USAID Reg. 216 Environmental Documentation Tool
Quick Reference

Summary of categorical exclusions

Categorical exclusions include 2 types of activities:

  1. activities which, by their nature pose very low risks of causing significant adverse environmental impacts
  2. activities in which USAID has no direct control over the activity

Examples are given in the table below.

Activities normally qualifying for categorical exclusions because they pose inherently low risks of adverse enivonrmental impacts

  • Education, training or technical assistance
  • Limited experimental research
  • Analysis, studies, workshops, meetings
  • Documents or information transfer
  • General institutional support
  • Capacity building for development
  • Nutrition, health, population and family planning activities (except for construction)


Activities normally qualifying for categorical exclusions because USAID has no direct control over or knowledge of the activity

  • Support to intermediate credit institutions if USAID does not review or approve loans
  • Commodity Import Programs (CIPs), when USAID has no knowledge of or control over use;
  • Support to intermediate credit institutions if USAID does not review or approve loans; Projects where USAID is a minor donor;
  • Food for development programs under Title III, when USAID has no specific knowledge or control; and
  • Grants to PVOs where USAID has no specific knowledge or control.


If you believe your activity may qualify for a categorical exclusion, confirm by checking the detailed definition, including the proper regulatory citation.

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