NEPA: Lessons Learned Under the Recovery Act

clock July 5, 2012 17:01 by author Bulletin Board
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resulted in more than 3,000 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) projects that required review for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This demanded a previously unparalleled level of effort from the EERE NEPA team and provided the team with the unique opportunity to study the NEPA process applied on a very broad scale. What would be the NEPA “lessons learned” of the Recovery Act? [More]

Improving the NEPA Review Process

clock June 8, 2012 15:35 by author Bulletin Board
How does the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) process more than 3,000 new projects ­­- many with subawards - generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to meet the compliance standards of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)? How can this be done quickly and efficiently so that projects can get underway and Recovery Act funds can be put into the economy as soon as possible? How is project status reported across various offices in a timely manner? These were just some of the challenges facing the EERE NEPA team as they began this herculean effort in 2009. [More]

Getting a Head Start on NEPA

clock January 23, 2012 15:44 by author Bulletin Board
Best Practice: The Department of Energy can expedite National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review when the entity applying for federal funding provides accurate environmental information early in the funding process, and plans its project(s) carefully. Early and accurate environmental information not only helps DOE in determining and efficiently preparing the appropriate level of NEPA review, but also helps with technology selection and most appropriate project location. [More]

DOE Works with Other Agencies to Ensure that Resources Are Used Wisely

clock August 28, 2011 17:23 by author Bulletin Board
When a project is considered for an EERE award, one might assume that DOE is the only Federal agency that will review it, but this is not always the case. In order to assure that taxpayer dollars are being spent on safe, effective projects that meet all Federal regulations, EERE frequently collaborates with other Federal departments during the approval process. A great example of this can be found in one Western U.S. state where a private company was awarded an EERE grant through its state energy office for an innovative hydropower project. [More]

Sizing Renewable Energy Projects to meet Categorical Exclusions Leads to Quicker Energy Savings

clock August 19, 2011 20:09 by author Bulletin Board
Recovery Act funding through EERE enabled a New England state energy office to greatly expand its renewable energy incentive program. The program provides residential and commercial consumers with partial installation costs for small-scale wind, solar, and hydropower systems as well as rebates once the systems are up and running.

Close coordination between the DOE EERE Project Officers and DOE EERE National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Specialists allowed Project Officers to aid recipients in defining proposed renewable energy projects that would not have a potential for significant environmental impact and would qualify for a categorical exclusion determination under DOE’s NEPA regulations. [More]

Reviewing Projects’ Potential to Impact the Environment

clock March 16, 2011 16:56 by author Bulletin Board
Sometimes overseeing an EERE financial assistance award means taking part in technological innovation, and sometimes it means helping the recipient navigate a complex landscape of people, technology, and regulations

An important project working to transform the market for hydrogen fuel cells in the telecommunications industry involved the installation of backup power systems at 189 different sites—which traditionally would have required 189 separate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews! This massive effort could have stalled the project. [More]