The possible environmental effects of a proposed action must be considered, along with technical, economic, and other factors, in the earliest planning. At that stage, the responsible Headquarters official shall begin the necessary steps to comply with all the requirements of section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Major NASA activities, particularly R&D (or SFCDC) and facility projects, generally have four distinct phases: The conceptual study phase; the detailed planning/definition phase; the development/construction phase; and the operation phase. (Other NASA activities have fewer, less well-defined phases, but can still be characterized by phases representing general or feasibility study, detailed planning or definition, and implementation.) Environmental documentation shall be linked to major decision points as follows:
(a) Completion of an environmental assessment and the determination as to whether an environmental impact statement is required must be made prior to the decision to proceed from the conceptual study phase to the detailed planning/definition phase of the proposed action. For example, this determination must be concurrent with:
(1) Proposal of an R&D (or SFCDC) project for detailed planning and project definition;
(2) Proposal of a major Construction of Facilities project for detailed planning and project definition;
(3) Proposal of an institutional action (other than a facility project) for detailed planning and definition; and
(4) Proposal of a plan to define changes in an approved project.
(b) The final environmental impact statement (EIS) should be completed and circulated prior to the decision to proceed from the detailed planning/definition phase to the development/construction (or implementation) phase of the proposed action. For example, the EIS should be completed by, and incorporated with:
(1) Proposal of an R&D (or SFCDC) project for development/construction;
(2) Proposal of a major Construction of Facilities project for development/construction;
(3) Proposal to undertake a significant institutional action (other than a facility project); and
(4) Proposal to implement a program change.
[44 FR 44485, July 30, 1979, as amended at 53 FR 9761, Mar. 25, 1988]
Title 14 published on 2012-01-01
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