28 CFR 91.55 - Categorical exclusions.
Activities undertaken by State, local, or tribal entities using VOI/TIS funds that are consistent with any of the following categories are presumed not to have a significant effect on the human environment and thus, are categorically excluded from the preparation of either an EA or an EIS. Although these activities are excluded from environmental reviews under NEPA, they are not excluded from compliance with other applicable local, State, or Federal environmental laws. Additionally, an otherwise excluded activity loses its exclusion and is subject to environmental review if it either would be located within or potentially affect any of the following: a 100-year flood plain, a wetland, important farmland, a proposed or listed endangered or threatened species, a proposed or listed critical habitat, a property that is listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, an area within an approved State Coastal Zone Management Program, a coastal barrier or a portion of a barrier within the Coastal Barrier Resources System, a river or portion of a river included in or designated for potential addition to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, a designated or proposed Wilderness Area, or a sole source aquifer recharge area designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The resulting environmental review for those activities that lose their exclusion status shall focus on the factor or factors that caused the loss of the exclusion.
(a) Minor renovations. Projects for minor renovations within an existing facility, unless the renovation would impact a structure which is on the National Register of Historic Places, or is eligible for listing on the register.
(b) Limited expansion. Projects for the expansion of an existing facility or within an existing correctional complex, which does not add more than 50 beds or increase the capacity of the facility by more than 50 percent whichever is smaller. This exclusion does not apply to either a phased project that exceeds these numerical thresholds or projects to expand facilities that:
(1) Are located in a floodplain;
(2) Will affect a wetland;
(3) Will affect a facility on the National Register of Historic Places or that is eligible for listing on the register;
(4) Will affect a federally proposed or listed endangered or threatened species or its habitat;
(5) Is controversial for environmental reasons; or
(6) Would not be served by adequate sewage treatment, solid waste disposal, or water facilities.
(c) Expansion of support facilities. Projects for the expansion of bed space within an existing facility (e.g., double bunking or conversion of non-cell space) which are using grant funds to expand or add support facilities, such as a kitchen, medical facilities, recreational space, or program space, to accommodate the increased number of inmates. This does not include projects to increase capacity for support facilities which might pose a threat to the environment, such as solid waste and waste water management, new roads, new or upgraded utilities coming into the facility, or prison industry programs that involve the use of chemicals and produce hazardous waste or water or air pollution.
(d) Security upgrades. Security upgrades of an existing facility which are inside the existing perimeter fence or involve the upgrade of the existing perimeter fence. This exclusion does not include such upgrades as adding lethal fences or increasing height or lighting of a perimeter fence in a residential area or other areas sensitive to the visual impacts resulting from height or lighting changes.
(e) Privatization. Projects that involve the leasing of bed space (which may include operational costs) from a facility operated by a private correctional corporation or that contract with a private correctional corporation for the operation of a state facility or program. This exclusion does not apply if the correctional agency has contracted with the private vendor to build the facility, operate the facility, or lease beds to the correctional agency using federal grant funds.
(f) Drug testing and treatment. Projects that use grant funds to implement drug treatment, testing, sanctions, or interdiction programs.