The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS or Agency) published an Interim Final Rule on June 25, 2008, amending its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance regulations by clarifying the appropriate use of a program environmental assessment (EA) and by aligning its NEPA public involvement process with that of the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations that implement NEPA. Both changes would better align the Agency regulations with the CEQ NEPA regulations and provide for the efficient and timely environmental review of NRCS actions, particularly those actions where Congress has directed NRCS action within short time periods of 60-90 days. The Council on Environmental Quality, in accordance with their regulations, reviewed and approved the proposed changes on June 11, 2008. The comment period on the interim final rule closed on July 25, 2008. No comments were received on the interim final rule. Accordingly, NRCS is issuing this final rule to indicate that no comments were received and to announce that the interim rule is final without change.
Agency Contact: Matt Harrington, National Environmental Coordinator, Ecological Sciences Division, NRCS, P.O. Box 2890, Room 6158-S, Washington, DC 20013; telephone (202) 720-4925; submit e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Compliance with NEPA comments.
This rule is final. Its effective date is September 23, 2008.