National Environmental Policy Act - Categorical Exclusions for Soil and Water Restoration Activities - Final Rule


The Final Rule
The Forest Service has supplemented its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations (36 CFR Part 220) with three new categorical exclusions for activities that restore lands negatively impacted by water control structures, natural and human caused events, and roads and trails.
These categorical exclusions will allow the Forest Service to more efficiently analyze and document the potential environmental effects of soil and water restoration projects that are intended to: (1) restore the flow of waters into natural channels and floodplains by removing water control structures, such as dams, levees, dikes, ditches, culverts, pipes, and drainage tiles; (2) restore lands and habitat to pre-disturbance conditions, to the extent practicable, by removing debris, sediment, and hazardous conditions following disturbance events; and (3) restore lands occupied by roads and trails, excluding National Forest System roads and National Forest System trails, to natural conditions.

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