DATE: May 6, 2015
ADMINISTRATIVE EDIT: September 19, 2023
SUBJECT: Department of the Treasury National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Program
- PURPOSE. This Directive establishes policy, and assigns responsibilities for implementing the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) found at 40 CFR parts 1500-1508.
- SCOPE. This Directive applies to the Departmental Offices and all Bureaus and Inspector General offices within the Department of the Treasury (collectively referred to as “bureaus”). The provisions of this Directive shall not be construed to interfere with or impede the authorities or independence of the Department’s Inspectors General. Nor shall they be interpreted to govern environmental considerations related to awards under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund programs as its NEPA program is regulated under 12 CFR part 1815, “Environmental Quality.”
- The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) will consider environmental quality as equal with economic, social, and other relevant factors in program development and decision-making processes. Additionally, Treasury will fully evaluate its actions to ensure compliance with the requirements of NEPA and the CEQ regulations, where applicable.
- In assessing the potential environmental impacts of its actions, Treasury will consult early with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies and other organizations to provide decision-makers with the technical and other aspects of environmental planning.
- When adverse environmental impacts are identified, either direct or indirect, an examination will be made of alternative courses of action, including their potential environmental impacts. The objective of the environmental review will be to develop a feasible alternative with the least adverse environmental impact. The alternative of not proceeding with the proposal will also be considered.
- The Assistant Secretary for Management (ASM) has the authority to integrate fully all applicable environmental laws and regulations into Treasury’s missions and activities.
- The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Treasury Operations, supported by the Treasury Departmental Offices (DO) Environmental Management Office (EMO), shall:
- 1) seek to ensure that all actions taken by Treasury, with respect to the fulfillment of NEPA and the CEQ regulations, are duly coordinated with appropriate federal, state, and local entities;
- 2) provide guidance on environmental policy and requirements;
- 3) assist in reviewing and assessing the environmental impact of proposed Treasury actions;
- 4) provide guidance in the consideration, application, preparation, scoping, processing, and distribution of categorical exclusions (CEs), environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs);
- 5) receive for clearance action all CEs, EAs, and EISs, draft and final, originating in Treasury;
- 6) receive all CEs, EAs, and EISs submitted by other agencies that address Treasury actions and coordinate the appropriate review and reply;
- 7) perform such other functions as are specified in this directive or are appropriate under the CEQ regulations or other instructions or recommendations of agencies charged with carrying out the duties of the statutes listed in Section 8; and
- 8) ensure that EAs, EISs and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs) prepared under Treasury’s jurisdiction are accessible to the public from the respective bureau’s website for five years from the date of issuance.
- Heads of Bureaus shall:
- 1) prepare, and circulate within Treasury for the consideration of others, EAs and EISs when an action or policy area in question falls under their jurisdiction;
- 2) issue any supplementary procedures consistent with this Directive for the implementation of NEPA which the bureaus deem necessary. Procedures shall be addressed in accordance with the CEQ regulations (Section 1507.3) and this Directive and shall be submitted to the ASM through the OGC for coordination, review and concurrence;
- 3) ensure that communications with CEQ, and other government agencies or individuals on matters concerning Treasury compliance with NEPA and the relevant CEQ regulations are signed by, or coordinated with, the ASM through the OGC. Examples of such communications are letters transmitting CEs, EAs, and EISs, reports, and all Departmental contacts relevant to Treasury compliance with NEPA and the CEQ regulations. Unless special circumstances indicate that a different officer should act, communications announcing decisions to prepare EAs or EISs, requesting comments on draft statements, or transmitting final statements for the information of agencies, shall also be signed by the ASM and, in the case of a non-Treasury entity, shall be addressed to its ASM or equivalent official;
- 4) ensure that mitigation measures that have been identified in decision documents (e.g., Records of Decision (RODs)) are carried out. Bureaus shall institute procedures in coordination with their environmental program manager to ensure that the mitigation measures are carried out (Sections 1505.2(c) and 1505.3, CEQ regulations, and CEQ Guidance: Appropriate Use of Mitigation and Monitoring and Appropriate Use of Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact, issued January 14, 2011). Further, the mitigation must be monitored to assure that it is having the intended environmental benefits;
- 5) provide for early involvement in all actions which require some form of federal approval as required by Sections 1501.2(d), and 1500.5 (a, f) of the CEQ regulations;
- 6) ensure public involvement in the NEPA process pursuant to Section 1506.6 of the CEQ regulations. Communicate timely and provide electronic documents related to public involvement with the ASM through the Treasury Departmental Offices Environmental Management Office (EMO) located in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Treasury Operations.
- 7) prepare legislative EISs. Bureaus with primary responsibility for legislative proposals originating in Treasury, which will significantly affect the quality of the human environment, shall be responsible for preparing legislative EISs. Close coordination shall be maintained between the ASM through the EMO and bureaus concerning the legislative proposals;
- 8) designate a NEPA Point-of-Contact and alternate in their Bureau to coordinate with the EMO;
- 9) perform such other functions as specified in this Directive; and
- 10) be responsive to requests from the CEQ and other relevant agencies for reports or other information in connection with the implementation of NEPA, and for the preparation and circulation of EISs as required by Section 1506.9 of the CEQ regulations.
- The Bureau NEPA Points-of-Contact shall collaborate with the EMO to:
- 1) identify actions within their organization requiring an EA or EIS;
- 2) ensure that each required assessment or statement is prepared in a timely manner and with the prescribed content by appropriate staff;
- 3) ensure compliance with the requirements of NEPA, the CEQ regulations, and this Directive by coordinating the review of such statements and assessments, and by maintaining compliance with all applicable scheduling, scoping, consultation, circulation, public hearing, and publication requirements;
- 4) maintain effective communication and consultation with the OGC and inform key officials of current developments in environmental policy and programs;
- 5) ensure that the assessment of the environmental impact of actions concerning various areas of Treasury policy and operations, and the preparation of EAs and EISs relating thereto, shall be coordinated with the CEQ;
- 6) ensure that all NEPA documents releasable to the public are provided to the OGC for review prior to posting on the Department’s public website; and
- 7) participate in and/or monitor the General Services Administration’s (GSA) NEPA activities involving Treasury facilities.
- The EMO shall receive all EAs and EISs submitted by other agencies for comment and coordinate the appropriate review and reply. If any bureau receives a request for comment directly from another agency, the request, together with the respective documents, shall be referred to the EMO for appropriate action. Department of the Treasury comments should be confined to matters within the jurisdiction or expertise of Treasury. However, comments need not be limited to environmental aspects, but may relate to fiscal, economic, and non-governmental matters of concern to the Department.
- IMPLEMENTATION. Guidance and procedures on implementing this Directive are found in Treasury Directive Publication (TD P) 75-02.
- National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.
- Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970, as amended 42 U.S.C. 4371-4374
- National Environmental Policy Act Regulations, Council on Environmental Quality, 40 CFR parts 1500-1508
- Executive Orders relevant to NEPA Analysis: https://ceq.doe.gov/laws-regulations/executive_orders.html
- CEQ NEPA Guidance on Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) and Climate Change: https://ceq.doe.gov/guidance/ceq_guidance_nepa-ghg.html
- CEQ NEPA Laws, Regulations, and Guidance: https://ceq.doe.gov/laws-regulations/regulations.html
- Council on Environmental Quality, Aligning NEPA Processes with Environmental Management Systems - A Guide for NEPA and EMS Practitioners, dated April 2007, http://ceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/NEPA_EMS_Guide_final_Apr2007.pdf
- Treasury Directive 75-09, Environmental, Energy, and Sustainability Management, dated February 5, 2020.
- CANCELLATION. Treasury Directive 75-02, "Department of the Treasury Environmental Quality Program," dated September 25, 1990, is superseded.
- EMERGENCIES. In the event of emergencies which may require a bureau to take an action with significant environmental impacts without complying with this Directive or the CEQ regulations, the CEQ should be consulted, through the EMO, about alternative arrangements (Section 1506.11, CEQ regulations).
- OFFICES OF PRIMARY INTEREST. The Departmental Offices (DO) Environmental Management Office (EMO), Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Treasury Operations, Office of Assistant Secretary for Management.
Assistant Secretary for Management