Environmental compliance: deploying a buoy off the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson

The U.S. IOOS Program Office and its partners engage in a wide range of activities that have the potential to impact the environment. The IOOS Program Office is responsible for ensuring these activities are carried out in compliance with all applicable federal environmental regulations and Executive Orders by conducting a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis of these activities.

Programmatic Environmental Assessment

With the implementation and expansion of the U.S. IOOS Program, observing activities continue to support the core mission of IOOS: systematic provision of readily accessible marine environmental data and data products in an interoperable, reliable, timely, and user-specified manner to end-users/customers to serve critical and expanding societal needs.

NOAA prepared this Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) to identify potential impacts on the environment; develop alternatives and tactical plans to mitigate identified impacts; and build a strategy to address dynamic situations at a tiered level when necessary. As the IOOS Program matures and authorizes an increasing number of activities by non-federal partners, it is imperative to analyze the Program’s impact on the human and natural environment. This PEA also provides an efficient process for systematically analyzing the Program’s compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations.

FINAL IOOS PEA, JUNE 2016

Finding of No Significant Impact, Signed June 2016