44 FR 50811, Aug. 30, 1979, unless otherwise noted.
(a) The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) establishes national policies and goals for the protection of the environment. Section 102(2) of NEPA contains certain procedural requirements directed toward the attainment of such goals. In particular, all Federal agencies are required to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of their proposed actions in their decision-making and to prepare detailed environmental statements on recommendations or reports on proposals for legislation and other major Federal Actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
(b) Executive Order 11991 of May 24, 1977, directed the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to issue regulations to implement the procedural provisions of NEPA (NEPA Regulations). Accordingly, CEQ issued final NEPA Regulations which are binding on all Federal agencies as of July 30, 1979 (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) on November 29, 1979. These Regulations provide that each Federal agency shall as necessary adopt implementing procedures to supplement the NEPA Regulations. Section 1507.3(b) of the NEPA Regulations identifies those sections of the NEPA Regulations which must be addressed in agency procedures.
The purpose of this part is to establish procedures which supplement the NEPA Regulations and provide for the implementation of those provisions identified in § 1507.3(b) of the NEPA Regulations.
Historically, virtually all financing provided by Eximbank has been in aid of U.S. exports which involve no effects on the quality of the environment within the United States, its territories or possessions. Eximbank has separate procedures for conducting environmental reviews where such reviews are required by E.O. 12114 (January 4, 1979) because of potential effects on the environment of global commons areas or on the environment of foreign nations. The procedures set forth in this part apply to the relatively rare cases where Eximbank financing of U.S. exports may affect environmental quality in the United States, its territories or possessions.
(a) Section 1501.2(d) of the NEPA Regulations requires agencies to provide for early involvement in actions which, while planned by private applicants or other non-Federal entities, require some form of Federal approval. Pursuant to the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, as amended, Eximbank is asked to provide financing for transactions involving exports of U.S. goods and services for projects in foreign countries which are planned by non-U.S. entities (Transactions).
(b) To implement the requirements of § 1501.2(d) with respect to these Transactions, Eximbank:
(1) Will provide on a project-by-project basis to applicant seeking financing from Eximbank guidance as to the scope and level of environmental information to be used in evaluating a proposed Transaction where:
(i) The proposed Eximbank financing would be a major action and
(ii) A Transaction may significantly affect the quality of the human environment in the United States, its territories or possessions.
(2) Upon receipt of an application for Eximbank financing or notification that an application will be filed, will consult as required with other appropriate parties to initiate and coordinate the necessary environmental analyses.
These responsibilities will be performed by the General Counsel and the Engineers of Eximbank.
(1) Consult with the Engineer as early as possible in the planning process for guidance on the scope and level of environmental information required to be submitted in support of their application;
(2) Conduct any studies which are deemed necessary and appropriate by Eximbank to determine the impact of the proposed action on the quality of the human environment;
(3) Consult with appropriate U.S. (Federal, regional, State and local) agencies and other potentially interested parties during preliminary planning stages to ensure that all environmental factors are identified;
(4) Submit applications for all U.S. (Federal, regional, State and local) approvals as early as possible in the planning process;
(5) Notify Eximbank as early as possible of all other applicable legal requirements for project completion so that all applicable Federal environmental reviews may be coordinated; and
(6) Notify Eximbank of all known parties potentially affected by or interested in the proposed action.
Section 1505.1 of the NEPA Regulations contains requirements to ensure adequate consideration of environmental documents in agency decision-making. To implement these requirements, Eximbank officials will:
(a) Consider all relevant environmental documents in evaluating applications for Eximbank financing;
(b) Ensure that all relevant environmental documents, comments and responses accompany the application through Eximbank's review processes;
(c) Consider only those alternatives encompassed by the range of alternatives discussed in the relevant environmental documents when evaluating an application which is the subject of an EIS.
|Eximbank actions||Start of NEPA process||Completion of NEPA process||Key officials or offices required to consider environmental documents|
|Issuance of Preliminary Commitment (P.C.)||When application is received||When the Board of Directors meets to consider application. The Board may notify applicant that environmental effects will be considered when final commitment is requested and request information on environmental matters||Under § 408.4(b)(1)(i) and (ii), General Counsel to determine whether requested Eximbank financing is a major action and Engineer to determine whether proposed Transaction may significantly affect the quality of the human environment in the United States, its territories or possessions.|
|Issuance of Final Commitment||When application is received||When the Board of Directors meets to consider application||(If no P.C. has been issued, key offices will make determinations mentioned above.) Engineer to collect, prepare or arrange for preparation of all environmental documents.|
(a) Section 1507.3(c)(2) of the NEPA Regulations in conjunction with § 1508.4 thereof requires agencies to establish three typical classes of action for similar treatment under NEPA. These typical classes of action are set forth below:
|Actions normally requiring EIS's||Actions normally requiring assessments but not necessarily EIS's||Actions normally not requiring assessments or EIS's|
|None||Applications for Eximbank financing under the direct lending program in support of transactions for which determinations under § 408.4(b)(1)(i) and (ii) above may be affirmative||Applications for Eximbank financing in the form of insurance or guarantees.|
(b) Eximbank will independently determine whether an EIS or an environmental assessment is required where:
(1) A proposal for agency action is not covered by one of the typical classes of action above; or
(2) For actions which are covered, the presence of extraordinary circumstances indicates that some other level of environmental review may be appropriate.
Interested persons may contact the General Counsel regarding Eximbank's compliance with NEPA.