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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

About the NEPA Database

The NEPA Database was developed on OpenEI as a way to assemble NEPA-related documents and meta-data in one location. There are over 175 document sets in the collection, including applications, reports, CX checklists, FONSIs and Decision Records. It was developed for the analysis of NEPA trends and timelines, and made available to the public for the use of agencies and industry in conducting future NEPA analyses.

Search the NEPA Database

  • Catalogs administrative data, project data, resource data and timeline data for energy- and transmission-related NEPA analyses.
  • Accommodates NEPA documents from all agencies, including: BLM, USFS, BOR, DOE.
  • Includes all phases of development, including: land use planning, exploration, well field development, power plant and grid connectivity construction.
  • Information can be sorted, analyzed and compared by different criteria, such as by type of planned activity, by state or field office, by type of NEPA document.

Example of populated NEPA document set: New York Canyon Geothermal Exploration Project

User Story

BLM field office receives application for a reflective seismic survey. Agency personnel, including geothermal permit processing agent, specialists (biologist, cultural specialist, etc.) are unfamiliar with reflective seismic surveys or their potential impacts.

NEPA Database
  • Users search for “reflective seismic survey.”
  • Basic information is provided about the survey, including how it is conducted, timeframes, output information, etc.,
  • Links are provided for further information and potential “training” (videos, presentations, papers, etc.)
  • Lists of previous NEPA analyses conducted for reflective seismic surveys are listed, including dates, timeframes, locations, impacted species and stipulations
  • Reduce misunderstanding about potential activity impacts,
  • Provide consistency among NEPA analyses conducted for similar activities,
  • Reduce time required to determine impacts and stipulations.

NEPA Database Query Potential Uses
Technique Users can look at the type of analysis typically needed for a given activity, and review previous timeframes and mitigation measures typically imposed.
Development Phase Like the technique query, but on a broader scale, users can look at the type of analysis typically needed for a given development phase, and review previous timeframes and mitigation measures typically imposed.
Field Office Users can review the analysis conducted at a field office and get a sense of the potential impacts and mitigation proscribed.
NEPA Analysis Type Users can look at timeframes, techniques and other circumstances of NEPA analyses of a given type. This can help to target areas where efficiencies could be increased.
Document Lists Users can see and access, at a glance, all NEPA-related documents available on OpenEIs
Geothermal Area Users can see all NEPA analyses that have been conducted at a specific location, understanding mitigation measures and potential application of future tiered NEPA analyses such as DNAs.
Resource (e.g. Air Quality) Users can look at mitigation measures proposed and imposed on previous projects for a particular resource. This may lead to greater consistency in mitigating impacts, as well as reduce time frames by not needing to re-invent mitigation measures for each project.