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Defining the Full Scope of the Federal "Action"

This page provides information for defining the Full Scope of Federal Actions.


  • The scope of the federal action, consisting of directly related federal and non-federal actions, must be clearly defined PRIOR to determining the level of documentation to ensure that all connected actions have been considered.
  • NEPA requires that the sum of related components making up a "larger" action be evaluated in one document.
  • It is unacceptable to divide a large action into a series of smaller actions or to not consider the proposed action in context with other actions taking place. These are often called connected actions.

Actions Are Connected When

  • One action justifies the other
  • One action "federalizes" the other
  • It is unreasonable or unwise to take one action without the other
  • One action triggers the other
  • One action is a commitment to the other
  • One action precludes alternatives to the other

Actions Are Not Connected When

  • One action is remote and speculative
  • The "federal connection" is minor
  • The actions are tiered - the second action is later in time or may not occur and can be changed in the interim
Last Updated: 
08/15/2016 - 15:01