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News


This page features the NASA NEPA Actions that have been featured as "News" since this public portal was created. NEPA visitors are encouraged to check back often to view additional announcements and updates. This page features some of the latest NEPA Actions published by NASA Centers. Final NEPA documents are available in the NEPA Library.

 

March 14, 2014 - NASA Releases Final EIS For Proposed Demolition and Environmental Cleanup Activities At Santa Susana Field Laboratory

March 14, 2014 - NASA has published a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), Proposed Demolition and Environmental Cleanup Activities at Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), Ventura County, California.
Additional information is available here.

September 11, 2013 - NASA Issues NOI To Prepare An EIS For The Mars 2020 Mission

September 11, 2013 -NASA has issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Mars 2020 mission and to conduct scoping for the EIS. A copy of the Federal Register notice is available here.
Additional information is available here.

 

August 2, 2013 - NASA has prepared a draft EIS for the Proposed Demolition and Environmental Cleanup activities at Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Ventura County, California. You can view the draft EIS at the following website: http://www.nasa.gov/agency/nepa/news/SSFL.html#.Ui9zN8ZQF1d

Additional information is available here.

 

 

June 19, 2013 - NASA Wallops Flight Facility has published a Final Environmental Impact Statement and ROD for the Sounding Rocket Program. The documents are available on the Wallops website at: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/pfrr_eis.html

 

 

April 10, 2013 - NASA's Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) has prepared a Draft EA for the Wallops Island Post-Hurricane Sandy Shoreline Repair. The DEA has been prepared as a tiered NEPA document, under the WFF Shoreline and Restoration & Infrastructure Protection Plan EIS (see May 5, 2010 announcement below): http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/Tiered_Shoreline_Renourishment_EA.html

 

 

March 18, 2013 – NASA has prepared a Draft EA for the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Technology Demonstration mission. The Draft EA is available for public comment until April 19, 2013 at the following website: http://www.govsupport.us/nasaldsdea/.

 

November 15, 2013 - A Draft EA has been prepared for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft planned to travel to a near-Earth asteroid, study it in detail, and bring a sample back to Earth. The Draft EA is available for public review and comment until January 2, 2013. The Draft EA and additional information are available below on the OSIRIS-REx NEPA website: http://code250.gsfc.nasa.gov/environmental/osiris-rex.cfm

 

The NASA Sounding Rockets Program based at Wallops Flight Facility has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in support of its continuing operations at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Poker Flat Research Range. The comment period will extend until November 28, 2012. The Draft EIS and its appendices may be downloaded and reviewed on the project website at: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/pfrr_eis.html.

 

The NASA NEPA policy document, NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8580.1A, "Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Executive Order (EO) 12114," has been updated. To view the updated NPR 8580.1A, click here

 
The Aerosonde UAS in flight.

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, has published a Notice of Availability (NOA) releasing of the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for their proposed North Wallops Island Unmanned Aerial Systems Airstrip.

To view the final EA, click here.
Additional information is available on the WFF website here.

 

 

For more information on NASA's Categorical Exclusions, click here.
 
Screenshot of NASA Recovery website

NASA's Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., has published a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in the Federal Register for the NASA Routine Payloads EA. This updates the original EA published in 2002 to include additional launch locations and launch vehicles, as well as update the envelope payload characteristics.
To view the FONSI, click here.

Screenshot of NASA Recovery website

NASA submitted the 12th and final ARRA Quarterly Report to CEQ on programs and projects the received recovery funds. CEQ reported all federal agency ARRA activity to The White House which are available here.

Image of Earth and the sun with a satellite floating in orbit.

The NOA of this draft Environmental Assessment has been published in the Federal Register. The EA updates the current NASA Routine Payload EA that was published in 2002. Public comments are welcome during the 45-day comment period (ending October 12, 2011).

 
+ Click here for more information including links to the NOA and draft EA.
Image of Shuttle on the stand at night.

Congress recently clarified direction for NASA's post-Shuttle program for human space flight and exploration, which was previously known as Constellation. This modified Record of Decision (ROD) documents NASA's consideration of possible changes in the environmental impacts resulting from directed changes in the Agency's proposed human spaceflight program.

 
+ Modified Record of Decision for NASA's Post-Shuttle Human Spaceflight Program and the Constellation Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
+ Modified Record of Decision for NASA's Post-Shuttle Human Spaceflight Program and the Constellation Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (with signatures)
Image of a sunrise over Earth from space.

Title 14 CFR 1216.3, Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act
NASA's NEPA regulations were last updated in 1988. NASA first informed the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) of the need to update the agency NEPA regulations (14 CFR 1216.3) in 2008. An internal cross-functional Work Group (see Preparers below) drafted the proposed revision. After extensive review and incorporating CEQ comments in the proposed regulations, NASA submitted the Proposed Revised NASA NEPA Regulations to the Office of Management and Business (OMB) for their review. OMB completed their interagency review process in January 2011. After addressing received from two agencies, a final Federal Register notice was prepared and signed by the NASA Administrator on July 14, 2011. The Federal Register Notice contains a detailed Preamble and the full text of the proposed rule. The Notice was published on July 21, initiating the 60-day public review period. The Notice contains the Web site and mailing address for interested persons to submit comments. Comments were accepted until September 21, 2011. NASA is in the process of finalizing the rule as no comments were received and the final rule will be public in the Federal Register later this year.

+ Federal Register Notice of NASA's Proposed NEPA Rule with Preamble
+ Preparers
+ More information on NASA's Categorical Exclusions

Wallops Flight Facility

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, has published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for their proposed site-wide operations.

The Federal Register Notice is available at:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-11/pdf/2011-17290.pdf

Additional information is available on the WFF website at:
http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/site-wide_eis.html

Santa Susana Field Laboratory

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center located in Alabama has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Demolition and Remediation Cleanup Activities for the NASA administered portion of Santa Susana Field Laboratory in California.

The Federal Register Notice is available at:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-06/pdf/2011-16819.pdf

Additional information is available on the SSFL website at:
http://ssfl.msfc.nasa.gov/

Wallops Flight Facility

The Federal Register Notice is available at:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-8844.pdf

Additional information is available on the project website at:
http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/pfrr_eis.html

Wallops Flight Facility

NASA has announced the availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) Alternative Energy Project.

The purpose of the Alternative Energy Project is to generate renewable electricity at WFF to assist NASA as an agency in meeting or exceeding the requirements of the 2005 Federal Energy Policy Act and various Executive Orders. The project would also be expected to stabilize WFF's growing utility costs and provide educational outreach regarding renewable energy technologies.

Under the Proposed Action/Preferred Alternative, NASA would install up to an 80-acre system of solar panels at the Main Base that would be capable of generating 10 gigawatt-hours per year of electricity. Additionally, two 2.4 kilowatt residential-scale wind turbines would be installed near the WFF Visitor Center and the entrance gate/security guard station at the Mainland, respectively. At full buildout, the electricity generated annually by this project would equate to approximately 850 average American homes. Given the large capital investment required for a project of this size, the proposal would not be implemented immediately in its entirety; rather it would be built in multiple smaller phases over time.

**Please note that the Proposed Action differs from what was initially presented in the Draft EA. Due to substantial concerns raised by agencies and organizations regarding potential impacts on birds and bats, the two utility-scale wind turbines on Wallops Island are no longer proposed.**

NASA has also prepared a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) concluding that an Environmental Impact Statement is not necessary for this project. NASA will take no final action prior to 30 days following publication of the Draft FONSI Notice of Availability (NOA) in local newspapers. NOAs were placed in local newspapers this week.

The Draft FONSI and Final EA are available on the internet in Adobe format at:
http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/code250/alternative_energy_final_EA.html

The Final EA and Draft FONSI are also available for review at the following locations:

Chincoteague Island Library, Chincoteague, VA
Eastern Shore Public Library, Accomac, VA
Northampton Free Library, Nassawadox, VA
NASA WFF Technical Library, Wallops Island, VA

Hard copies of the Final EA and Draft FONSI are available by contacting:

Josh Bundick
Lead, Environmental Planning
NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Code 250.W
Wallops Island, VA 23337
Phone: 757-824-2319
E-mail: Joshua.A.Bundick@nasa.gov

Glenn Research Center
NASA has distributed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and to conduct scoping for the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) Plum Brook Station (PBS) Wind Farm Project. The NOI is in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the CEQ Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), Executive Order 13423, and NASA policy and procedures (14 CFR part 1216 Subpart 1216.3). NASA is conducting scoping to obtain the public's comments on the wind farm construction and operation. This scoping is in preparation for an Environmental Impact Statement.

Click here for more information.

A Power Point Slide Presentation about the Wind Farm Project can be found here.

Scientific Balloon Launch Operations at NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility
NASA has prepared a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment(PEA) that analyzes scientific balloon launch and flight operations from NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Fort Sumner, New Mexico and the CSBF in Palestine, Texas. The Draft PEA is in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and NASA NEPA policy and procedures (14 CFR Part 1216, Subpart 1216.3). NASA is proposing to increase the number of scientific balloons launched every year from the two Scientific Balloon Facilities.
 

Click here for more information.

Artist's Illustration of NuSTAR
NASA has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the proposed Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission to be launched on a Pegasus XL launch vehicle from the Reagan Test Site (RTS) at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in August 2011. The only other alternative that was considered in detail was No Action.
 

Click here for more information.

Wallops Flight Facility
Comments on the Draft SRIPP Preliminary Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) were solicited upon publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. NASA hosted a public comment meeting to discuss the Draft SRIPP PEIS on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 from 6-9 p.m. at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Information Center..
 

Click here for more information.

 
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Page Last Updated: November 13th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator