NEPA - National Environmental Policy Act
The purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the mission of the NPS express very similar goals. Both are designed to conserve and protect our nation's resources for the benefit of future generations. NEPA was enacted to make sure that federal agencies consider the environmental costs and benefits of their proposed actions before they make any decision to undertake those actions. Therefore, the NEPA environmental assessment process can be used to ensure that impacts on air quality and resources affected by air pollution are evaluated before the NPS makes decisions regarding activities and projects in parks. In addition, the NEPA process provides an opportunity for the NPS and others concerned about protection of park resources to engage in decision-making by other federal agencies related to activities outside parks that might affect park resources. However, permitting and planning actions taken under the Clean Air Act (e.g., issuance of PSD permits, development of state or federal implementation plans) are specifically exempt from the NEPA requirements.
For more information about the general NEPA process, please visit the Council on Environmental Quality NEPA web page.
For the NPS process, see Director's Order #12.