Forv. (rmile,
moin to vacate denied, U.. p(ju 9, 174), atnts I
as Cirui Justice), reflctdthe line of cases whcdae
au thorias anistvrof the i mpact state es. in
spending appeal, heec dtat "CEQ is the eie on
aiistaeon of that's onal Envrnenta o
Im S"tatement ; andthtageonciesefre to cd t withti
(ctin subsec nss 1 Fn(2) (B) and (H) on 4EPA). J84(1
premrl on the reiwandi araival au ty of section Ge.E
the propston that pQ is "utma rv.Gribre ,le a
and that its deternatl on the lacy of an i a
ga t it In srtor in Dou gla' iew, CEQ ste 1 aroiteI
of an EIS, and that in cour its view sould t oi
a isam agency.o
As a general propo itio, CEQ has statutory addistrat
review, oversight, action d thamg es are to the ri
Federal agency com 1anewt ( nPA. This is te
though this authority does not cnr full reuaoyforc.th
binding on the ageies, its exercisis early denied to 204('
CEQ's (derinfor environmental if ant ttseeiU
Exetie Order 11514 do not have he full iorce final a.rbitr
pursuit to statute. However, they have ben given such signi
th courts in cases intecr t vePA and ulipg on the aoer
redurs that they typicdall areweoigeaiore s toglyhan e
of he other agencies invlnve in the subject proj ts.
toThe ourhs also have iydoe to oer lQ prenounet torc sit
nd issues. ee e.g., ee County Plaring Board v tedeto Pwe
F. 24 412 (24 Cir. 72) Environmental patse sV, ormn o Eis
Exm)v470 F. 2 12894(8th Cir. tth ooking t the CEQ Annual
pr author; a Institute v. However teghi sioi
tDh. cir. 1973) Indian Lookout Alliance v. Volpe, 484 F. 24 1
Citizens ar m ntahe Qugity V. e F. 24 -,, st (8th Ci,
memoranda on parinvcln subjects.
CQhs coes nations to toe or Et roouncee ro sdetei
(M.D. Fla. 197).
alsissun is dSenting Genou n United Btas v. FRAP, 4 U.S
state that C2 is the 1expe)t om bu lan" in the enoent Q a, a
po'si a triy; as Scwenihts n then v g E y Coi
the court did not address tQs rol e rt wepht of its opinion.)
2ilarly, the courts 'have attached great weight to public comments by CEQ
environmental impact statements as they seek to determine the adequacy of
cular statements. Because CEQ's authority in commenting on the need for
tement Is derived from the same statutory authority, It is probable that
comments will receive the same judicial deference. This means that CEQ's
Will be likely to prevail on suh issues when courts a're faced with con-
ig views of CEQ and project agencies.
PART 1500--PREPARATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS: GUIDELINES
1500.1 Purpose and authority.
1500.3 Agency and OMB procedures.
1500.4 Federal agencies included; effect of the act on existing agency mandates.
1500.5 Types of actions covered by the act.
1500.6 Identifying major actions significantly affecting the environment.
1500.7 Preparing draft environmental statements; public hearings.
1500.8 Content of environmental statements.
1500.9 Review of draft environmental statements by Federal, Federal-State,
and local agencies and by the public.
1500.10 Preparation and circulation of final environmental statements.
1500.11 Transmittal of statements to the Council; minimum periods for review;
requests by the Council.
1500.12 Legislative actions.
1500.13 Application of section 102 (2) (C) procedure to existing projects and
1500.14 Supplementary guidelines; evaluation of procedures.
Appendix I Summary to accompany draft and final statements.
Appendix II Areas of environmental impact and Federal agencies and Federal
State agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise to comment thereon.
Appendix III Offices within Federal agencies and Federal-State agencies for
information regarding the agencies' NEPA activities and for receiving other
agencies' impact statements for which comments are requested.
Appendix IV State and local agency review of impact statements.
A1T-ORITY: National Environmental Act (P.L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and
Executive Order 11514.
SOURCE: 38 FR 20550, Aug. 1, 1973, unless otherwise noted.
1500.1 Purpose and authority.
(a) This directive provides guidelines to Federal departments, agencies, and
establishments for preparing detailed environmental statements on proposals
for legislation and other major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality
of the human environment as required by section 102 (2) (C) of the National En-
vironmental Policy Act (P.L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.) (hereafter "the
Act"). Underlying the preparation of such environmental statements is the
mandate of both the Act and Executive Order 11514 (35 FR 4247) of March 1,
1970 (3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 901, that all Federal agencies, to the fullest
extent possible, direct their policies, plans and programs to protect and enhance
environmental quality. Agencies are required to view their actions in a manner
calculated to encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his
environment, to promote efforts preventing or eliminating damage to the en-
vironment and biosphere and stimulating the health and welfare of man, and to
enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources im-
portant to the Nation. The objective of section 102 (2) (C) of the Act and of these
guidelines is to assist agencies in implementing these policies. This requires
agencies to build into their decisionmaking process, beginning at the earliest
possible point, an appropriate and careful consideration of the environmental
aspects of proposed action in order that adverse environmental effects may be
avoided or minimized and environmental quality previously lost may be restored.
This directive also provides guidance to Federal, State, and local agencies and
the public in commenting on statements prepared under these guidelines.
(b) Pursuant to section 204 (3) of the Act the Council on Environmental Qual-
(hereafter "the Council") is assigned the duty and function of reviewing and
raising the programs and activities of the Federal Government, in the light
of the Act's policy, for the purpose of determining the extent to which such pro-
ms and activities are contributing to the achievement of such policy, and to
make recommendations to the President with respect thereto. Section 102 (2) (B)
of the Act directs all Federal agencies to identify and develop methods
cedures, in consultation with the Council, to insure that unquantified
mental values be given appropriate consideration in decisionmaking a]
economic and technical considerations; section 102 (2) (C) of the Act dii
copies of all environmental impact statements be filed with the Coui
section 102 (2) (H) directs all Federal agencies to assist the Council ir
formance of its functions. These provisions have been supplemented i
3 (h) and (i) of Executive Order 11514 by directions that the Council is,
lines to Federal agencies for preparation of environmental impact st
and such other instructions to agencies and requests for reports and i
as may be required to carry out the Council's responsibilities under the
(a) As early as possible and in all cases prior to agency decision c(
recommendations or favorable reports on proposals for (1) legislation sig.
affecting the quality of the human environment (see 1500.5(i) and
(hereafter "legislative actions") and (2) all other major Federal action
cantly affecting the quality of the human environment (hereafter "admii
actions"), Federal agencies will, in consultation with other appropriate
State and local agencies and the public assess in detail the potential
(b) Initial assessments of the environmental impacts of propo&
should be undertaken concurrently 'with initial technical and economic
and, where required, a draft environmental impact statement prep
circulated for comment in time to accompany the proposal through the
agency review processes for such action. In this process, Federal agency
(1) Provide for circulation of draft environmental statements to other
State, and local agencies and for their availability to the public in a
with the provisions of these guidelines; (2) consider the comments of the
and the public; and (3) issue final environmental impact statements ri
to the comments received. The purpose of this assessment and consultant
ess is to provide agencies and other decisionmakers as well as membe
public with an understanding of the potential environmental effects of
actions, to avoid or minimize adverse effects wherever possible, and t
or enhance environmental quality to the fullest extent practicable. In pf
agencies should use the environmental impact statement process to expl!
native actions that will avoid or minimize adverse impacts and to evali
the long- and short-range implications of proposed actions to man, his
and social surroundings, and to nature. Agencies should consider the r
their environmental assessments along with their assessments of the net E
technical and other benefits of proposed actions and use all practical
consistent with other essential considerations of national policy, to re
vironmental quality as well as to avoid or minimize undesirable consequ
1500.3 Agency and OMB procedures.
(a) Pursuant to section 2(f) of Executive Order 11514, the heads of
agencies have been directed to proceed with measures required by se
(2) (C) of the Act. Previous guidelines of the Council directed each a
establish its own formal procedures for (1) identifying those agency
requiring environmental statements, the appropriate time prior to dec
the consultations required by section 102(2) (C) and the agency revieW
for which environmental statements are to be available, (2) obtaining
tion required in their preparation, (3) designating the officials who a
responsible for the statements, (4) consulting with and taking accouD
comments of appropriate Federal, State and local agencies and the public
ing obtaining'the comment of the Administrator of the Environmental
tion Agency when required under section 309 of the Clean Air Act, as -a
and (5) meeting the requirements of section 2(b) of Executive, Ord
for providing timely public information on Federal plans and program:
environmental impact. Each agency, including both departmental and su
mental components having such procedures, shall review its procedures m
revise them, in consultation with the Council, as may be necessary in
respond to requirements imposed by these revised guidelines as well as
previous directives. After such consultation, proposed revisions of suib
procedures shall be published in the Federal Register no later than Oct
1973. A minimum 45-day period for public comment shall be provided, I
by publication of final procedures no later than forty-five (45) days a
iclusion of the comment period. Each agency shall submit seven (7) copies
all such procedures to the Council. Any future revision of such agency pro-
. shall similarly be proposed and adopted only after prior consultation
h the Council and, in the case of substantial revision, opportunity for public
mn t. All revisions shall be published in the Federal Register.
'b) Each Federal agency should consult, with the assistance of the Council
I the Office of Management and Budget if desired, with other appropriate
leral agencies in the development and revision of the above procedures so
to achieve consistency in dealing with similar activities and to assure effective
rdination among agencies in their review of proposed activities. Where
il cable, State and local review of such agency procedures should be con-
ted pursuant to procedures established by Office of Management and Budget
,cular No. A-85.
(c) Existing mechanisms for obtaining the views of Federal, State, and local
,neles on proposed Federal actions should be utilized to the maximum extent
ictlcable in dealing with environmental matters. The Office of Management
I Budget will issue instructions, as necessary, to take full advantage of such
W0.4 Federal agencies included; effect of the Act on existing agency man-.
a) Section 102(2) (C) of the act applies to all agencies of the Federal Gov-
ment. Section 102 of the act provides that "to the fullest extent possible:
) The policies, regulations, and public laws of the United States shall be inter-
Ited and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this Act,"
I section 105 of the act provides that "the policies and goals set forth in this
are supplementary to those set forth in existing authorizations of Federal
mcies." This means that each agency shall interpret the provisions of the act
a suppement to its existing authority and as a mandate to view traditional
icies and missions in the light of the act's national environmental objectives-
accordance with this purpose, agencies should continue to review their poli-
s, procedures, and regulations and to revise them as necessary to ensure full
alliance with the purposes and provisions of the act. The phrase "to the
lest extent possible" in section 102 is meant to make clear that each agency
the Federal Government shall comply with that section unless existing law
liable to the agency's operations expressly prohibits or makes compliance
;00.5 Types of actions covered by the Act.
a) "Actions" include but are not limited to:
J) Recommendations or favorable reports relating to legislation including
[nests for appropriations. The requirement for following the section 102(2) (C)
cedure as elaborated in these guidelines applies to both (i) agency recom-
ndations on their own proposals for legislation (see 1500.12); and (ii>
ncy reports on legislation initiated elsewhere. In the latter case only the
mcy which has primary responsibility for the subject matter involved will pre-
te an environmental statement.
'2) New and continuing projects and program activities: directly undertaken
Federal agencies; or supported in whole or in part through Federal con-
ets, grants, subsidies, loans, or other forms of funding assistance (except
ere such assistance is solely in the form of general revenue sharing funds,
tributed under the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972, 31 U.S.C.
,q et. seq. with no Federal agency control over the subsequent use of such
is); or' involving a Federal lease, permit, license certificate or other entitle-
ut for use.
'3) The making, modification, or establishment of regulations, rules, pro-
lures, and policy.
;00.6 Identifying major actions significantly affecting the environment.
') The statutory clause "major Federal actions significantly affecting the
ality of the human environment" is to be construed by agencies with a view to
overall, cumulative impact of the action proposed, related Federal actions
1 Projects in the area, and further actions contemplated. Such actions may be
aed in their impact, but if there is potential that the environment may be
nificantly affected, the statement is to be prepared. Proposed major actions,
Snvironmental impact of which is likely to be highly controversial, should
vred in all cases. In considering what constitutes major action signifi-
cantly affecting the environment, agencies sh beari
of many Federal decisions about a project or complex of pr
dividually limited but cumulatively co sidre This
more agencies over a period of years puts into a project ind
collectively major resources, when one decision involving a
money is a precedent for action in much larger cases or repre
principle about a future major course of action, or w
agencies individually make decisions about partial aets o4
In all such cases, an environmental statement should be
sonable to anticipate a cumulatively significant impact on tI
from Federal action. The Council, on the basis of a written ae
pacts involved, is available to assist agencies in determining
actions require impact statements.
(b) Section 101 (b) of the act indicates the broad ra
environment to be surveyed in any assessment of signifi
indicates that adverse significant effects include those that
of the environment, curtail the range of beneficial uses of th
and serve short-term, to the disadvantage of long-term env#
Significant effects can also include actions which may have
and detrimental effects, even if on balance the agency believe
will be beneficial. Significant effects also include secondary effec
more fully, for example, in 1500.8 (a) (iii) (B). The significance,
action may also vary with the setting, with the result that an'i
have little impact in an urban area may be significant in a rral
versa. While a precise definition of environmental significancei
contexts, is not possible, effects to be considered in assessing
elude, but are not limited to, those outlined in Appendix II of t
(c) Each of the provisions of the act, except section 102 (2)-(C
Federal agency actions. Section 102(2) (C.) requires the preparati
environmental impact statement in the case of "major Fed
cantly affecting the quality of the human environment." T i
major actions significantly affecting the environment is the re i
Federal agency, to be carried out against the background of its ow
rations. The action must be a (1) "major" action, (2)
action," (3) which has a "significant" effect, and (4) which iv
of the human environment." The words "major" and "sign ti
to imply thresholds of importance and impact that must be met
ment is required. The action causing the impact must also be c
is sufficient Federal control and responsibility to constitute "Fe
contrast to cases where such Federal control and responsibility
as, for example, when Federal funds are distributed in the f
nue sharing to be used by State and local governments (see 15
the action must be one that significantly affects the quality f t
ronment either by directly affecting human beings or by indi
human beings through adverse effects on the environment. Eact
review the typical classes of actions that it undertakes and, in co
the Council. should develop specific criteria and methods for i
actions likely to require environmental statements and th
to require environmental statements. Normally this will involve:
(i) Making an initial assessment of the environmental
associated with principal types of agency action.
(ii) Identifying on the basis of this assessment, types of acti
mally do, and types of actions which normally do not, require
(iii) With respect to remaining actions that may require sat
ing on the circumstances, and those actions determined under the
graph (C) (4) (ii) of this section as likely to require statements, i4
what basic information needs to be gathered; (b) how and whei
tion is to be assembled, and analyzed; and (c) on what bases
assessments and decisions to prepare impact statements will be
may either include this substantive guidance in the procedures i
to 1500.3 (a) of these guideline, or issue such guidance as sn
tions to aid relevant agency person 1 in implementing the im
process. Pursuant to 1500.14 of these guidelines, agencies
Council by June 30, 1974, on the progress made in devl ng si
(d) (1) Agencie give careful attention to identofyin
the purpose an1d scope of the action which wud most appropi