Categorical exclusions (CEs) are categories of actions that have been determined not to have a significant
effect on the human environment either individually or cumulatively. In its regulations for the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) directed all Federal Agencies to adopt procedures which include identifying actions that are categorically excluded, i.e., normally do not require the preparation of either an environmental impact statement (EIS) or an environmental assessment (EA).
Pursuant to CEQ's regulations, 40 CFR Section 1508.4, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has
defined categories of actions that do not typically involve significant environmental impacts. FRA has also
prepared a worksheet to assist project sponsors in assessing project eligibility for CE to fulfill NEPA
requirements. Actions that are typically eligible for a CE are listed in section 4 of FRA’s Procedures for
Considering Environmental Impacts and in Section II.H of the FRA CE Worksheet.