Skip to main content

Code of Federal Regulations Title 1. General Provisions § 1.601.3 Definitions

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:

Administrative Record means a compilation of all materials (written and electronic) that were before the agency at the time it made its final decision. An Administrative Record documents an agency's decision-making process and the basis for the decision.

Categorical Exclusion or CATEX means, as defined by 40 CFR 1508.4, a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment except under Extraordinary Circumstances and which have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a Federal Agency (NCPC) in implementation of CEQ's regulations and for which, therefore, neither an Environmental Assessment (EA) nor an EIS is required.

Central Area means the geographic area in the District of Columbia comprised of the Shaw School and Downtown Urban Renewal Areas or such other area as the District of Columbia and NCPC shall subsequently jointly determine.

Chairman means the Chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission appointed by the President, pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 8711(c).

Commemorative Works Act or CWA means the Federal law codified at 40 U.S.C. 8901 et seq. that sets forth the requirements for the location and development of new memorials and monuments on land under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS) or the General Services Administration (GSA) in the District of Columbia and its Environs.

Commission means the National Capital Planning Commission created by 40 U.S.C. 8711.

Comprehensive Plan means The Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital:  Federal Elements prepared and adopted by the Commission pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 8721(a).

Cooperating Agency means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.5, any Federal Agency other than a Lead Agency that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to a proposal (or reasonable alternative) for legislation or other major action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment;  a state or local agency of similar qualifications;  or when the effects are on a reservation, an Indian Tribe when agreed to by the Lead Agency.

Cumulative impact means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.7, the impact on the environment that results from the incremental impact of an action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions regardless of what agency (Federal or Non–Federal) or person undertakes such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor, but collectively significant, actions taking place over a period of time.

Emergency Circumstances means a sudden and serious occurrence or situation requiring immediate attention to protect the lives and safety of the public and protect property and ecological resources and functions from imminent harm.

Environmental Assessment or EA means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.9, a concise document for which a Federal Agency is responsible that serves to briefly provide sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or a FONSI;  aid an agency's compliance with NEPA when no EIS is necessary;  facilitate preparation of an EIS when one is necessary;  and includes a brief discussion of the need for the proposal, alternatives as required by section 102(2)(E) of NEPA, the environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives, and a listing of agencies and persons consulted.

Environmental Document means, as set forth in 40 CFR 1508.10, an Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Statement, and for purposes of these regulations, a Categorical Exclusion determination.

Environmental Impact Statement or EIS means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.11, a detailed written statement as required by 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C).

Environs means the territory surrounding the District of Columbia included in the National Capital Region pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 8702(a)(1).

Executive Director means the Executive Director employed by the National Capital Planning Commission pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 8711(d).

Executive Director's Recommendation or EDR means a concise written report and recommendation prepared by NCPC staff under the direction of NCPC's Executive Director regarding a proposed action that is transmitted to the Commission for its consideration.

Extraordinary Circumstances means special circumstances that when present negate an agency's ability to categorically exclude a project and require an agency to undertake further NEPA review.

Federal Agency means the executive agencies of the Federal government as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105.

Finding of No Significant Impact or FONSI means, as defined at 40 CFR 1508.13, a document prepared by NCPC or a Federal Agency applicant that briefly presents the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded (40 CFR 1508.4), will not have a significant effect on the human environment and for which an EIS will not be prepared. It shall include the EA or a summary of it and shall note any other EAs or EISs related to it (40 CFR 1501.7(a)(5)). If the EA is included in the FONSI, the FONSI need not repeat any of the discussion in the EA but may include the EA by reference.

Lead Agency means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.16, the agency or agencies preparing or having primary responsibility for preparing an EA or an EIS.

Memorandum of Agreement or MOA means for purposes of implementing the regulations in this part, a written agreement entered into between a Lead, Co-lead, Cooperating Agency, or a Non–Federal Agency to facilitate implementation of NEPA and preparation of the requisite environmental documentation. A MOA can be written at a programmatic level to apply to all projects involving NCPC and particular applicant or on a project-by-project basis.

Mitigation means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.20, avoiding an impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;  minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation;  rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment;  reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action;  and compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.

Monumental Core means the general area encompassed by the U.S. Capitol grounds, the National Mall, the Washington Monument grounds, the White House grounds, the Ellipse, West Potomac Park, East Potomac Park, the Southwest Federal Center, the Federal Triangle area, President's Park, the Northwest Rectangle, Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon area, and Joint Base Myer–Henderson Hall.

National Capital Planning Act means the July 1952 legislative enactment, codified at 40 U.S.C. 8701 et seq. that created the present day National Capital Planning Commission and conferred authority upon it to serve as the planning authority for the Federal government in the National Capital Region.

National Capital Region means, as defined in 40 U.S.C. 8702(2), the District of Columbia;  Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland;  Arlington Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William Counties in Virginia;  and all cities in Maryland or Virginia in the geographic area bounded by the outer boundaries of the combined area of the counties listed.

Non–Federal Agency for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act and the regulations in this part means those applicants outside the definition of Federal Agency that prepare plans for or undertake projects on land within the National Capital Region subject to NCPC's jurisdiction. Non–Federal Agencies include, without limitation, the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, the United States Institute of Peace, the Government of the District of Columbia, private parties undertaking development on Federal land, and the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission. In most instances, the Non–Federal Agency has legal jurisdiction over the project and special expertise relative to the project's components.

Notice of Availability or NOA means a public notice or other means of public communication that announces the availability of an EA or an EIS for public review.

Notice of Intent or NOI means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.22, a notice published in the Federal Register that an EIS will be prepared and considered. The notice shall briefly describe the proposed action and possible alternatives;  describe the agency's proposed Public Scoping process including whether, when, and where any Public Scoping meeting will be held;  and state the name and address of a person within the agency who can answer questions about the proposed action and the EIS. For purposes of NCPC implementation of NEPA, NCPC may determine, at its sole discretion, to publish an NOI that an EA will be prepared and considered.

Purpose and need as described in 40 CFR 1502.13 means the underlying purpose and need for agency action to which the agency is responding in proposing the alternatives including the proposed action.

Programmatic NEPA Review means a broad or high level NEPA review that assesses the environmental impacts of proposed policies, plans or programs, or projects for which subsequent project or site-specific NEPA analysis will be conducted. A Programmatic NEPA Review utilizes a tiering approach.

Record of Decision or ROD means a concise public record of an agency's decision in cases requiring an EIS that is prepared in accordance with 40 CFR 1505.2.

Scope means, as defined in 40 U.S.C. 1508.25, the range of actions (connected, cumulative and similar);  alternatives (no action, other reasonable courses of action;  and Mitigation measures not included in the proposed action);  and impacts (direct, indirect and cumulative) considered in an EIS or an EA. The process of defining and determining the scope of issues to be addressed in an EIS or EA with public involvement shall be referred to as Public Scoping. Internal scoping activities shall be referred to by the word scoping without capitalization.

Submission Guidelines means the formally-adopted document which describes the application process and application requirements for projects requiring review by the Commission.

Tiering means, as defined in 40 CFR 1508.28, an approach where Federal Agency applicants, NCPC on behalf of Non–Federal Agency applicants, or NCPC for its own projects initially consider the broad, general impacts of a proposed program, plan, policy, or large scale project—or at the early stage of a phased proposal—and then conduct subsequent narrower, decision focused reviews.

Cite this article: - Code of Federal Regulations Title 1. General Provisions § 1.601.3 Definitions - last updated October 02, 2022 |

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Was this helpful?

Thank you. Your response has been sent.

Copied to clipboard