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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance

The Branch of Environmental and Cultural Resources Management coordinates the NEPA review process for American Indian and Alaska Native lands.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is primary federal entity responsible for ensuring the compliance of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for projects and activities affecting the environment on Indian trust lands. 

The goal of NEPA review process is to ensure that information about environmental impacts is available to decision makers and the public before final decisions are made.

The Branch of Environmental and Cultural Resources Management (BECRM) can help to support and answer questions about the environment review process on Native land.

However, the responsibility for compliance lies with the office directly responsible for funding, developing, or approving a proposal or action.

Tribal governments are partners in the NEPA review process and have substantial authority through their retained tribal sovereignty for environmental protection on lands within their jurisdiction. 

Initiatives affecting the environment on Tribal lands often require the approval of both BIA and tribal governments.

NEPA Exemptions  

There are very few actions that are exempt from a NEPA review.  

You should contact BECRM or the NEPA coordinators at your BIA Regional Office for guidance about specific circumstances where environmental analysis may not be required.

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