NPS Director's Order 12: Conservation Planning, Environmental Impact Analysis and Decision Making
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Congaree Swamp National Monument, SC4.4 Environmental Impact Statements — Actions that Normally Require an EIS

You must prepare an EIS for the following proposals:

Alagnak Wild River, AKA. Wild and Scenic Rivers proposals when any of the following conditions are met:

  1. Congress has authorized a study of a river segment for inclusion in the system (under section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act) and one of the alternatives being considered is either of the following:
    (a) direct federal management as a component of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    (b) management by state and/or local government, in line with an active federal water resource development proposal, permit, license, or grant pending before a federal agency which, if constructed, would render some or all of the study segment ineligible for the national system.
  2. The Secretary has designated a river segment (under section 2(a) (ii)) as part of an active water resource development proposal that, if constructed, would render some or all of the proposed segment ineligible for the national system.

In no case will an EIS be required for a river that has been determined ineligible for designation because it is not free-flowing or because it has no outstandingly remarkable values.

B. Proposals for legislative action to make additions to the National Trails system if the proposed trail meets eligibility criteria, even if the trail is not ultimately recommended for designation by the Secretary.

C. Special resource studies when the following conditions are met:

  1. The resource being studied meets the criteria for inclusion in the National Park System (i.e., it is nationally significant and is deemed feasible and suitable for inclusion in the system).
  2. One of the alternatives being considered is designation as a National Park System unit, even if that is ultimately not the recommendation of the Secretary.

D. A GMP or its equivalent. GMPs may need to be amended for various reasons. Amendments should follow the same procedures in determining the appropriate NEPA pathway on a case-by-case basis.

E. Wilderness proposals.

F. Grants, including multi-year grants, whose size or scope will result in major natural or physical changes, including interrelated social and economic changes and residential and land use changes within the project area or its immediate environs.

G. Parkwide oil and gas management plans.

In addition to the specific conditions listed, you must always prepare an EIS for any proposed action that has the potential for significant impacts to the human environment. In rare circumstances, the Environmental Quality Division, through the Associate Director for Natural Resources Stewardship and Science, may grant an exception to the requirement that EISs be prepared for some of the actions named above, on a case-by-case basis when it is clear that site-specific data indicate that the potential for significant impact does not exist. This determination may only be made after public scoping, initial development of alternatives, and impact analysis. In addition, the FONSI on such a document must be made available for public review for 30 days before the agency's final determination whether to prepare an EIS (Q37b).

  Always prepare an EIS for any NPS proposed action that has the potential for significant impacts to the human environment.  

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