8900.1 CHG 489



Section 1  Background Information

Indicates new/changed information.

11-197    THE PUBLIC LAW. The following congressional acts and executive orders implemented through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and orders require consideration and action by Flight Standards Service (AFS).

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This public law establishes a broad national policy to promote efforts for improving the relationship between human beings and their environment. NEPA sets certain policies and goals concerning the environment and requires that, to the fullest extent possible, the policies, regulations, and public laws of the United States shall be interpreted and administrated in accordance with those policies and goals. NEPA requires that all “major Federal actions” be evaluated for environmental impact through multidisciplinary studies. Major Federal action includes actions with effects that may be major and which are potentially subject to Federal control and responsibility (i.e., an airport construction project (or other undertaking having similar physical effects) which is a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment as referred to in NEPA).

B.    Executive Order 11514. This order, issued in 1970, directs all Federal agencies to monitor, evaluate, and control their activities to protect and enhance the quality of the environment. This order also requires the review of regulations, policies, and procedures relating to licenses and permits. It also requires implementation of any corrective action necessary to ensure compliance and consistency with NEPA.

C.    Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Title 49 U.S.C. 44715 (formerly 611 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958) directs the FAA to provide present and future relief and protection to the public health and welfare by the control and abatement of aircraft noise. The FAA must consider whether noise abatement regulations are economically reasonable, technologically practicable, and appropriate for the particular type of aircraft.

Indicates new/changed information.

11-198    ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER NEPA. The current edition of FAA Order 1050.1, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, contains the AFS environmental responsibilities. Chapter 3 outlines the NEPA evaluation process. In summary, there are three general levels of a NEPA review: Categorical Exclusion (CATEX), Environmental Assessment (EA), and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Chapter 3 outlines the AFS Federal actions that are normally processed as CATEXs and EAs. Chapter 4 provides guidance for how the district/field offices fulfill their environmental responsibility; and Chapter 5 provides guidance for the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS‑800) Environmental Specialist in the AFS‑830 Branch. Additionally, FAA employees are responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations and procedures established to protect and enhance the environment, such as 49 U.S.C. 44715.

Indicates new/changed information.

11-199    ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES. AFS regionally-assigned noise abatement officers have the responsibility to review the flight safety aspects of noise compatibility planning studies conducted under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 150. These studies are prepared by airports and administered by Airports Divisions/Airports District Offices. They are typically multi-disciplinary in that they involve noise abatement recommendations involving several FAA lines of business (LOB). Recommendations requiring the review by AFS may include noise abatement departure procedures and close-in turns after departure. (Refer to the current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 91-53, Noise Abatement Departure Profile.) Apart from this, Regional Noise Abatement Officers are important members of Regional Environmental Networks, established under the aegis of the Office of Environment and Energy (AEE). These groups participate in sharing environmental education opportunities and other common environmental issues such as historic preservation, tribal affairs, and environmental legal considerations.


A.    Environmental Requirements. A thorough discussion on the subject of environmental requirements is not possible within the framework of this order. Additional information is in Order 1050.1. Assistance regarding AFS environmental responsibilities is available through the AFS-800 Environmental NEPA reviewing official in the AFS-830 Branch, a Quality, Integration, and Process Division (AQS-100) Environmental Specialist, and Washington Headquarters staff personnel in AEE’s Noise Division (AEE‑100).

B.    Performance and Aircraft Noise. Assistance on performance and aircraft noise considerations is available through the appropriate Aircraft Evaluation Groups (AEG) and AFS-830 following a NEPA review. Regional AFS personnel can often provide assistance on departure and arrival procedures established for noise abatement purposes. Questions concerning flightcrew operational procedures should be directed to AFS‑830.

11-201    DEFINITIONS.

A.    Approving Official. The FAA official with authority to approve and sign EAs, Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or EISs. LOBs/Staff Offices (SO) should designate approving officials consistent with the current edition of FAA Order 1100.154, Delegations of Authority, and any other applicable FAA directives. In addition, ensure this individual is familiar with the NEPA process and has completed the approved and available AFS electronic Learning Management System (eLMS) NEPA awareness training.elegations of Authority, and any other applicable FAA directives. In addition, ensure this individual is familiar with the NEPA process and has completed the approved and available AFS electronic Learning Management System (eLMS) NEPA awareness training.

B.    Extraordinary Circumstances. Factors or circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact that requires further analysis in an EA or an EIS (refer to Order 1050.1, paragraph 5-2).

C.    Responsible FAA Official. The FAA employee designated with overall responsibility to independently evaluate the environmental issues, furnish guidance, participate in the preparation of NEPA documents, and evaluate and take responsibility for the scope and content of the documents.

D.    NEPA Lead. The FAA LOB/SO, regional operating division, center, or service area that has primary responsibility for complying with NEPA, including preparation and approval of NEPA documents.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11-202 through 11-205.