National environmental policy act, NEPA

4.1.20 National Environmental Policy Act

All NIH grants, whether or not they include construction or major A&R activities, are subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended. This Act requires Federal agencies to consider the reasonably foreseeable environmental consequences of all grant-supported activities. As part of NIH's implementation of this Act, recipients are required to promptly notify NIH of any reasonably foreseeable impacts on the environment from grant-supported activities, or certify that no such impacts will arise upon receipt of a grant award. In addition, NIH has determined that most NIH research grants are not expected to individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the environment unless any part of the proposed research and/or project includes one or more of the following categorical exclusions listed below:

  1. The potential environmental impacts of the proposed research may be of greater scope or size than other actions included within a category.
  2. The proposed research threatens to violate a Federal, State, or local law established for the protection of the environment or for public health and safety.
  3. Potential effects of the proposed research are unique or highly uncertain.
  4. Use of especially hazardous substances or processes is proposed for which adequate and accepted controls and safeguards are unknown or not available.
  5. The proposed research may overload existing waste treatment plants due to new loads (volume, chemicals, toxicity, additional hazardous wasted, etc.)
  6. The proposed research may have a possible impact on endangered or threatened species.
  7. The proposed research may introduce new sources of hazardous/toxic wastes or require storage of wastes pending new technology for safe disposal.
  8. The proposed research may introduce new sources of radiation or radioactive materials.
  9. Substantial and reasonable controversy exists about the environmental effects of the proposed research.

This requirement is in addition to other public policy requirements for grants for construction and alteration and renovation activities discussed more fully in the Construction chapter - Construction, Modernization, or Major Alteration and Renovation of Research Facilities-Public Policy Requirements.