22 CFR 216 (“Reg. 216”) is the US federal regulation defining USAID’s pre-implementation environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. It applies to all USAID programs, projects, activities and substantive amendments.

The regulation was developed in response to a 1975 Court Order settling Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. et al (Plaintiffs) vs. United States Agency for International Development (Defendants). USAID’s Environmental Procedures are the combination of (1) 22 CFR 216 and (2) mandatory operating policies set out in USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS) which define implementation of the regulation and follow-through requirements over the program cycle.

The output of the EIA process defined by the Regulation is Reg. 216 documentation—principally, Requests for Categorical Exclusion (RCEs), Initial Environmental Examinations (IEEs), and Environmental Assessments (EAs). ADS 204 (and other ADS chapters) specify mandatory procedures to implement the regulation.

22 CFR 216 is intended to implement the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, as amended (NEPA) as they affect the USAID program. NEPA.gov is the NEPA home page and provides information on the law, implementing regulations, guidance and practice.

See 22 CFR 216: USAID’s EIA Process for more information about implementation of the Regulation.

Current text of the regulation

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Unofficial translation in Spanish. Note: made available for informational purposes only. In the event of any conflict in interpretation between the English version and the Spanish version, the English version shall always control.

22 CFR 216 regulatory history

The following is the historical timeline of 22 CFR 216 development. The court order and Federal Register (FR) notices regarding 22 CFR 216 development and revision are provided by link within this timeline. Also provided is the current (1980) version of the regulation annotated with source authorities.

  • October 20, 1972 Federal Register (FR): Consideration of Environmental Aspects of U.S.-Assisted Capital Projects (Transmittal Letter) and Procedures for Environmental Review of Capital Projects (Circular) (Effective Dates August 18, 1970 and September 20, 1971, respectively). Superseded by 22 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 216.
  • December 5, 1975 Court Order and Stipulation: Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. et al (Plaintiffs) vs. United States Agency for International Development (Defendants). Civil Action: 75-0500, United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • March 29, 1976 FR: Proposed amendment to 22 CFR to add Part 216 Environmental Procedures “in accordance with the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).” These procedures are intended to supersede USAID procedures issued October 20, 1972.
  • June 30, 1976 FR: Issuance of new Part 216 Environmental Procedures to 22 CFR and responses to comments. (Flowing from March 29, 1976 proposal). (Effective Date: June 28, 1976).
  • December 21, 1977 FR: Proposed amendments to 22 CFR 216.
  • May 12, 1978 FR: Amends 22 CFR 216 with supplemental procedures, including for projects involving procurement and use of pesticides, and other changes. Includes responses to comments; flows from December 21, 1977 proposed amendments. (Effective Date: May 12, 1978).
  • October 1, 1979 FR: Proposed amendments to 22 CFR 216 to make the procedures more effective and efficient and to reduce unnecessary paperwork and delay.
  • October 23, 1980 FR: Amends 22 CFR 216 to increase “effectiveness and efficiency and reduce unnecessary paperwork and delay.” Includes response to comments; flows from October 1, 1979 proposed amendments. (Effective Date: October 23, 1980).
  • Current (1980) version of 22 CFR 216 annotated with source authorities.
  • September 9, 2009 FRNational Environmental Policy Act: Categorical Exclusions for Certain Internal, Domestic USAID Activities Funded From the USAID Operating Expense Account

Other important regulatory/legislative documents include: Foreign Assistance Act—FAA 117 (p. 65) and Executive Order 12114—Environmental effects abroad of major Federal actions, of January 4, 1979.