Categorical exclusions are an essential component of every agency’s implementing regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Designating categorical exclusions through notice-and-comment rulemaking allows federal agencies to apply information learned through prior site-specific NEPA analyses to conserve agency resources and create needed flexibility and efficiencies. Both Democratic and Republican administrations and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) have consistently advocated for the effective use of categorical exclusions to improve the quality and efficiency of the NEPA process.
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