28 CFR 91.54 - Applicability.
(a) Major Federal action. NEPA's requirements apply to any proposal for legislation or other major federal action that might significantly impact the quality of the human environment. The CEQ regulations in 40 CFR 1508.18 define “major federal actions” as actions with effects that may be major and which are potentially subject to Federal control and responsibility. The CEQ regulations categorize “major federal actions” as, among other things, the “[a]pproval of specific projects, such as construction or management activities located in a defined geographic area. Projects include actions approved by permit or other regulatory decision as well as Federal and Federally assisted activities.” (40 CFR 1508.18(b)(4)).
(b) VOI/TIS construction grants subject to NEPA. This subpart applies to all proposed, new and partially completed VOI/TIS projects (including projects on tribal lands) initiated by state or local units of government with grant funding from OJP that involve construction, expansion, renovation, facility planning, site selection, site preparation, security or facility upgrades or other activities that may significantly impact the environment.
(c) Projects. Although VOI/TIS money cannot be used for a project's operations expenses, the definition of “project” or “proposal” for NEPA review purposes is defined as both the construction and the long-term operation of correctional facilities and related components such as all off-site projects to accommodate the needs of the correctional facilities project (e.g., road and utility construction or expansion, projects offered to the affected community as an incentive to accept the correctional facility construction or expansion, and other reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency or third party undertakes such action). Reasonably foreseeable actions include future prison construction phases, especially when either current acreage requirements or design capacities for utilities are based on needs stemming from future phases.