Expanded Climate-change Assessment in Federal Agency Environmental Reviews is Part of Proposed Guidance Issued by Council on Environmental Quality on Dec. 18, 2014; Public Comment through February 23, 2015

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (COE) issued its “Revised Draft Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Impacts.”

The proposal, published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2014, and open for public comment through February 23, 2015, would broaden the recommended approach for assessing potential climate-change impacts when federal agencies conduct or review Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) or Environmental Assessments (EA) under the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The 2015 proposal also would apply the NEPA climate-change assessment to all proposed federal agency actions, including land use and management actions; this would expand the applicability of a 2010 guidance that the new proposal would replace.

One example of the proposed guidance’s potential broader agency applicability is that it could require a more comprehensive climate-impact analysis of projects considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, such as natural-gas pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping terminals.

The draft guidance document and more information are available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/nepa/ghg-guidance, as of 1/28/15.

Additional source: White House NEPA guidance could trigger change at FERC, Greenwire, 12/19/14.

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