NEPA charges CEQ with overseeing and guiding NEPA implementation across the Federal Government, which includes developing procedures. CEQ initially issued interim guidelines in April 1970 and revised the guidelines in 1971 and 1973. CEQ promulgated its NEPA regulations in 1978, with typographical amendments in 1979 and amendments to one provision in 1986. These regulations were in place for over 40 years until they were revised in July 2020. CEQ is now engaged in a comprehensive review of its regulations, consistent with E.O. 13990, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, (January 20, 2021).
On April 20, 2022, CEQ issued the Phase 1 Final Rule, which finalized a narrow set of changes to generally restore regulatory provisions that were in effect for decades before the 2020 rule modified them for the first time.
On July 28, 2023, CEQ announced a Phase 2 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—the “Bipartisan Permitting Reform Implementation Rule”—to revise its regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), including to implement the amendments to NEPA by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.
CEQ held four virtual public meetings to provide a brief overview of the proposed rule and to allow members of the public to provide verbal comments. CEQ posts transcripts of these meetings to the docket as they become available and the transcripts can be viewed on the “Browse Documents” tab at https://www.regulations.gov/docket/CEQ-2023-0003/document.