National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the national law that requires all federal agencies to evaluate potential environmental impacts of proposed major actions and to inform and involve the public in the decision-making process. This includes exploring reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, analyzing potential impacts to the environment and ensuring that the public has an opportunity to provide input.
UPDATE Nov. 17, 2023: Public Comment Period for Environmental Assessment (EA)
The Army is following the NEPA process as part of the Congressionally-directed removal of the bronze elements of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. After fact gathering and analysis of potential impacts, the Army has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) addressing the discretionary elements of the proposed action, including how to disassemble the Confederate Memorial. The EA determined that the removal will not have significant environmental impacts. The Army has created a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) that reflects the EA’s determinations. From Nov. 17 through Dec. 2, 2023, ANMC sought comments on the EA and draft FONSI. Relevant documents are linked below.
• Confederate Memorial EA
• Appendix A: Resource Documentation
• Appendix B: NHPA Documentation
• Appendix C: Phase II Survey Report
• Appendix D: Agencies and Preparers
• Confederate Memorial Draft FONSI
• Click here, or on the "Documents" tab at left, for a list of public documents related to the removal of the Confederate Memorial.
UPDATE: Nov. 3, 2023: Army Pivots from an Environmental Impact Statement to an Environmental Assessment
The Department of the Army announced the withdrawal of its Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Nov. 3, 2023, in the Federal Register. The Aug. 4, 2023 notice announced the Army’s intention to prepare an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EIS would have addressed potential environmental effects associated with the congressionally-mandated removal of the Confederate Memorial from Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). The Army determined the congressionally-mandated removal action is a non-discretionary action. There would be no reasonably foreseeable significant impacts from any discretionary elements of the proposed action. An EIS is therefore not needed to inform any decision-making for this action. The Army will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze and disclose any effects of the discretionary elements of the proposed action, including how to disassemble the Confederate Memorial.
Public comments related to the EIS were solicited during the public scoping meeting on Aug. 23, 2023. Another public comment period will be announced upon release of the EA.