|2.12 Overview of the NEPA Process Administrative Record|
|The Analysis Process | Purpose and Need for Action | Defining the Proposal | Connected, Cumulative, and Similar Actions | NEPA Issues | Internal Scoping | Alternatives | Affected Environment | Impacts | Determining the Appropriate NEPA Pathway | Using Contractors | The Administrative Record | Working with Other Agencies | Emergency Actions|
The administrative record or project file is a critical part of the decision-making process, because Freedom of Information Act requests and/or litigation will require an organized and complete record for response. All cited documents in the text, as well as complete references that have been summarized or incorporated by reference in the EIS or the EA, need to be reasonably available for public inspection if NPS receives such a request. Litigation may focus almost entirely on the contents of the record.
At a minimum, items that should be kept in the record include notes of IDT meetings where key decisions about the content of the document, issues to be examined in detail, alternatives, and so forth were made; notes, public comment letters, minutes of meetings, phone calls, e-mail, and documentation of public involvement efforts; copies of EAs or EISs that were circulated within NPS, or to other agencies or entities outside NPS, for review or comment; and drafts of sections written that were later used to create an EA or an EIS. Issues identified by the IDT team or individual members should be included with follow-up documentation on how the issue was resolved.