Environmental Matters > Office of Environmental Analysis
The Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) is the office within the Surface Transportation Board (STB) responsible for directing the environmental review process, conducting independent analysis of all environmental data, and making environmental recommendations to the STB. Typically, as part of the environmental review process for actions that come before the STB, OEA will conduct an environmental analysis, or determine that an action is subject to a categorical exclusion. At the conclusion of the environmental review process, the STB considers the entire environmental record, including all public comments submitted during the environmental review process, before making a final decision.
The STB's environmental rules can be found at 49 CFR 1105. The environmental rules implement various environmental statutes that include the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act. The environmental rules are designed to ensure adequate consideration of environmental factors in the STB's decision-making process. The STB has adopted the former Interstate Commerce Commission environmental regulations that govern the environmental review process and outline procedures for preparing environmental documents.
Under NEPA, the STB must take into account in its decision-making the environmental impacts of its actions, including direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. The STB must consider these impacts before making its final decision in a case. OEA assists the STB in meeting this responsibility by: conducting an independent environmental review of cases filed with the agency; preparing any necessary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA); conducting public outreach to inform the public and communities about proposals before the agency and to notify them of the opportunity to raise environmental concerns; and providing technical advice and recommendations to the agency on environmental matters.