38 CFR Appendix A to Part 200 - Categorical Exclusions

Appendix A to Part 200 - Categorical Exclusions
A.1 Purpose

The purpose of Categorical Exclusions (CATEXs) is to limit extensive NEPA analysis to those actions that may be major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, thus saving time, effort, and taxpayer dollars.

A.2 Definition

An action is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an EA or an EIS if it meets the following definition:

“Categorical exclusion” means a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and which have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a Federal agency in implementation of these regulations and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. An agency may decide in its procedures or otherwise, to prepare environmental assessments for the reasons stated in § 1508.9 even though it is not required to do so. Any procedures under this section shall provide for extraordinary circumstances in which a normally excluded action may have a significant environmental effect. (40 CFR 1508.4)

AFRH has identified two types of CATEXs: (1) The CATEX, which does not require documentation and requires completion of an environmental checklist.

A.3 CATEXs - Requires No Documentation

The following CATEXs require no documentation.

A.3(a) Granting a lease (i.e., outlease), an easement, license, permit (i.e., licenses to Federal entities), or other arrangements for Federal or non-Federal use of AFRH controlled real property, where such use will remain substantially the same in scope and intensity.

A.3(b) Extensions or renewals of leases, licenses or permits (i.e., licenses to Federal entities) or succeeding leases, easements, licenses or permits whether AFRH is acting as grantor or grantee and there is no change in use of the facility.

A.3(c) Repair and alteration projects involving, but not adversely affecting, properties listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

A.3(d) Repair to or replacement in kind of equipment or components in AFRH-controlled facilities without change in location, e.g., HVAC, electrical distribution systems, windows, doors or roof.

A.3(e) Disposal or other disposition of claimed or unclaimed personal property of deceased persons.

A.3(f) Supportive services that include health care and housing services, permanent housing placement, day care, nutritional services, collection of payment for services, short-term payments for rent/mortgage/utility costs, and assistance in gaining access to local, State, and Federal government benefits and services.

A.3(g) Normal personnel, fiscal, and administrative activities involving civilian personnel (recruiting, processing, paying, and records keeping).

A.3(h) Routine or minor facility maintenance, custodial, and groundskeeping activities such as window washing, lawn mowing, trash collecting, and snow removal that do not involve environmentally sensitive areas (such as eroded areas, wetlands, cultural sites, or areas with endangered/threatened species).

A.3(i) Environmental Site Assessment activities under RCRA and CERCLA;

A.3(j) Geological, geophysical, geochemical, and engineering surveys and mapping, including the establishment of survey marks;

A.3(k) Installation and operation of ambient air and noise monitoring equipment that does not include constructing or erecting towers;

A.3(l) Routine procurement of goods and services (complying with applicable procedures for sustainable or “green” procurement) to support operations and infrastructure, including routine utility services and contracts.

A.3(m) Routine movement/relocations of residents on site.

A.4 CATEXs Requiring Documentation

The following are categorical exclusions that require preparation of a checklist to ensure that no extraordinary circumstances exist that would require preparation of an EA or EIS. Checklists may be obtained from the Master Planner at 3700 North Capitol Street, NW., Washington, DC 20011.

A.4(a) Expansion or improvement of an existing facility where all of the following conditions are met:

A.4(a)(1) The structure and proposed use are substantially in compliance with local planning and zoning and any applicable State or Federal requirements;

A.4(a)(2) The proposed use will only slightly increase the number of motor vehicles at the facility;

A.4(a)(3) The site and the scale of construction are consistent with those of existing adjacent or nearby buildings; and

A.4(a)(4) There is no evidence of environmental controversy.

A.4(b) Transfer or disposal of real property to State or local agencies for preservation or protection of wildlife conservation and historic monument purposes.

A.4(c) Disposal of fixtures, related personal property, demountable structures, and transmission lines in accordance with management requirements.

A.4(d) Disposal of properties where the size, area, topography, and zoning are similar to existing surrounding properties and/or where current and reasonable anticipated uses are or would be similar to current surrounding uses (e.g., commercial store in a commercial strip, warehouse in an urban complex, office building in downtown area, row house or vacant lot in an urban area).

A.4(e) Demolition, removal and disposal of debris from the demolition or improvement of buildings and other structures neither on nor eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and when under applicable regulations (i.e., removal of asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other hazardous material) when other environmental laws and regulations will be satisfied prior to the of demolition, removal and disposal.

A.4(f) Relocations and realignments of employees and/or residents from one geographic area to another that: Fall below the thresholds for reportable actions and do not involve related activities such as construction, renovation, or demolition activities that would otherwise require an EA or an EIS to impellent. This includes reorganization and reassignments with no changes in employee and/or resident status, and routine administrative reorganizations and consolidations.