Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Categorical Exclusion Determination Form
This form is to be completed before the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council)
uses one or more Categorical Exclusions (CEs) to comply with the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) for a specific action or group of actions, as appropriate. More information
on the Council’s NEPA compliance and use of CEs can be found in the Council’s NEPA
Proposed Action Title:
Proposed Action Location: (State, County/Parish)
Proposed Action Description:
Categorical Exclusion(s) Applied:
Golden Triangle Marsh Creation (LA_RESTORE_002_000_Cat1)
Louisiana, Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes
Planning - This is a planning project that includes engineering and design of the
Golden Triangle Marsh Creation project, leading to construction-ready plans and
specifications and the development of an adaptive management plan to guide
decision-making for future project maintenance activities. The proposed Golden
Triangle Marsh Creation project, if implemented in the future, would restore and protect
approximately 600 acres of valuable wetland, fish, and wildlife habitat within the Golden
Triangle, a narrow band of brackish marsh directly east of New Orleans between Lake
Borgne and the confluence of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the Gulf Intracoastal
Waterway. Because the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal/Lake Borgne Surge Barrier
stretches across the Golden Triangle Marsh, these wetlands provide an important
natural buffer in the multiple lines of defense protecting geographically and socially
vulnerable communities in New Orleans from storm surge. In addition, the Golden
Triangle Marsh falls within – and would enhance if fully implemented – the Bayou
Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, which includes fresh and brackish marshes, coastal
hardwood forest, and serves as valuable wildlife, fish, and shellfish habitat.
This activity is covered by the Council’s NEPA Categorical Exclusion for planning,
research or design activities (Section 4(d)(3) of the Council’s NEPA Procedures).
Council Use of Member Categorical Exclusion(s)
If the Categorical Exclusion(s) was established by a Federal agency Council member, complete
the following. If not, leave this section blank and proceed to the segmentation section.
Member with Categorical Exclusion(s)
Has the member with CE(s) advised the Council in writing that use of the CE(s) would be
appropriate for the specific action under consideration by the Council, including consideration
of segmentation and extraordinary circumstances (as described below)?
Yes No
Has the proposed action been segmented to meet the definition of a Categorical Exclusion? (In
making this determination, the Council should consider whether the action has independent
Yes No
Extraordinary Circumstances
In considering whether to use a Categorical Exclusion for a given action, agencies must review
whether there may be extraordinary circumstances in which a normally excluded action may
have a significant environmental effect and, therefore, warrant further review pursuant to NEPA.
Guidance on the review of potential extraordinary circumstances can be found in Section 4(e) of
the Council’s NEPA Procedures. The potential extraordinary circumstances listed below are set
forth in the Council’s NEPA Procedures.
The Council, in cooperation with the sponsor of the activity, has considered the following
potential extraordinary circumstances, where applicable, and has made the following
determinations. (By checking the “No” box, the Council is indicating that the activity under
review would not result in the corresponding potential extraordinary circumstance.)
Yes No 1. Is there a reasonable likelihood of substantial scientific controversy
regarding the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action?
Yes No 2. Are there Tribal concerns with actions that impact Tribal lands or resources
that are sufficient to constitute an extraordinary circumstance?
Yes No 3. Is there a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting environmentally
sensitive resources? Environmentally sensitive resources include but are not
limited to:
a. Species that are federally listed or proposed for listing as threatened
or endangered, or their proposed or designated critical habitats; and
b. Properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of
Historic Places.
Yes No 4. Is there a reasonable likelihood of impacts that are highly uncertain or
involve unknown risks or is there a substantial scientific controversy over
the effects?
Yes No 5. Is there a reasonable likelihood of air pollution at levels of concern or
otherwise requiring a formal conformity determination under the Clean Air
Yes No 6. Is there a reasonable likelihood of a disproportionately high and adverse
effect on low income or minority populations (see Executive Order 12898)?
Yes No 7. Is there a reasonable likelihood of contributing to the introduction or
spread of noxious weeds or non-native invasive species or actions that may
promote the introduction, or spread of such species (see Federal Noxious
Weed Control Act and Executive Order 13112)?
Yes No 8. Is there a reasonable likelihood of a release of petroleum, oils, or
lubricants (except from a properly functioning engine or vehicle) or
reportable releases of hazardous or toxic substances as specified in 40 CFR
part 302 (Designation, Reportable Quantities, and Notification); or where the
proposed action results in the requirement to develop or amend a Spill
Prevention, Control, or Countermeasures Plan in accordance with the Oil
Pollution Prevention regulation?
Supplemental Information
Where appropriate, the following table should be used to provide additional information
regarding the review of potential extraordinary circumstances and compliance with other
applicable laws. The purpose of this table is to ensure that there is adequate information for
specific findings regarding potential extraordinary circumstances.
Supplemental information and documentation is not needed for each individual finding regarding
the potential extraordinary circumstances listed above. Specifically, the nature of an activity
under review may be such that a reasonable person could conclude that there is a very low
potential for a particular type of extraordinary circumstance to exist. For example, it would be
reasonable to conclude that the simple act of acquiring land for conservation purposes (where
there are no other associated actions) does not present a reasonable likelihood of a release of
petroleum, oils, lubricants, or hazardous or toxic substances.
For some types of activities, no supplemental information may be needed to support a finding
that there are no extraordinary circumstances. For example, where the activity under review is
solely planning (with no associated implementation activity), it may be reasonable to conclude
that none of the extraordinary circumstances listed above would apply. In such cases, the table
below would be left blank.
In other cases, it may be appropriate to include supplemental information to ensure that there
is an adequate basis for a finding regarding a particular extraordinary circumstance. For
example, it might be appropriate in some cases to document coordination and/or consultation
with the appropriate agency regarding compliance with a potentially applicable law (such as
the Endangered Species Act). In those cases, the table below should be used to provide the
supplemental information.
Agency or
Agency or Authority
Name, Office &
Notes: Topic discussed, relevant
details, and conclusions. (This can
include reference to other information
on file and/or attached for the given
Additional supplemental information may be attached, as appropriate. Indicate below whether
additional supplemental information is attached.
Additional Information Attached: Yes No
If “Yes”, indicate the subject: