12 October 2011
Recipients of federal technology grant awards funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) that involve construction activities must comply with federal (and often state) environmental requirements, including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. In many cases, such compliance requires an Environmental Assessment (EA) leading to the issuance of a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) by the awarding agency. In other cases, projects that involve only activities with low potential to impact the environment may fall within agency-specific categorical exclusions. While it is possible that some projects funded under the Recovery Act may require preparation of a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the relatively short award periods associated with Recovery Act grant awards make these uncommon.