New Guidance Issued: Integrating the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

On March 6, 2013, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) jointly released a Handbook addressing integration of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in order to achieve more efficient reviews under NEPA. Businesses needing federal permits will have new options for completing the required federal reviews.

The NEPA and Section 106 review processes are often costly for the project proponent, time consuming, duplicative, and fail to result in an administrative record capable of withstanding litigation challenging federal permits for private projects. The Handbook provides project proponents with a starting point for developing a tailored strategy to navigate, manage, and streamline the NEPA and Section 106 review processes. This Environmental Alert summarizes some of the key concepts conveyed in the Handbook, which are often at fault when a review process goes off the tracks.

Applicants for federal permits bear the cost and the time required for preparation and evaluation of studies needed to comply with NEPA and the NHPA. This burden can be managed with good strategies that integrate the multiple federal permitting requirements. Venable works with clients to develop and implement such strategies. The new Handbook will provide additional tools to make compliance with federal law less burdensome.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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