38 CFR § 200.2 - Background.

§ 200.2 Background.

(a) The NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations implementing the procedural requirements of NEPA (40 CFR 1500 through 1508, hereinafter, the CEQ regulations) require that each Federal agency consider the impact of its actions on the human environment and prescribe procedures to be followed. Other laws, executive orders, and regulations provide related direction. NEPA establishes and AFRH adopts as policy that as a Federal agency, AFRH will: Use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of national policy, to improve and coordinate Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the Nation may:

(1) Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;

(2) Assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, and esthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;

(3) Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;

(4) Preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity, and variety of individual choice;

(5) Achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; and

(6) Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.

(b) As an important means of carrying out this policy, AFRH will analyze and consider the impacts of its proposed actions (activities, programs, projects, legislation) and any reasonable alternatives on the environment, and on the relationship of people with the environment. This analysis is to be undertaken early in planning any such action, as an aid to deciding whether the action will go forward, and if so how. Consideration must be given to reasonable alternative means of achieving the purpose and need for the proposed action, and to the alternative of not taking the proposed action. The analysis is to be completed, and used to inform the decision maker and make the public aware of the action's potential impacts, before the decision is made about whether and how to proceed with the action. Relevant environmental documents, comments, and responses regarding the proposal will accompany the proposal and be presented to the AFRH decision maker for their consideration.

(c) NEPA also requires and AFRH will ensure that, to the fullest extent possible, analyses and consultations required by other environmental laws be coordinated with those required under NEPA, to reduce redundancy, paperwork, time, and cost.

(d) The AFRH is an independent Federal agency that provides residence and related services for certain retired and former members of the Armed Forces. The AFRH has property in Washington, DC and Gulfport, MS.

(e) This part contains AFRH's general policy regarding NEPA implementation and sets out AFRH procedures that supplement the CEQ regulations for meeting NEPA requirements. It also assigns responsibilities to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the AFRH and the Master Planner. These regulations provide further detail regarding the conduct of NEPA impact analyses.