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Submitting Environmental Impact Statements

e-NEPA Electronic Filing of EIS

As of October 1, 2012 EPA no longer accepts paper copies or compact discs (CDs) of EISs for filing purposes. e-NEPA meets EPA's requirements for EIS filing. All submissions must be made through e-NEPA.

Use of e-NEPA for electronic filing of EISs does not change any of the requirements for distribution of EISs to other federal agencies for review, including EPA Regional Offices, or the general public. EPA Regional Offices generally prefer at least one paper copy of EISs - please contact the EPA Regional Office for more information.

Telephone inquiries pertaining to EIS Filing can be made to Dawn Roberts (202) 564-7146.

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Filing an EIS--Draft, Final and Supplemental

Federal agencies are required to prepare Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) in accordance with Section 1502 of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing The Provisions Of The National Environmental Policy Act. Federal agencies are also required to file EISs with EPA as specified in 1506.9 of the CEQ Regulations. The EISs must be filed no earlier than they are transmitted to commenting agencies and made available to the public. This will assure that the EIS is received by all interested parties by the time the EPA Notice of Availability appears in the Federal Register, and therefore allows for the full minimum review periods prescribed in 1506.10.

EPA amended the EIS Filing System Guidelines (PDF) (3 pp, 202K About PDF) on August 24, 2012. Federal agencies file an EIS by submitting the document with e-NEPA, including appendices. In addition to the EIS filed with EPA Headquarters, agencies should provide a paper copy of the EIS directly to the appropriate EPA Regional Office(s) for review and comment. Material which is incorporated into the EIS by reference is not required to be filed with EPA.

Once received by EPA, each EIS is given an official filing date and checked for completeness and compliance with 1502.10 of the CEQ Regulations. If the EIS is not “complete” (i.e., if the documents do not contain those elements outlined in 1502.10 of the CEQ Regulations), EPA will contact the lead agency to obtain the omitted information or to resolve any problems prior to publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.

Agencies often publish (either in their EISs or individual notices to the public) a date by which all comments on an EIS are to be received. Agencies should ensure that the date they use is based on the date of publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. If the published date gives reviewers less than the minimum review time computed by EPA, then EPA will send the agency contact a letter explaining how the review period is calculated and the correct date by which comments are due back to the lead agency. This letter also encourages agencies to notify all reviewers and interested parties of the corrected review periods.

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Notice in the Federal Register

EPA will prepare a weekly report of all EISs filed during the preceding week for publication each Friday under a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. At the time EPA sends its weekly report for publication in the Federal Register, the report will also be sent to the CEQ. Information included in the report for each EIS is the same as the data entered in EPA's computerized data file. This includes an EIS Accession number (created by EPA), EIS status (draft, final, supplemental), date filed with EPA, the agency or bureau that filed the EIS, the state and county of the action that prompted the EIS, the title of the EIS, the date comments are due and the agency contact.

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Time Periods

The minimum time periods set forth 1506.10 (b),(c), and (d) are calculated from the date EPA publishes the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Review periods for draft EISs, draft supplements, and revised draft EISs shall extend 45 calendar days unless the lead agency extends the prescribed period or a reduction of the period has been granted. The review periods for final EISs and final supplements shall extend for 30 calendar days unless the lead agency extends the period or a reduction or extension in the period has been granted. If a calculated time period would end on a non-working day, the assigned time period will be the next working day (i.e., time periods will not end on weekends or Federal holidays).

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