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Step 4b: Prepare Documentation:
The Categorical Exclusion Request

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Purpose of this step
Aids Provided on this Page
Prepare the Categorical Exclusion Request
Preparation instructions and links to form and examples are provided.


In Step 3, you determined that you needed to prepare a categorical exclusion request and a compliance facesheet.

If you have not already done so, download the categorical exclusion request form.

The form contains only 2 sections:
  1. Background and Description of Activities
  2. Justification for Categorial Exclusion Request (with Citation to 22CFR216)
Instructions for completing each section are provided in the table below.

Background and description of Activities
Categorical exclusions are awarded because an activity, of its nature, presents inherently low risks of significant adverse impacts. (They can also be awarded because USAID does not have direct knowledge of or control over the activity.)

In this section you must therefore provide sufficient information reqarding the NATURE of the activities to allow the BEO to evaluate whether a Categorical Exclusion is justified.

In general, this section should not require more than 1-2 pages.

The information should focus on:
  • WHAT is to be done
  • WHERE it will be done
  • WHO will do it

If the information you provide is insufficient to allow the BEO to evaluate the request, s/he will be obliged to REFUSE the categorical exclusion or to RETURN the documentation for re-work. This will result in additional work & may delay project implementation.

Justification for categorical exclusion request with citation to 22 CFR 216
In this section, you need to explain how the proposed activities satisfy the requirements established by 22CFR216 for categorical exclusions.

To do this, you must cite the relevant language in 22CFR216.2(c).

Where 22CFR216 sets out a condition or restriction which must hold for the categorical exclusion to apply, this condition or restriction must be addressed.

For example, 22CFR216.2(c)(2)(ii) established a categorical exclusion for "controlled experimentation exclusively for the purpose of research and field evaluation which are confined to small areas and carefully monitored."

Your justification must therefore explain how the activity is confined/limited in area and how it it monitored.

After completing the categorical exclusion request, you must complete the compliance facesheet. The facesheet contains the following sections:
  1. Program/Activity Data (self-explanatory)
  2. Environmental Action Recommended (check "categorical exclusion" ONLY)
  3. Summary of Findings (condense the activities description and justification entered on the categorical exclusion form)
  4. Approvals (required signatures must be obtained at mission level before forwarding to the BEO)

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