The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has issued guidance designed to increase the effectiveness of plans to mitigate a project’s environmental impacts under NEPA. The guidance, issued January 14, 2011, is part of a CEQ initiative to update and upgrade NEPA procedures.

The guidance recommends steps to (i) ensure mitigation commitments are implemented, (ii) monitor the effectiveness of mitigation, (iii) remedy failed mitigation, and (iv) involve the public in planning for the mitigation. Federal agencies often rely on mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impacts of projects, thus allowing a finding of no significant impact in an environmental assessment under NEPA. Mitigation may also be required for a project that has received a more elaborate analysis in an EIS.