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(a) Purpose. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 implemented by Executive Order 11514, mandates that all Federal agencies, to the fullest extent possible, direct their policies, plans and programs So as to meet national environmental goals. Section 105 of the Act provides that “The policies and goals set forth in this Act are supplementary to those set forth in existing authorizations of Federal agencies.” Section 102(2)(C) of the Act and the Council on Environmental Quality's Guidelines of April 23, 1971, (36 FR 7724) require that all Federal agencies prepare environmental statements on all major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The objective of the Act is to build into the agency decision-making process, beginning at the earliest possible point, an appropriate and careful consideration of the environmental aspects of proposed actions and to assist agencies in implementing the policies as well as the letter of the Act.
(b) Policy. The Delaware River Basin Commission will, in consultation with other appropriate Federal, State and local agencies and the public, assess the environmental impacts of any proposed, action concurrent with initial technical and economic studies in order that adverse effects will be avoided, and environmental quality will be maintained, restored or enhanced, to the fullest extent practicable. In particular, alternative actions that will minimize adverse impacts will be explored and both the long and short-range implications to man, his physical and social surroundings, and to nature, will be evaluated in order to avoid, to the fullest extent practicable, undesirable consequences as they relate to the quality of the human environment. This assessment shall take place as early as possible and in all cases prior to any decision that may sufficient to justify an environmental impact statement.
significantly affect the environment and, where required, a draft environmental impact statement will be prepared and circulated in accordance with the regulations in this part. (c) Definitions. “Action” is a resolution by the Commission approving, disapproving, modifying or otherwise disposing of a project, program, legislation or any part thereof. “Applicant” is proposed action's sponsor, including the Commission when it sponsors an action. “Environment” for the purposes of the regulations in this part is the major natural, man-made or affected environment as inplied by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. “Environmental assessment” is an analysis by the Commission prior to the preparation of an environmental impact statement, of an applicant's 2nVironmental report or of a Commission-sponsored action to determine whether the action proposed will have a significant effect involving the quality of the human environment. “Environmental impact statement” is a document prepared by the Commission which identifies and analyzes in detail the environmental impacts of a major action by the Commission having significant effects involving the quality of the human environment. “Environmental report” is a document to be submitted by applicants proposing an action which requires an environmental assessment. “Negative declaration” is a determination by the Executive Director, based upon an environmental assessment, that a proposed action Will not require an environmental impact Statement. “Notice of intent” is an announcement to other Federal, State and local agencies and to the public that the Commission will be preparing an environmental impact Statement for a given action. “Responsible official” is the Executive Director or his designee of the Delaware River Basin Commission. “Significant effect” is that degree of impact upon the quality of the human environment determined by the Commission or the Executive Director as
§ 401.52 Actions requiring an environmen
tal report. The applicant for any action within the following classifications shall
submit not later than the completion of preliminary engineering or feasibility studies, an environmental report. (a) All action required by the regulations in this part to include an environmental impact statement. (b) Major actions the Commission may wish to initiate. (c) Action to include in the Commission's Comprehensive Plan the follow1Ilg. (1) Major policy or regulations significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. (2) Master plans including a sequence of the contemplated projects which together may have a significant effect upon the quality of the human environment. (d) When requested by the Executive Director based upon an environmental review of the action.
§ 401.53 Applicant's environmental report.
Upon receipt of the report, the Executive Director shall prepare an environmental assessment of the action. Additional information, studies, maps, etc., may be requested from the applicant. The environmental assessment will be the basis for the determination of the need for an environmental impact statement. A Supplemental guideline covering the substantive contents of an environmental report Will be made available to all applicants. In brief, an environmental report will include the following: (a) A description of the proposed action, including the decision-making process, discussing alternatives to illustrate why the proposed action was chosen. (b) A description of the existing enVironmental Setting without the proposed action. (c) The probable anticipated environmental impact primary and secondary, including both beneficial and unavoidable adverse effects from the proposed action and the basis for the con
clusion. Resources irreversibly and irretrievably committed should be identified. (d) All reasonable alternatives to the proposed action that have been considered including that of no action. (e) An evaluation of environmental benefits, costs and risks, including short-term uses versus long-term productivity, weighing the proposed action and the alternatives considered against the quality of the human environment. (f) Any other information, data, maps, charts, etc., which may be requested by the Commission for use in their analysis of the proposed action.
$ 401.54 Environmental assessment.
An environmental review will be made for those actions requiring an environmental report. The assessment is made to identify and evaluate the expected and potential environmental impacts of the action and the alternatives considered. The assessment will determine whether significant impact upon the environment can be anticipated from the proposed action. The results of an environmental assessment will be either the preparation of the environmental impact statement or a negative declaration. The contents of an environmental assessment will include the following:
(a) Description of the project.
(b) Analysis of significant impacts.
(c) Summation of any objections.
(d) Agencies consulted and their concerns, if any, including interested State, regional, county and local agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency will be consulted in all inStances.
§ 401.55 Negative declaration.
(a) A negative declaration may be issued by the Executive Director prior to taking any official action on a project which, as a result of an environmental assessment (§ 401.54), has been determined will not cause significant environmental impacts. The assessment will become a part of the project's records and be available for public inspection.
(b) Prior to the issuance of a negative declartion, the Executive Director shall publish notice of his intent to do so unless good cause to proceed with an environmental impact statement is submitted in writing by any interested person or agency within 15 days from the date of the notice publication. (c) The negative declaration will include the environmental assessment, copies of any relevant correspondence and the official determination by the Executive Director that the proposed action is not a major action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. (d) Once a negative declaration has been made, the proposed project may immediately proceed to Commission action. (e) When a negative declaration has been made for a proposed action ordinarily requiring the preparation of an environmental impact statement under the provisions of $ 401.56, the declaration, complete with the environmental assessment, will be made available to the public.
§ 401.56 Actions requiring an environmental impact statement.
The list of general classifications which require an environmental impact statement is based upon the reviewable projects activity of the Commission. These actions have been identified by an analysis of environmental impacts typically associated with the principal types of Commission action. Where an environmental impact statement is prepared for a master plan or program having a chain of contemplated projects, subsequent statements on major components will be required only where significant impacts were not adequately evaluated in the overview statement relating to the total plan or program. Inclusion of the action in the Comprehensive Plan prior to January 1, 1970, does not exempt the action from an environmental impact statement. Actions identified as requiring an environmental impact statement include the following:
(a) Any project, plan, regulation or policy identified via the process of an environmental assessment as having
significant effect upon the quality of the human environment. (b) Major large-scale programs or master plans involving a sequence of contemplated projects including new toWnS, watershed programs, wastewater and water supply plans and recreation plans. (c) Impoundments. (d) Diversions. (e) Fossil-fueled electric generating stations. (f) Liquid petroleum products pipelines. (g) Draining or filling or otherwise altering marshes or wetlands. (h) Substantial encroachments upon a stream or upon the 100-year flood plain of the Delaware River or its tributaries. (i) Any other action which the Executive Director, in his discretion, determines is a major action which may have a significant effect upon the quality of human environment and/or environmental impact which is substantially controversial.
§ 401.57 Lead agency.
The Executive Director shall review the proposed action with other Federal agencies to determine whether DRBC should be lead agency for the preparation of the environmental impact statement. Cooperative and/or joint agency efforts will be taken whenever practicable. When any action requiring an environmental impact statement under the regulations in this part is also required to have an environmental impact statement by regulations of another Federal agency, the Executive Director will consult with such agency and establish appropriate lead agency arrangements that will meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the revised (June 1973) Council on Environmental Quality Guidelines, to avoid duplication. If another Federal agency, in its role as lead agency, has determined that, after an environmental assessment, any project listed in the regulations in this part does not require an environmental impact statement, the Executive Director shall request from the lead agency a letter to that effect and after a review
Once the determination has been made that a project requires an environmental impact statement, a public announcement, hereinafter called Notice of Intent, shall be issued to the Council on Environmentsl Quality, appropriate Federal, State and municipal agencies, and be publicly posted in the Commission headquarters. The Notice of Intent shall also be sent to citizens and citizens organizations identified as having an interest in the project. The Notice of Intent shall define the Commission as lead agency and request comments which may be helpful in the preparation of the draft statement. A current list of administrative actions for which environmental impact statements is being prepared and will be available for public inspection upon request.
§ 401.59 Pre-draft consultation with appropriate agencies.
(a) Consultation with Federal agencies. When the Commission is considering an action requiring an environmental impact statement, it will, prior to the preparation of the draft statement, consult with Federal agencies having jurisdiction over reasonable alternatives to the proposed action or jurisdiction by law or snecial expertise with respect to the environmental impacts of the proposed action and reasonable alternatives.
(b) Consultation with State and local agencies. In every case in which implementation of the proposed action or its reasonable alternatives would require exercise of authority by a State or local agency, that agency will be consulted prior to the preparation of the draft statement. Use will be made of the State and local A–95 clearinghouses.
§ 401.60 Draft environmental impact statement.
The Executive Director shall prepare a substantive draft environmental impact statement as soon as practicable after the decision that the Statement is necessary. Where a plan or
program has been developed, the relationship between the plan and the Subsequent projects or phases encompassed by it shall be evaluated to determine the preferable and most meaningful point in time for preparing a statement. Where practicable the statement will be drafted for the total program at the completion of the overall planning stage. Individual actions included in the plan will not require separate statements except where significant change has occurred. A Supplemental statement will be issued covering only that change. The discussion of alternatives to the proposed action and their impact on the environment will accompany the proposed action through the Commission's entire review process. Generally the content of an environmental impact statement will include the following: (Substantive description of the content is available in supplemental guidelines upon request). (a) Summary. (b) Description of the proposed action, statement of its purpose and its components in detail commensurate for an assessment of potential environmental impact. (c) A succinct description of the enVironmental setting without the proposed action. (d) The relationship of the proposed action to water and land use plans, policies and controls for the affected area. (e) The probable impact of the proposed action on the environment, beneficial and adverse, including secondary or indirect, as well as primary or direct, consequences. (f) Any probable adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided, summarizing those effects discussed in paragraph (e) of this section that are adverse and unavoidable. (g) All reasonable alternatives to the proposed action that have been considered including that of no action, with an objective evaluation of the environmental impacts from each. (h) An evaluation of the proposed action in relation to short-term use of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity.
(i) Any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources that would be involved in the proposed action snould it be implemented.
(j) An indication of other interests and considerations of Federal policy thought to offset the adverse environmental effects of the proposed action.
(k) When determined by the Executive Director as necessary, an evaluation of environmental benefits, costs and risks of the proposed action compared to the alternatives considered against the quality of the human environment.
§ 401.61 Processing the draft environmental impact statement.
(a) The Executive Director shall distribute ten copies of the draft environmental impact statement and two completed National Technical Information Service (NTIS) accession notice cards to the Council on Environmental Quality. (b) The Executive Director shall announce to other agencies and the general public via the FEDERAL REGISTER and in accordance with other chapters and sections of the Administrative Manual, both the availability of the draft environmental impact Statement and the date of a public hearing on environmental factors which will be held not less than 15 days after the draft environmental impact statement has been made available to the public. (c) Concurrent with the announcement of availability, the Executive Director shall provide copies of the draft environmental impact Statement to the Environmental Protection Agency and to appropriate field offices of reviewing Federal agencies that have special expertise or jurisdiction by law with respect to any impacts involved as listed in Appendix II of the Council on Environmental Quality's guidelines. At the same time, copies shall also be provided to the appropriate State and local agencies and to interested organizations and persons. (d) All comments made upon the draft environmental impact statement should be submitted to DRBC within 45 days after the date of publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER announcing the availability of the draft. Extensions of
review time will be at the discretion of the Executive Director.
§ 401.62 Final environmental impact statement.
Following receipt of comments on the draft environmental impact statement and public hearing, the Executive Director shall prepare a final environmental impact statement responding to written and/or recorded suggestions, criticisms and comments raised through the review of the draft Statement. Distribution will be to the Council on Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency and those who respond to the draft statement and to written requests.
§ 401.63 Public availability of statements.
All draft and final environmental impact statements, including comments received thereon, shall be available for public examination as per the Freedom of Information Act in the Commission's offices and such other offices as the Executive Director may designate.
§ 401.64 Earliest date for Commission action.
As directed by the Commission, the Executive Director will forward the final environmental impact statement to the Council on Environmental Quality. The Commission will act upon a project that is subject to the requirements of this section not less than 90 days after a draft environmental impact statement has been released for public comment and not less than 30 days (which may run concurrently within the 90 days) after the final enVironmental impact statement has been received by the Council on Environmental Quality. The Commission will include or refer to the environmental assessment or the environmental impact statement, and will make Specific findings and conclusions with respect to the environmental effects of the project.
§ 401.65 Emergency circumstances.
In the event of emergency circumstances those projects requiring an enVironmental impact statement as provided for in § 401.41, the Executive Di