USDA Publishes Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program

February 12, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the publication of a draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program. The draft PEA analyzes and discloses the potential environmental impacts associated with the establishment of the program.

Based on the analysis conducted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) under the draft PEA, USDA has preliminarily determined there will not be a significant impact to the human environment. As a result, USDA has not begun preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

AMS intends for this PEA to establish a framework that will make any future assessments more efficient by placing project-specific actions that may need more analysis into priority tiers. As decisions on specific applications are made, if additional NEPA analysis is required, the agency will conduct an environmental review to supplement the analysis set forth in this PEA.

AMS is soliciting public comments on this draft PEA from now until March 13, 2024. A Notice of Availability of the draft PEA is available for viewing in the Federal Register. To submit public comments, email For more information about the RFSI program or to view the draft PEA, visit the RFSI Webpage.

In May 2023, USDA announced the availability of up to $420 million through RFSI to strengthen local and regional food systems. Through this program, AMS has entered into cooperative agreements with state agencies, commissions, or departments responsible for agriculture, commercial food processing, seafood, or food system and distribution activities or commerce activities in states or U.S. territories. RFSI is authorized by the American Rescue Plan. 

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