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Environmental Laws, Regulations and Other Reference Materials




Environmental planning and policy analysis are integral components of BPA's project review process. BPA's environmental specialists work diligently to ensure that environmental benefits and consequences of our actions are assessed, publicly disclosed, and considered in the decision-making process. BPA's environmental reviews ensure that project activities and policies are legally defensible, feasible, and scientifically sound.

Environmental Laws and Regulations: When evaluating transmission, power, and fish and wildlife projects, or identifying policy decisions with potential environmental impacts, BPA works closely with federal, tribal, state and local agencies, and the public to comply with all environmental laws and regulations. These include, but are not limited to:
  • The Clean Air Act of 1963;
  • The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA);
  • The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA);
  • The Clean Water Act 1972 (CWA);
  • The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA); and
  • The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976.

National Environmental Policy Act: A significant element of BPA's environmental planning and review process focuses on compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Act requires federal agencies consider and disclose the environmental impacts of their activities as part of the agency's decision-making process. BPA follows Department of Energy regulations for implementation of NEPA. Two critical components of the NEPA process are sound scientific analysis and involving the public during environmental review. BPA incorporates any required ESA, NHPA, CWA, and other consultations into the NEPA process for proposed actions. BPA conducts public involvement for NEPA through its Public Involvement website, through announcements in the BPA Journal and other media, direct mail notifications and public meetings. BPA documents NEPA analyses and public involvement by completing:
  • CXs (categorical exclusions);
  • EISs (environmental impact statements),
  • EAs (environmental analyses); and/or
  • SAs (supplemental analyses to BPA's EISs or EAs)

As required under our Environmental Management System, BPA audits construction of projects to ensure environmental protection measures are implemented. Additional monitoring takes place following construction to investigate the effectiveness of protection and mitigation measures and adapt our program based upon findings. For additional information about how BPA uses NEPA in environmental planning and review, please click here.

In order to fulfill BPA's NEPA responsibility to analayze impacts, it is determined if the activities and impacts of projects have already been assessed in one of the program EISs. If the activies ad impacts are adequately addressed, BPA then completes a Supplement Analysis (SA) under the existing program EIS while taking into consideration the localized, site-specific impacts of the proposed activities. The Supplement Analysis process is identified in the DOE NEPA regulations here.




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Reference Materials:

Tools and
Geographic Data:


External NEPA References:
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 Page last reviewed on 1/26/2005 2:45:26 PM