A Case Study of the Direction of a Federal Action Affecting the NEPA Assessment



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Major Federal actions require National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessments of the environmental impacts as documented in an environmental impact statement (EIS). New electrical generation units typically need one or more Federal approvals (i.e., permits or licenses) for various reasons. Federal approval may be necessary in order to satisfy a particular Federal environmental law (e.g., Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, etc.), grant access to a proposed site, approve the proposed power plant design or technology, combinations of the above, or other reasons. This is true for new coal technologies, namely “Clean Coal” and advanced nuclear reactors, both designed to generate baseload electricity. This paper will examine two cases with a recent final EIS for a new generation of coal and nuclear power plants. The coal case will be the proposed FutureGen 2.0 Project (FutureGen), a clean-coal power plant, where the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to fund the final design, construction, and initial operation of the project to implement the 2003 FutureGen Initiative (DOE/EIS-0460). The nuclear power plant case will be the proposed William States Lee III (Lee) nuclear station combined license (COL) with the purpose of providing additional baseload electrical generating capacity as evaluated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NUREG-2111). This paper will examine the similarities and the differences between the two final EISs to assess how they were influenced in part by the nature of the Federal action and by the nature of the technology







Palmrose, Donald E. (2015). A Case Study of the Direction of a Federal Action Affecting the NEPA Assessment. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9560.

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