Effective Date: August 01, 2012
Expiration Date: August 01, 2023
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Administrative Record. A record of all documents (hard copies, electronic files, briefing charts, files, photographs, or other documents and records) relied upon in preparing a NEPA document. The administrative record documents NASA's consideration of all relevant and reasonable factors and should include evidence of diverging opinions and criticisms of the proposed action or its reasonable alternatives.
Abroad. Outside the United States and its territories or in the global commons outside the jurisdiction of any nation (e.g., international waters or Antarctica).
Categorical Exclusion (CatEx). A category of actions listed in NASA NEPA regulations (14 C.F.R. subpart 1216.304(d)) that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and do not require preparation of an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.
Center NEPA Manager. The individual designated by the Center Director (per Section 1.2.6) to oversee NEPA compliance for the Center and/or Component Facility, including Wallops Flight Facility, Michoud Assembly Facility, and White Sands Test Facility.
Draft EIS. A preliminary draft that is circulated to internal stakeholders and any cooperating Agencies for review and used to develop the draft that is published for review by regulators and the general public. Emergency Circumstance. A catastrophic event beyond the Agency's control. "Emergency" does not include activities or actions that a Center or Component Facility wants to accomplish more quickly.
Environmental Assessment (EA). A report that estimates and evaluates potential short-term and long-term effects on the environment of a proposed program or project. The document is used to determine if a Finding of No Significant Impact can be issued or if preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is required.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A report addressing the potential effects on the environment of a proposed program or project in accordance with §102(2) (C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and NASA NEPA regulations found at 14 C.F.R. subpart 1216.3. An EIS is prepared when significant environmental effects are anticipated or there is public controversy to the proposed program or project expected. Draft EISs are reviewed and scored by the Environmental Protection Agency and made available for public review and comment in the Federal Register.
Environmental Resource Document (ERD). A succinct baseline description of all environmental aspects of the operations of a facility at the time of the ERD's preparation. The ERD forms a baseline environment description against which the effects of subsequent proposed actions may be judged to determine significance. Exempt Action. A proposed action exempt by law from NEPA requirements (e.g., judicial or administrative enforcement actions or Federal statute expressly excluding NEPA applicability).
Final EIS. The final version of the NEPA document that leads to the issuance of a Record of Environmental Decision (ROD) by the Responsible Official.
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). A decision document that describes why a proposed action will not have a significant impact on the environment. This decision may be made after agreeing to mitigate potential environmental impacts. Memorandum for the Record. Memorandum developed by the NASA NEPA Manager or CNM to document compliance with Executive Order 12114 (template and examples are in the NEPA Desk Guide).
NASA Environmental Tracking System (NETS). A set of relational databases that houses environmental data across the Agency. The NETS NEPA module is the Agency's repository of NEPA documents.
NASA NEPA Manager. The NASA civil servant within the Environmental Management Division, Headquarters, assigned the responsibility to manage the Agency NEPA Program and supporting NEPA actions.
NEPA document. Any of the following: CatEx, REC, EA, FONSI, NOI, NOA, DEIS, EIS, and ROD.
Notice of Availability (NOA). A document that alerts the public to the availability of a NEPA document for review by newspaper announcements or notice in the Federal Register.
Notice of Intent (NOI). A document that notifies the public that NASA plans to prepare an EIS for a proposed action.
Proposed Action. Proposed new programs or projects entirely or partly financed, assisted, conducted, regulated, or approved by NASA for which NEPA documentation is required prior to implementation of the program or project.
Public Involvement Plan (PIP). A formal or informal written document that identifies cooperating agencies, if any, organizations, and other interested parties that may be invited to participate in NASA's NEPA process. This plan will also document whether or not public hearings are planned, including the number, location, and timing.
Public Scoping. An early and open process for determining the array of alternatives to be addressed in an EIS and for identifying significant issues. The public scoping process is required for EISs as defined in CEQ Regulations (40 C.F.R. subpart 1501.7) yet some scoping efforts may be appropriate for an EA.
Record of Decision (ROD). A document that states the decision reached by the appropriate decision maker and that describes the environmental impacts, alternatives, preferred alternative, mitigation measures, if any, and other factors that were considered.
Record of Environmental Consideration (REC). A brief document that is used to describe a proposed action and explain why further environmental analysis is not required. This document is mainly used to confirm that use of a CatEx is appropriate.
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This document does not bind the public, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract. This document is uncontrolled when printed. Check the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library to verify that this is the correct version before use: https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov.