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The National Environmental Policy Act requires TVA and other federal agencies to consider the impacts of its actions on the human environment before making decisions. The NEPA process is intended to help agency official make better decisions based on an understanding of the environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the human environment.

TVA conducts three types of environmental reviews under NEPA:

  • An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is prepared for major federal actions that have the potential for significant environmental impacts or significant public controversy about those impacts. The EIS has multiple opportunities for public involvement.
  • An Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared if a proposed action does not qualify for a Categorical Exclusion. TVA often prepares an EA describing anticipated environmental impacts. If the impacts are determined to be insignificant, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is issued. If the impacts are determined to be significant, the proposed action may be rejected or modified, or TVA may decide to prepare an EIS. Most EAs have opportunities for public involvement.
  • Categorical Exclusions (CEs) are categories of actions which do not normally have, individually or cumulatively, a significant impact on the environment and for which no unusual or exceptional circumstances exist. Neither an EA or and EIS is required for these actions, which are listed in TVA’s NEPA procedures (PDF, 90 kb). TVA documents the review of many of these actions with a Categorical Exclusion Checklist.

Please direct questions or comments to:

Amy B. Henry

Manager, NEPA Program & Valley Projects

Tennessee Valley Authority
400 West Summit Hill Dr., WT 11D
Knoxville, TN 37902-1499




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