The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

NEPA is a U.S. federal law that requires federal agencies to identify and analyze the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action before deciding whether to proceed with that action. The law encourages and facilitates public involvement in decisions which may affect the environment.

NEPA Process and Timeline

NEPA Process and Timeline

Importance of Public Involvement

Public and agency input allows decision makers to benefit from local knowledge and consider local issues and concerns. The public participates in the NEPA process during the following stages by:

  • Scoping Period: Helping to identify the scope of the analysis, including potential environmental issues and viable alternatives
  • Draft EIS Public Review and Comment Period: Evaluating and providing substantive comments on the environmental analysis of the Proposed Action and alternatives
  • Final EIS Public Review and Wait Period: Reviewing the Final EIS and Navy responses to substantive comments received on the Draft EIS

The Navy is committed to facilitating public and agency input for a high-quality environmental analysis document.

Cooperating Agencies and Tribal Participants

A cooperating agency is any agency, other than the lead agency, which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise concerning an environmental impact involved in a proposal.

Due to the nature and scope of the Proposed Action, 14 government agencies are cooperating agencies on this EIS:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Nevada Department of Wildlife
  • Nevada Department of Agriculture
  • Nevada Division of Minerals
  • Nevada Department of Transportation
  • Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy
  • Churchill County
  • Eureka County
  • Lander County
  • Mineral County
  • Nye County
  • Pershing County

Tribal Participants

The Navy is working closely with 13 federally recognized Native American Tribes and the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada.

Federal Land Policy and Management Act

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, is the guiding law for how the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) governs public land under its jurisdiction. The Act established public land policy and guidelines for its administration, while providing for the management, protection, development, and enhancement of the public lands.

Resources Analyzed in the EIS

The Navy analyzed the potential impacts the Proposed Action and alternatives may have on the following resource areas. Public, cooperating agency, and tribal input helped to develop and refine the areas for analysis.

  • Geological resources
  • Land use
  • Mining and mineral resources
  • Livestock grazing
  • Transportation
  • Airspace
  • Noise
  • Air quality
  • Water resources
  • Biological resources
  • Cultural resources
  • Recreation
  • Socioeconomics
  • Public health and safety and the protection of children
  • Environmental justice