||The Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ’s) regulations in the Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR), Title 40, Part 1500 (40 CFR 1500) implement Section 102(2) of the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA). In doing so, the CEQ’s
regulations tell federal agencies what they must do to comply with the procedures
and achieve the goals of NEPA. The CEQ’s regulations at 40 CFR 1502.4(b) and (c) allow
federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements (EISs) on “broad actions”
in which federal proposals can be evaluated geographically, generically, or by stage
of technological development.
Federal agencies have prepared broad action EISs and programmatic Environmental Assessments
(EAs), when appropriate, to help in complying with NEPA. For their part, State agencies
also have prepared these types of broad action documents to meet the relevant environmental
regulations of the State.
The purpose of this capstone paper is to provide a focused survey of programmatic
EISs (or PEISs), generic EISs (or GEISs), and programmatic Environmental Assessments,
that have been prepared by Federal and State agencies. This paper will further discuss
the role and use of these “broad action” environmental documents in aiding the preparing
agency’s decision-making process while meeting that agency’s regulatory mandate.