|Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)|
Frequently Asked Questions
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. To meet this requirement, federal agencies prepare a document analyzing the possible impacts of the actions taken. The EIS is the most detailed of these documents and is requires a broad scope of analysis for major actions. The EIS document describes: impacts on the environment as a result of a proposed action; impacts of alternatives; and in some cases, plans to mitigate negative impacts.
The analysis in the programmatic EIS will in large part form the basis of new regulations which are to be proposed. Following a public scoping and comment period, environmental impacts are analyzed and a draft programmatic EIS is published. Next, a public comment period on the draft programmatic EIS is held after which a final programmatic EIS may or may not be published.
The proposed regulations will take account of APHIS' deliberations recorded in the draft EIS, as well as the public responses to the EIS. Other federal agencies will review these proposed new regulations; when the reviews and changes are complete, a notice of their availability will be placed in the Federal Register. Following an additional public comment period, the BRS regulations for biotechnology will be finalized and published in the Federal Register.