Environmental Compliance in the Office of Habitat Conservation
The Office of Habitat Conservation’s programs provide funding and technical assistance for coastal habitat conservation and restoration projects which require environmental impact analyses under the National Environmental Protection Act and other statutes.
Funding and technical assistance provided by the Office of Habitat Conservation is beneficial to habitat and natural resources. However, every federal action requires an assessment of its environmental impacts, in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to make certain that all impacts, both beneficial and adverse, direct and indirect, are fully considered in the decision making process. For NOAA actions, this assessment must also comply with NOAA’s policies, requirements, and procedures for complying with NEPA.
Programmatic Environmental Compliance
The Office of Habitat Conservation uses programmatic environmental compliance documents to increase efficiency and reduce redundancy in conducting environmental analyses for a large number of similar federal actions. The Restoration Center completed programmatic NEPA documents in 2002, 2006, and 2015 (Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement) to assess the impacts of its habitat restoration activities, reduce administrative costs, and maximize program efficiency. We also use programmatic analyses of impacts to threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Some federal actions fall outside the scope or impacts described in our programmatic documents. These actions receive individual analyses of their environmental impacts. The list below contains restoration-focused environmental compliance documents we currently use.
National Environmental Policy Act
Restoration Center Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (National)
Deepwater Horizon Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Endangered Species Act
Programmatic Restoration Opinion for Joint Ecosystem Conservation by the Services (Pacific Northwest)
Programmatic Consultation to fund or permit restoration projects (for south central and southern California)
NOAA Restoration Center’s (Santa Rosa Office) Programmatic Approach for Fisheries Habitat Restoration Projects
Application and Monitoring forms - Santa Rosa area (zip, 712KB)
Programmatic Consultation to fund or permit restoration projects (for northern California)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Programmatic Consultation to fund or permit restoration projects (California statewide)
National Environmental Policy Act Compliance for Habitat Restoration
Through funding, technical assistance, or as a Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee, the Restoration Center supports numerous habitat restoration projects each year. When these projects qualify as federal actions, they are assessed for environmental impacts in accordance with the NEPA process.
We use the RC PEIS to provide timely, complete analysis of the environmental impacts of our restoration activities. All projects that receive NEPA documentation under the RC PEIS are evaluated through a multi-step process involving habitat restoration specialists, agency NEPA experts, and the Restoration Center’s top officials. To enhance transparency, you can download a list of projects that received their NEPA documentation under the RC PEIS (PDF, 22 pages).