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S. 715: NEPA Data Transparency and Accountability Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 11, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 715

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 11, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

A BILL

To amend the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to require the submission of certain reports, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the NEPA Data Transparency and Accountability Act.

2.

Required reports under NEPA

Title I of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is amended—

(1)

by redesignating section 105 (42 U.S.C. 4335) as section 106; and

(2)

by inserting after section 104 (42 U.S.C. 4334) the following:

105.

Required reports

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Environmental assessment

The term environmental assessment has the meaning given the term in section 1508.9 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).

(2)

Environmental impact statement

The term environmental impact statement means a detailed statement required under section 102(2)(C).

(3)

Federal agency

The term Federal agency includes a State that has assumed responsibility under section 327 of title 23, United States Code.

(4)

Head of a Federal agency

The term head of a Federal agency includes the governor or head of an applicable State agency of a State that has assumed responsibility under section 327 of title 23, United States Code.

(5)

NEPA process

(A)

In general

The term NEPA process means the entirety of every process, analysis, or other measure, including an environmental impact statement, required to be carried out by a Federal agency under this title before the agency undertakes a proposed action.

(B)

Period

For purposes of subparagraph (A), the NEPA process—

(i)

begins on the date on which the head of a Federal agency receives an application for a proposed action from a project sponsor; and

(ii)

ends on the date on which the Federal agency issues, with respect to the proposed action—

(I)

a record of decision, including, if necessary, a revised record of decision;

(II)

a finding of no significant impact; or

(III)

a categorical exclusion under this title.

(6)

Project sponsor

The term project sponsor means a Federal agency or other entity, including a private or public-private entity, that seeks approval of a proposed action.

(b)

Reports

(1)

NEPA data

(A)

In general

The head of each Federal agency that carries out the NEPA process shall carry out a process to track, and annually submit to Congress a report containing, the information described in subparagraph (B).

(B)

Information described

The information referred to in subparagraph (A) is, with respect to the Federal agency issuing the report under that subparagraph—

(i)

the number of proposed actions for which a categorical exclusion was issued during the reporting period;

(ii)

the length of time the Federal agency took to issue the categorical exclusions described in clause (i);

(iii)

the number of proposed actions pending on the date on which the report is submitted for which the issuance of a categorical exclusion is pending;

(iv)

the number of proposed actions for which an environmental assessment was issued during the reporting period;

(v)

the length of time the Federal agency took to complete each environmental assessment described in clause (iv);

(vi)

the number of proposed actions pending on the date on which the report is submitted for which an environmental assessment is being drafted;

(vii)

the number of proposed actions for which an environmental impact statement was issued during the reporting period;

(viii)

the length of time the Federal agency took to complete each environmental impact statement described in clause (vii); and

(ix)

the number of proposed actions pending on the date on which the report is submitted for which an environmental impact statement is being drafted.

(2)

NEPA costs

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall jointly develop a methodology to assess the comprehensive costs of the NEPA process.

(B)

Requirements

The head of each Federal agency that carries out the NEPA process shall—

(i)

adopt the methodology developed under subparagraph (A); and

(ii)

use the methodology developed under subparagraph (A) to annually submit to Congress a report describing—

(I)

the comprehensive cost of the NEPA process for each proposed action that was carried out within the reporting period; and

(II)

for a proposed action for which the head of the Federal agency is still completing the NEPA process at the time the report is submitted—

(aa)

the amount of money expended to date to carry out the NEPA process for the proposed action; and

(bb)

an estimate of the remaining costs before the NEPA process for the proposed action is complete.

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