National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to incorporate into their decision making processes, and carefully consider, the impacts of their proposed actions on the environment. Additionally, they are to submit their proposed project plans to other Federal agencies and the public for review and comment. This is to ensure the public plays an important role in the decision making process and in implementing that decision. The Act also established the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to act in an advisory capacity for the President on environmental matters. CEQ's Implementing Regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), outline the requirements of these two tasks; decision making and review. Additional information is available at the CEQ NEPANet site.
NEPA is probably most well known for the Environmental Impact Statement, a decision making tool; however the review role is equally important. Within the Department of the Interior, the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance (OEPC) is tasked with carrying out the review function. Service activities are guided by general policies available in the Service NEPA reference handbook.
For more information, visit these sites:
CEQ's NEPANET - http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/nepanet.htm