(a) The Department must meet the requirements of applicable Federal environmental and
cultural resource laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the
National Historic Preservation Act, for a proposed project under the Program.
(b) The Secretary has delegated environmental and cultural resource compliance responsibilities
to the Operating Administrations, as appropriate. As such, an Operating Administration will serve as the lead agency responsible for
final review and approval of environmental documents, and any associated environmental
determinations and findings for a proposed project under the Program. The Secretary, as delegated to the Operating Administrations, is also responsible
for making determinations and issuing approvals in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 138 and 49 U.S.C. 303 (Section 4(f)), as applicable. Tribes may consult with the Self–Governance Official to determine which Operating
Administration should serve as the lead agency.
(c) If the Department is conducting the environmental review process for a proposed project
under the Program, the Tribe must assist the Department to satisfy the requirements
of applicable Federal environmental and cultural resource laws.
(d) A Tribe may manage or conduct the environmental review process for a proposed project
under the Program and may prepare drafts of the appropriate environmental review documents
for submission to the Department.
(1) A Tribe may follow its own environmental review procedures if the procedures and
documentation also satisfy the Federal environmental review requirements applicable
to the project. A Tribe should work with the Operating Administration serving as lead agency to
ensure the Tribal process will satisfy all applicable Federal environmental review
(2) The Operating Administration serving as lead agency must determine that the Tribe's
process and documentation satisfy the applicable Federal environmental review requirements.
(e) As resources permit and at the request of a Tribe, the Department will provide advice
and technical assistance to the Tribe to assist in the management of the Federal environmental
review process and preparation of environmental documents.
(f) Unless prohibited by law, a Tribe may use funds included in a funding agreement to
pay for environmental review activities.
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