Leaseholders must complete an environmental review prior to receiving a notice to proceed. The environmental review must meet the requirements specified under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as required by 43 CFR 46 and 40 CFR 1500 through 1508; and any additional mitigation measures the BLM requires based on designated leasing area (DLA) type or the associated land use plan(s). For DLAs, the environmental review may occur prior to issuance of the lease. The required environmental review may differ between DLA types and individual projects. For example, tiered environmental reviews may be sufficient for solar energy zones (SEZs) identified in the 2012 Solar PEIS where in-depth analysis was conducted as part of the Solar PEIS. Tiering is defined as using the coverage of general matters in broader NEPA documents in subsequent, narrower NEPA documents (40 CFR 1508.1(ff), 40 CFR 1502.20, 43 CFR 46.140). This allows the tiered NEPA document to concentrate solely on the issues not already addressed.
If a NEPA evaluation was conducted prior to the lease sale, there could be additional mitigation measures or terms and conditions identified through the NEPA process that would be required before a Notice to Proceed is issued.