29 CFR 11.10 - Identification of agency actions.
Pursuant to the CEQ definition of “major Federal action” (40 CFR 1508.18) and 40 CFR 1507.3(b)(2), the following paragraphs identify and classify Department of Labor actions which: normally will not require preparation of an environmental document (i.e. an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement); or usually will require preparation of an environmental document.
(a) OSHA/MSHA actions. Actions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are classified as follows:
(1) Categorically excluded actions. OSHA/MSHA actions listed in the following Table will normally qualify for categorical exclusion from NEPA requirements: i.e., such actions do not require preparation of either an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement, because they do not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Classification as a categorical exclusion, however, does not prohibit OSHA or MSHA from preparing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement on any of the following actions when OSHA or MSHA determines it to be appropriate. Also, in extraordinary circumstances where a normally excluded action is found to have a potentially significant environmental effect, OSHA or MSHA shall prepare an environmental assessment and/or an environmental impact statement as required.
OSHA/MSHA Categorical Exclusions
|Type of action||Reason for exclusion|
|(i) Promulgation, modification or revocation of any safety standard. Examples of these actions are: Machine guarding requirements, safety lines, warning signals, etc||Safety standards promote injury avoidance by means of mechanical applications or work practices, the effects of which do not impact on air, water or soil quality, plant or animal life, the use of land or other aspects of the human environment.|
|(ii) Approval of petitions for variances from MSHA/OSHA safety standards or OSHA health standards||Variances are taken from existing standards. Thus environmental documents, as appropriate, will already have been prepared. In terms of worker health and safety, any variance must be at least as effective as the original standard.|
|(iii) Agency legislative requests for appropriations||Exempted by
|(iv) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements||No possibility of significant environmental impact.|
|(v) Routine agency personnel actions||Such actions typically involve small numbers of individuals and have no possibility of significant environmental impact.|
|(vi) Training of employers, employees, agency personnel and others in the recognition, avoidance or abatement of occupational hazards. Providing consultative services to industry||These actions involve educational activities which have no possibility of significant environmental impact.|
|(vii) Enforcement proceedings||Exempted by
|(viii) Equipment approvals||No possibility of significant environmental impact.|
|(ix) State grants under Sec. 503 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act||These grants assist States in developing and implementing laws to improve mine safety and health and to promote coordination between State and Federal governments. They have no possibility of significant environmental impact.|
|(x) Certification or qualification proceedings||No possibility of significant environmental impact.|
(2) Actions requiring environmental assessment. Several classes of OSHA/MSHA actions normally require the preparation of an environmental assessment prior to determining whether either a finding of no significant impact or an environmental impact statement must be prepared. (However, OSHA or MSHA may proceed to prepare an environmental impact statement, without first preparing an environmental assessment, if it determines such action to be appropriate or necessary, as provided by 40 CFR 1501.3(a)). Actions in this classification include:
(i) Promulgation, modification or revocation of a health standard; and
(ii) Approval or revocation of State plans for the enforcement of safety and health standards (not applicable to MSHA).
(3) Actions requiring preparation of an environmental impact statement. Preparation of an environmental impact statement will always be required for proposals for promulgation, modification or revocation of health standards which will significantly affect air, water or soil quality, plant or animal life, the use of land or other aspects of the human environment.
(4) Emergency temporary standards. Situations requiring the issuance of emergency temporary standards (issued for a period of up to six months, pursuant to section 6(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and for a period of up to nine months, pursuant to section 101(b) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977) are of such nature that the provisions of 40 CFR parts 1500 et seq. may not be strictly observable. Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.11, however, OSHA and MSHA will consult with the Council on Environmental Quality in connection with such situations, and will, in any event, prepare environmental assessments or environmental impact statements, as appropriate, on any proposed permanent regulation to be promulgated for the purpose of replacing the temporary action.
(b) Real property actions. Actions that will involve construction, or the purchase or lease of property, in connection with the establishment or substantial alteration of a Job Corps center, of any similar Job Corps facility, or other property actions of a similar character by another agency, will normally require the preparation of an environmental assessment prior to determining whether either a finding of no significant impact or an environmental impact statement must be prepared.
(c) Other Departmental actions. Certain actions taken to implement other Department of Labor programs will normally qualify for categorical exclusion from NEPA requirements. These matters are excluded because the possibility of environmental impact is remote. However, classification as a categorical exclusion does not prohibit or release an agency from preparing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement when the agency determines it to be appropriate. These actions include:
(1) Office of Workforce Investment activities and related placement, counseling, recruitment, information, testing, certification and associated actions;
(2) Apprenticeship activities and related certification and technical assistance actions;
(3) Training activities, other than Job Corps, including work experience, classroom training and public service employment;
(4) Unemployment insurance, trade adjustment assistance, workers' compensation programs, retirement programs, employee protection programs, and related employees benefit programs or activities involving the replacement or regulation of employee wages;
(5) Wage and hour programs to protect low-income workers, eliminate discriminatory employment practices, prevent curtailment of employment and earnings for certain groups of workers, minimize loss of income due to indebtedness, protect farm and migrant labor and related activities;
(6) Contract compliance programs to ensure equal employment opportunity and related actions;
(7) Labor-management relations activities and activities of labor organizations, employers and their officers or representatives;
(8) Research, evaluation, development and information collection projects related to any of the aforementioned activities;
(9) Labor statistics programs; and