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Administrative Revisions to DHS Instruction 023-01-001-01 Rev 01 - DHS Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act

DHS Directive 023-01 Rev 01 and the Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01 Rev 01  establish the Department’s policy and procedures for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508).  Together, the Directive and Instruction apply to all of the Components of DHS and help ensure the integration of environmental considerations into DHS decision making as required by NEPA.  The Instruction serves as the DHS implementing procedures for NEPA (as required by 40 CFR 1505.1 and 1507.3) and includes the Department’s list of Categorical Exclusions, found in Appendix A, Table 1.  Notice of the Directive and Instruction were published in the Federal Register on November 26, 2014 (79 FR 70538) and became effective on March 26, 2015.

During a recent review of the Instruction, a number of administrative errors were identified which have the potential to substantively alter the correct and intended application of several Categorical Exclusions.  Based on internal review, we have determined these errors occurred during the transcription process when Categorical Exclusions unique to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were merged with the other DHS Component Categorical Exclusions resulting in a single, unified list of Categorical Exclusions for application within the Department.  There was no intent to substantively alter the language or application of these Categorical Exclusions. 

For the Categorical Exclusions unique to the USCG, the impacted Categorical Exclusions appear correctly in the USCG’s Commandant Instruction M16475.1D which has been in effect since November 29, 2000, and the Federal Register notice entitled National Environmental Policy Act: Coast Guard Procedures for Categorical Exclusions which was published on July 23, 2002 (67 FR 48243).

In general, the administrative revisions to the list of Categorical Exclusions include omission of an asterisk (*) designating the requirement to prepare a Record of Environmental Consideration (REC); inclusion of an asterisk (*) designating the requirement to prepare a REC where that was not intended; administrative revision to more clearly delineate when a REC is required; clarification to resolve ambiguity to ensure application consistent with the administrative record; and resolution of a typographical error.

Below are links to the following documents:  the Federal Register Notice announcing the administrative revisions (82 FR 47761); the Instruction with revised Categorical Exclusions; a summary of revisions; and the Federal Register Notice entitled National Environmental Policy Act: Coast Guard Procedures for Categorical Exclusions which appeared on July 23, 2002 (67 FR 48243).  To receive a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard's Commandant Instruction 16475.1D please email sep-ephp@hq.dhs.gov to request an electronic copy. 

Last Updated: 10/22/2021
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