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e-CFR data is current as of April 8, 2021

Title 22Chapter ISubchapter QPart 161Subpart B → §161.6


Title 22: Foreign Relations
PART 161—REGULATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA)
Subpart B—NEPA and Departmental Decisionmaking


§161.6   Responsibilities of departmental officials.

(a) General. As a general rule, responsibility for preparing environmental analysis documents will follow the Department's standard organizational practices; in this way environmental considerations and awareness of environmental responsibilities will be integrated most readily and effectively into the usual decisionmaking processes.

(1) Departmental bureaus. Each bureau within the Department shall be responsible for:

(i) Implementing these regulations and incorporating them into its normal decisionmaking processes;

(ii) Identifying actions it intends to initiate which may affect significantly the environment of the United States and employing the environmental evaluation procedures outlined in these regulations to ensure that necessary actions are taken to meet the requirements of applicable laws and regulations;

(iii) Coordinating environmental assessment-related activities for which it is responsible with the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and supporting and assisting the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues in implementing these regulations as required; and

(iv) Providing the personnel required to implement these regulations, informing the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues and the Office of the Legal Adviser whenever it is anticipated that environmental documents will be prepared under these regulations, and consulting the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues and the Office of the Legal Adviser as necessary for guidance and assistance in the preparation of such documents.

(2) Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Through its Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues the Bureau shall have the primary responsibility for ensuring the Department's compliance with environmental policies, regulations and procedures. It shall provide policy and professional direction and guidance within the Department for implementing these regulations. It shall also assist other bureaus in obtaining appropriate scientific advice and budgetary resources to implement the regulations. The Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues will act as the focal point for implementation, working closely with the Departmental bureaus and the Office of the Legal Adviser. The Bureau and other involved bureaus will work closely with the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the preparation of environmental documents relating to legislation. In carrying out its responsibilities the Bureau shall:

(i) Coordinate the formulation, development and revision of Departmental policies and positions on matters pertaining to environmental evaluation and review;

(ii) Develop and ensure the implementation of Departmentwide standards, procedures and working relationships for environmental review and compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations;

(iii) Develop, as an integral part of the Department's basic decision processes, procedures to ensure that environmental factors are properly considered in all relevant proposals and decisions;

(iv) Monitor these processes to ensure that Departmental procedures are achieving their purposes;

(v) Advise, assist and inform Departmental bureaus of the technical and management aspects of environmental analysis, and of the relevant expertise available in and outside the Department;

(vi) Establish and maintain working relationships with the Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal, State and local governmental agencies concerned with environmental matters;

(vii) Represent the Department in working with other government agencies and organizations to formulate, revise and achieve uniform understanding and application of government-wide policies relating to the environment;

(viii) Consolidate and transmit to the appropriate parties Departmental comments on environmental impact statements and other environmental reports prepared by other agencies; and

(ix) Acquire information for and prepare other Departmental reports on environmental assessment matters.

(3) Office of the Legal Adviser. The Office of the Legal Adviser is the principal Departmental authority on the legal aspects of environmental matters and the implementation of these regulations and shall advise and assist Departmental Bureaus in these matters.

(4) Bureau Environmental Coordinators. Each Departmental bureau and major office shall designate an officer to act as coordinator, adviser and principal point of contact for environmental matters within the bureau. The bureau coordinator will advise and assist the bureau in implementing these regulations and serve as a member of the Departmental Committee of Environmental Coordinators.

(5) Departmental Committee of Environmental Coordinators. A Departmental Committee of Environmental Coordinators shall be established to assist in coordinating Departmental implementation of these regulations; in providing advice on major issues, policies and procedures relating to the Department's implementation of environmental analysis requirements; and in ensuring general conformity of Departmental implementation practices. The Committee's responsibility will be to exchange information on the implementation of these regulations, assist bureaus in early identification of Departmental actions which should be analyzed for environmental effects and help to coordinate and provide the appropriate analysis. The Committee will be chaired by the Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues and will be comprised of bureau and office coordinators designated by the respective bureaus and offices.

(6) Outside contractors. Qualified outside contractors may be employed to assist Departmental officers in preparing environmental documents as required under these regulations.

[45 FR 59554, Sept. 10, 1980, as amended at 85 FR 32296, May 29, 2020]

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