Qualification of Soft Costs of the US Federal Guidance When Considering Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews


A notice by the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) was published on December 14, 2014 regarding the revised “Draft Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews”. The review of this 2014 draft guidance suggested increased analysis, work, review and approvals required by the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) working with and on behalf of local public agencies (LPAs) in order to authorize and obligate roadway projects funded with federal-aid money. All federal-aid-funded roadway projects require a NEPA analysis to be done on the action (project) and an environmental clearance document to be obtained prior to finalizing the design. The 2014 draft guidance may complicate an already lengthy and often critical path activity for roadway projects requiring NEPA documentation.

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Deeb, M. (2015) Qualification of Soft Costs of the US Federal Guidance When Considering Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 62-6. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.36010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] (2014) Revised Draft Guidance. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/24/2014-30035/revised-draft-guidance-for-federal-departments-and-agencies-on-consideration-of-greenhouse-gas#h-17
[2] (2008) Subject “Actions” Include Federal Agency Projects, Programs, and Regulations as well as Approvals, Issuance of Permits to, and Funding of Private (Non-Federal) Actions. See 40 C.F.R. §§ 1508.4, 1508.18(a)-(b)
[3] (2000 & Supp. 2005) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321-4370f.
[4] (2015) ANGA Comments on CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance for Fed-eral Departments and Agencies on Consideration of GHG Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Re-views. http://anga.us/media-room/testimony-and-filings/2015/3/25/anga-comments-on-ceq-s-revised-draft-guidance-for-federal-departments-and-agencies-on-consideration-of-ghg-emissions-and-the-effects-of-climate-change-in-nepa-reviews
[5] 79 Fed. Reg. at 77,825
[6] NEPA establishes the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Ex-ecutive Office of the President to oversee the Act’s implementation, to advise the President on the state of the environment, and to make recommendations for achieving NEPA’s goals. Id. §§ 4342, 4344. In this capacity, CEQ has promulgated detailed regulations and issued numerous regulatory guidance documents. See generally 40 C.F.R. ch. V (2008)
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[8] Salkin, P.E. (2009) Sustainability and Land Use Planning: Greening State and Local Land Use Plans and Regulations to Address Climate Change Chal-lenges and Preserve Resources for Future Generations. William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Re-view.
[9] July 16, 2015
[10] 79 Fed. Reg. at 77,825
[11] Ewing, R.H. and Anderson, G. (2008)
[12] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2015) Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
[13] Deeb, A.M. (2015) Personal Interview.
[14] Deeb (2015)
[15] https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/24/2014-30035/revised-draft-guidance-for-federal-departments-and-agencies-on-consideration-of-greenhouse-gas#h-17

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