Environmental Review and Clearance
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 was enacted by Congress to ensure that federal agencies consider and address environmental impacts resulting from the activities and projects they sponsor. The Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970; this action formed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Council of Environmental Quality. Congress and Presidents have subsequently enacted a series of statutes and Executive Orders dealing with specific environmental issues. NEPA is the umbrella under which the review is conducted with a wide range of environmental authorities and factors to be considered.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as required by Congress developed its own set of regulations that implement NEPA which can be found in Title 24 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 58.
Do Environmental Regulations Apply to Your Project?
All HUD federally-assisted projects are subject to 24 CFR Part 58 for environmental review including those utilizing the following funds:
- HOME Investment Partnership
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
- Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)
- Although the 811 PRA Programís regulations do not require a Part 58 environmental review; they do require an environmental review as outlined in the 811 PRA regulations and Section 5 of the Cooperative Agreement.
How does Environmental Clearance Affect a Project?
No ďchoice limitingĒ activities may occur prior to environmental clearance, regardless of the funding source (non-HUD funds). These include: loan closure, land acquisition, and contracts for construction related to a federally funded project. Moving forward without environmental clearance will delay a project for 9 months or more pending a determination and may result in the loss of some or all HUD funding for the project.
- When planning your project, identify the specific type of project to reference environmental timelines and incorporate them into your projectís timeline.
Additionally with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Environmental Clearance applies to the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), which is administered by HUD. For information regarding this process, applicable forms, federal rules and guidelines, as well as contact information, visit the HUD Exchange website found at: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/environmental-review/
For additional guidance contact the environmental team by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org