Clouds and sunglint over the Indian Ocean as seen during the STS-96 mission from the Space Shuttle Discovery (Image Credit: NASA) NASA AND THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires all Federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and the reasonable alternatives to those actions. NASA follows the NEPA regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and has developed agency-specific NEPA policies and regulations to ensure compliance with the NEPA statute, implementing regulations, and related Executive Orders.
NASA's NEPA Program is managed by the Environmental Management Division, NASA Headquarters, and NASA NEPA Managers who oversee its implementation at the NASA Centers and component facilities. The program ensures that NASA is proactive in meeting its Federal stewardship responsibilities while ensuring mission success and lowering environmental liability. Early implementation of NEPA in the planning stages of NASA programs and projects can be critical to lowering the risk to mission schedules and costs, as well as risks to the environment.
The Agency stands behind its NEPA Program, ensuring that missions are implemented with the least possible impact to the environment. NASA knows that every mission, even exploration of other planets, starts with protecting our home, planet Earth.