EPA Review Process under Section 309 of the Clean Air Act
EPA reviews all draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) prepared by other federal agencies, as well as other certain federal actions, as required by Section 309 of the Clean Air Act. Section 309 also requires that EPA make these reviews public, and EPA does this by posting EPA comment letters on EISs in the EIS database.
EPA's reviews on draft EISs are primarily concerned with identifying and recommending appropriate measures to avoid and mitigate significant environmental impacts associated with the proposal. EPA also evaluates the adequacy of the information presented in the EIS.
EPA also conducts reviews of final EISs to ensure that the lead agency has taken EPA's comments into account. If the project remains environmentally unsatisfactory, EPA may refer the matter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Learn more about CEQ's referral process (PDF) (4 pp, 40 K, About PDF).
EPA has prepared a detailed manual that explains the policies and procedures for carrying out its review responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 309 of the Clean Air Act.
- Read more about EPA's Policy and Procedures for 309 Reviews.
Discontinuation of the EPA Rating System Criteria
EPA no longer assigns ratings to draft EISs in its comment letters. EPA discontinued the use of its rating system on October 22, 2018.