, as amended
(Pub. L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, January 1, 1970, as amended by Pub. L.
94-52, July 3, 1975, Pub. L. 94-83, August 9, 1975, and Pub. L. 97-258, §
4(b), Sept. 13, 1982)
An Act to establish a national policy for the environment, to provide for the
establishment of a Council on Environmental Quality, and for other
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited
as the "National Environmental Policy Act of 1969."
Sec. 2 [42 USC § 4321].
The purposes of this Act are: To
declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable
harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent
or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health
and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and
natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on
CONGRESSIONAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Sec. 101 [42 USC § 4331].
(a) The Congress, recognizing the profound impact of man's activity on
the interrelations of all components of the natural environment, particularly
the profound influences of population growth, high-density urbanization,
industrial expansion, resource exploitation, and new and expanding
technological advances and recognizing further the critical importance of
restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and
development of man, declares that it is the continuing policy of the Federal
Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other
concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and
measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated
to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions
under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the
social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of
(b) In order to carry out the policy set forth in this Act, it is the
continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable
means, consistent with other essential considerations of national policy, to
improve and coordinate Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to
the end that the Nation may --
(c) The Congress recognizes that each person should enjoy a healthful
environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the
preservation and enhancement of the environment.
- fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of
the environment for succeeding generations;
- assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, and
aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;
- attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment
without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and
- preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of
our national heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment
which supports diversity, and variety of individual choice;
- achieve a balance between population and resource use which
will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's
- enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the
maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.
Sec. 102 [42 USC § 4332].
The Congress authorizes and directs
that, to the fullest extent possible: (1) the policies, regulations, and
public laws of the United States shall be interpreted and administered in
accordance with the policies set forth in this Act, and (2) all agencies of
the Federal Government shall --
Sec. 103 [42 USC § 4333].
All agencies of the Federal Government
shall review their present statutory authority, administrative regulations,
and current policies and procedures for the purpose of determining whether
there are any deficiencies or inconsistencies therein which prohibit full
compliance with the purposes and provisions of this Act and shall propose to
the President not later than July 1, 1971, such measures as may be necessary
to bring their authority and policies into conformity with the intent,
purposes, and procedures set forth in this Act.
Sec. 104 [42 USC § 4334].
Nothing in section 102 [42 USC § 4332]
or 103 [42 USC § 4333] shall in any way affect the specific statutory
obligations of any Federal agency (1) to comply with criteria or standards of
environmental quality, (2) to coordinate or consult with any other Federal or
State agency, or (3) to act, or refrain from acting contingent upon the
recommendations or certification of any other Federal or State agency.
Sec. 105 [42 USC § 4335].
The policies and goals set forth in
this Act are supplementary to those set forth in existing authorizations of
COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Sec. 201 [42 USC § 4341].
The President shall transmit to the
Congress annually beginning July 1, 1970, an Environmental Quality Report
(hereinafter referred to as the "report") which shall set forth (1) the status
and condition of the major natural, manmade, or altered environmental classes
of the Nation, including, but not limited to, the air, the aquatic, including
marine, estuarine, and fresh water, and the terrestrial environment,
including, but not limited to, the forest, dryland, wetland, range, urban,
suburban an rural environment; (2) current and foreseeable trends in the
quality, management and utilization of such environments and the effects of
those trends on the social, economic, and other requirements of the Nation;
(3) the adequacy of available natural resources for fulfilling human and
economic requirements of the Nation in the light of expected population
pressures; (4) a review of the programs and activities (including regulatory
activities) of the Federal Government, the State and local governments, and
nongovernmental entities or individuals with particular reference to their
effect on the environment and on the conservation, development and utilization
of natural resources; and (5) a program for remedying the deficiencies of
existing programs and activities, together with recommendations for
Sec. 202 [42 USC § 4342].
There is created in the Executive
Office of the President a Council on Environmental Quality (hereinafter
referred to as the "Council"). The Council shall be composed of three members
who shall be appointed by the President to serve at his pleasure, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate. The President shall designate one of
the members of the Council to serve as Chairman. Each member shall be a
person who, as a result of his training, experience, and attainments, is
exceptionally well qualified to analyze and interpret environmental trends and
information of all kinds; to appraise programs and activities of the Federal
Government in the light of the policy set forth in title I of this Act; to be
conscious of and responsive to the scientific, economic, social, aesthetic,
and cultural needs and interests of the Nation; and to formulate and recommend
national policies to promote the improvement of the quality of the
Sec. 203 [42 USC § 4343].
(a) The Council may employ such officers and employees as may be
necessary to carry out its functions under this Act. In addition, the Council
may employ and fix the compensation of such experts and consultants as may be
necessary for the carrying out of its functions under this Act, in accordance
with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code (but without regard to the
last sentence thereof).
(b) Notwithstanding section 1342 of Title 31, the Council may accept
and employ voluntary and uncompensated services in furtherance of the purposes
of the Council.
Sec. 204 [42 USC § 4344].
It shall be the duty and function of
the Council --
- to assist and advise the President in the preparation of the
Environmental Quality Report required by section 201 [42 USC § 4341] of
- to gather timely and authoritative information concerning the
conditions and trends in the quality of the environment both current and
prospective, to analyze and interpret such information for the purpose
of determining whether such conditions and trends are interfering, or
are likely to interfere, with the achievement of the policy set forth in
title I of this Act, and to compile and submit to the President studies
relating to such conditions and trends;
- to review and appraise the various programs and activities of
the Federal Government in the light of the policy set forth in title I
of this Act for the purpose of determining the extent to which such
programs and activities are contributing to the achievement of such
policy, and to make recommendations to the President with respect
- to develop and recommend to the President national policies
to foster and promote the improvement of environmental quality to meet
the conservation, social, economic, health, and other requirements and
goals of the Nation;
- to conduct investigations, studies, surveys, research, and
analyses relating to ecological systems and environmental quality;
- to document and define changes in the natural environment,
including the plant and animal systems, and to accumulate necessary data
and other information for a continuing analysis of these changes or
trends and an interpretation of their underlying causes;
- to report at least once each year to the President on the
state and condition of the environment; and
- to make and furnish such studies, reports thereon, and
recommendations with respect to matters of policy and legislation as the
President may request.
Sec. 205 [42 USC § 4345].
In exercising its powers, functions,
and duties under this Act, the Council shall --
- consult with the Citizens' Advisory Committee on
Environmental Quality established by Executive Order No. 11472, dated
May 29, 1969, and with such representatives of science, industry,
agriculture, labor, conservation organizations, State and local
governments and other groups, as it deems advisable; and
- utilize, to the fullest extent possible, the services,
facilities and information (including statistical information) of public
and private agencies and organizations, and individuals, in order that
duplication of effort and expense may be avoided, thus assuring that the
Council's activities will not unnecessarily overlap or conflict with
similar activities authorized by law and performed by established
Sec. 206 [42 USC § 4346].
Members of the Council shall serve
full time and the Chairman of the Council shall be compensated at the rate
provided for Level II of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates [5 USC § 5313]. The
other members of the Council shall be compensated at the rate provided for
Level IV of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates [5 USC § 5315].
Sec. 207 [42 USC § 4346a].
The Council may accept reimbursements
from any private nonprofit organization or from any department, agency, or
instrumentality of the Federal Government, any State, or local government, for
the reasonable travel expenses incurred by an officer or employee of the
Council in connection with his attendance at any conference, seminar, or
similar meeting conducted for the benefit of the Council.
Sec. 208 [42 USC § 4346b].
The Council may make expenditures in
support of its international activities, including expenditures for: (1)
international travel; (2) activities in implementation of international
agreements; and (3) the support of international exchange programs in the
United States and in foreign countries.
Sec. 209 [42 USC § 4347].
There are authorized to be
appropriated to carry out the provisions of this chapter not to exceed
$300,000 for fiscal year 1970, $700,000 for fiscal year 1971, and $1,000,000
for each fiscal year thereafter.
The Environmental Quality Improvement Act, as amended (Pub. L. No. 91-
224, Title II, April 3, 1970; Pub. L. No. 97-258, September 13, 1982; and Pub.
L. No. 98-581, October 30, 1984.
42 USC § 4372.
42 USC § 4373. Each Environmental Quality Report required by
Public Law 91-190 shall, upon transmittal to Congress, be referred to each
standing committee having jurisdiction over any part of the subject matter of
42 USC § 4374. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated
for the operations of the Office of Environmental Quality and the Council on
Environmental Quality not to exceed the following sums for the following
fiscal years which sums are in addition to those contained in Public Law 91-
42 USC § 4375.