NEPA Implementing Procedures for Department of Veterans Affairs

Guidance Document | Policy Development | Training

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It is important for project managers and decision‐makers to have a clear understanding of NEPA requirements for evaluating environmental information while planning and implementing projects.  By integrating environmental analysis into the project planning and decision‐making process, project managers and decision‐makers can make more informed decisions and better avoid unforeseen.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assists America’s veterans and their familiar through its health care and benefits programs, such as through administration of nursing homes and medical centers, for the approximate 70 million eligible veterans and family members.

TCG was awarded a contract to assist the Department of Veterans Affairs in a major revision to its NEPA regulations and provide a NEPA guidance handbook.  VA first established the Agency’s NEPA regulations (51 FR 37182) in 1986, and amended its regulation in 1989.  Since then, the Agency has grown and matured in its structure, strategy, and mission.  In addition, new CEQ guidance documents and Executive Orders have added to the scope of environmental analyses for VA actions. VA also recognizes the need to support environmental justice, which is intrinsic to its mission.  In order for VA to effectively meet mission requirements, it must have regulations and guidance documents reflecting the current environment policies and thought on environmental planning. 

The objectives for the new NEPA regulations are to provide greater detail than the previous regulations, address common NEPA issues for VA, improve NEPA implementation, and maintain flexibility in the NEPA process.  For a thorough scoping process, TCG has incorporated considerations for water quality, migratory birds, hazardous substances, and other relevant permitting requirements.  Also, TCG is integrating various environmental requirements into the VA NEPA process to streamline the review process for VA projects; these requirements include EO 11988 and 11990 for floodplains and wetlands, Clean Water Act Section 404, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and other Executive Orders covering climate change, environmental justice, renewable energy, and transportation.