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Environmental Policies & Procedures

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. The USDA Rural Development (RD) Environmental staff support this mission by providing historic preservation (Section 106) and environmental review support and technical assistance for RD’s loan, grant, and loan guarantee projects.

Section 106 Review

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and afford the Advisory Council on historic Preservation (ACHP) a reasonable opportunity to comment on such undertakings.

NEPA & Environmental Review

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions so they are making an informed decision.

Environmental Guidance


Working with Other Federal Agencies

RD recognizes that many of its projects may involve collaborating with another federal agency. It is important for applicants to identify these other agencies in their planning process and inform the environmental review staff, so they can work with these agencies. Below is a non-exhaustive list other federal agencies that have been associated with or a part of RD projects.

Department of Agriculture (USDA): Farm Service Agency (FSA), Forest Service (FS), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Department of Commerce (DOC): First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)

Department of Defense (DoD): Army (USA), Navy (USN), Marine Corps (USMC), Air Force (USAF), and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Department of Energy (DOE): Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS): United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Department of the Interior (DOI): Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service (NPS), and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR)

Department of Justice (DOJ): Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBPO)

Department of State (DOS)

Department of Transportation (DOT): Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)