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(b) As soon as practicable, RUS will publish its notice of intent to prepare an EIS (see 40 CFR 1508.22). The Borrower shall publish, in a timely manner, a notice similar to RUS's notice. If the proposal is one which normally requires an EA with scoping ($ 1794.34), the notice shall indicate that: (1) RUS may prepare an EA before or without necessarily preparing an EIS, and (2) the decision whether or not to prepare an EIS will be based on information received from the Borrower, Federal, state and local agencies, organizations and the general public during the scoping process, preparation of the Environmental Analysis, and the review period for a finding of no significant impact (if originally issued).

(c) As part of the early project planning the Borrower should consult with expert and interested Federal, state and local agencies to inform them of the proposed project, and to identify permits and approvals which must be obtained and administrative procedures which must be followed.

(d) Before any scoping meetings are held RUS shall require the Borrower to submit two environmental documents:

(1) Alternative evaluation;

(2) Siting study (for electric generation or new mines) or Macro-Corridor study (for electric transmission).

(e) The Borrower is encouraged to hold additional public information meetings in the general location of the proposed project and any reasonable alternatives when such borrower meetings will make the scoping process more meaningful. A written summary of the comments made at such meetings should be submitted to RUS as soon as practicable after the meetings.

view, which shall include the Borrower's headquarters, RUS offices in Washington, and other locations as determined by RUS;

(4) Provide the name and address of the person to whom questions and comments should be sent;

(5) Set forth a thirty (30) day period after the scoping meeting(s) to enter comments into the meeting record.

(b) The RUS notice will be published at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting(s). The Borrower's notice shall be published at least ten (10) days, but not more than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting(s).

(c) The scoping meeting(s) will normally be held in the vicinity of the Borrower's recommended alternative and, where appropriate, the reasonable alternatives or such other places as RUS determines will best afford an op portunity for public involvement. Any person, organization or government body desiring to make a statement at the meeting may make such statement in writing or orally. A record will be made of the scoping meeting.

(d) As soon as practicable after the scoping meetings(8), RUS, as lead agency, shall determine the significant issues to be analyzed in depth and identify and eliminate from detailed study the issues which are not significant or which have been covered by prior envi. ronmental review. RUS will develop & proposed scope for further environmental study and review. A copy of this proposed scope will be sent to cooperating agencies and the Borrower, which shall be given thirty (30) days to comment on its adequacy and emphasis. After expiration of the thirty (30) day period RUS will provide formal guidance to the Borrower concerning the scope of environmental study to be performed and information to be gathered.

$ 1794.52 Scoping meeting.

(a) Both RUS and the Borrower shall publish a notice of the public scoping meeting which shall:

(1) Provide a brief description of the nature and location of the Borrower's recommended alternative (if any) and reasonable alternatives;

(2) State the intent to hold public scoping meetings, giving the date, time, location and purpose of these meetings;

(3) State where copies of the scoping documents are available for public re

8 1794.53 Borrower's environmental

analysis. (a) After scoping procedures have been completed, RUS shall require the Borrower to develop and submit an Environmental Analysis satisfactory in form and substance to RUS. The Environmental Analysis will be prepared under the guidance of the RUS staff and all information set forth therein

shall be subject to independent verification by RUS.

(b) The Environmental Analysis will normally provide a basis for preparation of RUS'S EA or EIS and may be made an appendix to the RUS document. After RUS has reviewed and found an Environmental Analysis to be satisfactory, the Borrower will be required to provide RUS with a sufficient number of copies of the Environmental Analysis to satisfy RUS's distribution plan.

(c) The Environmental Analysis shall include a summary of the construction and operation monitoring and mitigation measures for the proposed project. This summary shall appear in the draft and final EIS. These measures may be revised as appropriate in response to comments on the draft and final EIS and other information. These measures also shall be incorporated by summary or reference into RUS's Record of Decision.

RUS and the Borrower notices for the final EIS shall also request persons, organizations or governmental bodies which wish to be notified when the Record of Decision is available to inform RUS of such interest.

(b) In addition to circulation required by 40 CFR 1502.19, draft and final EIS's (or summaries thereof, at RUS's discretion) shall be circulated to the appropriate state, regional, and metropolitan clearinghouses.

(c) Where a final EIS does not require that substantial changes be made in the draft EIS, RUS may document required changes through errata sheets, insertion pages and revised sections to be incorporated into the draft EIS. In such cases, RUS will circulate such changes together with comments on the draft EIS, responses to comments, and other appropriate information, as its final EIS. RUS will not circulate the draft EIS again, although the draft EIS will be provided if requested within thirty (30) days of publication of notice of availability of the final EIS.

(d) In individual situations, upon mutual agreement between RUS and the Borrower, the EIS may be prepared by an independent contractor. If RUS acts as lead agency, the contractor will be chosen by RUS. Under this procedure, the Borrower normally will not be required to submit an Environmental Analysis. [49 FR 9550, Mar. 13, 1984; 49 FR 10083, Mar. 19, 1984)

$ 1794.54 EIS.

(a) After a draft or final EIS has been prepared, RUS and the Borrower shall issue a notice of availability for the document. The notice shall:

(1) Provide a brief description of the nature and location of the preferred and reasonable alternatives;

(2) State the availability of a draft or final EIS for public review;

(3) State how copies of the EIS can be obtained and where copies are available for public review which shall include the Borrower's headquarters, RUS offices in Washington, DC, selected libraries in the area of the preferred and reasonable alternatives and such other reasonable places as RUS shall select;

(4) Provide the name and address of the person to whom questions and comments should be sent;

(5) Set forth the time period for review and comment. This time period normally shall be forty-five (45) days for a draft EIS and thirty (30) days for a final EIS, measured from the date that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's notice or the Borrower's notices are first published, whichever is later.

$ 1794.55 Timing of agency action.

(a) Where an RUS action requires an EIS, RUS shall prepare a Record of Decision. The Record of Decision will not be prepared, and RUS will not take any action or execute commitments before expiration of the thirty (30) day period starting with either EPA's notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER that the final EIS is available or the Borrower's notices of availability, whichever is later.

(b) For budgetary purposes some financing assistance may be approved conditionally with a stipulation that no funds will be advanced until a Record of Decision has been prepared.

Subpart G-Procedure for Environ- $ 1794.63 FONSI and notice requiremental Assessment Proposals

ments. Without Scoping

(a) If RUS, after reviewing the EA,

finds that the proposal will not have a $ 1794.60 General.

significant effect on the human enviThe following procedure applies to ronment, RUS shall prepare a FONSI all actions classified as Environmental After the FONSI has been made, RUS Assessment projects in $1794.33 hereof. shall publish a notice of availability of Where appropriate to carry out the the EA and FONSI. The Borrower shall purposes of NEPA, RUS may require,

have published, in a timely manner, a on a case by case basis, that additional

similar notice. action be taken in connection with

(b) Both the RUS and Borrower's nopreparation of an EA. If at any point in

tice shall: the preparation of an EA, RUS deter

(1) Provide a brief description of the mines that the action will have a significant impact on the environment,

nature and location of the preferred the preparation of an EIS will be re

and reasonable alternatives: quired and the procedures applicable

(2) State that an EA and FONSI have thereto will be followed.

been prepared;

(3) State how copies of the EA and $ 1794.61 Document requirements. FONSI can be obtained, and where cop

For those proposals covered by ies are available for public review $ 1794.33, the Borrower shall submit a which shall include the Borrower's BER or its equivalent. The BER may headquarters, RUS offices in Washingserve as RUS's EA if RUS makes an ton, and other locations as determined independent evaluation of the environ- by RUS; mental issues and concurs in the BER'S (4) Provide the name and address of scope and content. The BER also may the person to whom questions and combe made an Appendix to RUS's EA to ments should be sent. provide information on the proposal

(c) RUS shall not permit construcand reduce unnecessary paperwork.

tion or other activities which would $ 1794.62 Notice of availability.

have an environmental effect until it

has received, reviewed and accepted an The Borrower shall publish a public

adequate BER and the public notice renotice of availability of the BER.

quirements in paragraphs (a) and (b) of (a) The Borrower's notice shall:

this section have been met. (1) Provide a brief description of the nature and location of its rec

$ 1794.64 Timing of agency action. ommended and reasonable alternatives;

(2) State the availability of the BER RUS may take its final action on for public review;

proposals requiring an EA without (3) State how copies of the BER can scoping (8 1794.33) at any time after be obtained and where copies are avail- publication of the RUS and Borrower able for public review, which shall in- notices that a FONSI has been made. clude the Borrower's headquarters, RUS offices in Washington, DC, and Subpart H-Procedure for Environother locations as determined by RUS;

mental Assessment Proposals (4) Provide the name and address of

With Scoping the person to whom questions and comments should be sent: (5) Set forth a thirty (30) day time pe

8 1794.70 General. riod for review and comment.

For those proposals covered by (b) The Borrower's notice shall be 81794.34, RUS and the Borrower shall published after RUS has determined follow the procedures for scoping and that the BER provides a satisfactory the requirements for notices and docubasis for public comment.

ments set forth in $$1794.50 through [49 FR 9550, Mar. 13, 1984; 49 FR 10083, Mar. 19,

1794.53 of Subpart F, “Procedure for 1984]

Proposals Normally Requiring an EIS."

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$ 1794.71 RUS determination.

concluded that comments and suggesAfter the scoping process and receipt

tions have been adequately considered. of an acceptable Environmental Analy

(b) If RUS was not a cooperating sis, RUS shall make a judgment as to

agency but determines that another whether or not RUS's action will be a

Federal agency's EIS is adequate it major Federal action significantly af

will adopt the EIS as its final EIS. fecting the quality of the human envi

(1) RUS and the Borrower shall pub

lish a notice stating RUS's adoption of ronment. If a significant effect is evident, RUS shall continue with the pro

the EIS and independent determination cedures in $$ 1794.54 through 1794.55 of

of its adequacy. The notices are gov

erned by $81794.12 (general) and Subpart F, “Procedure for Proposals

1794.54(a) (EIS). Normally Requiring an EIS." If a significant effect is not evident, RUS

(2) If the adopted EIS is generally

available, RUS will circulate its writshall develop and prepare an EA and FONSI.

ten finding that the adopted EIS meets

the standards for an adequate EIS. The $ 1794.72 Notice requirements for

adopted EIS shall be made available to FONSI determination.

interested parties upon request.

(3) If the adopted EIS is not generally I RUS prepares a FONSI for a pro

available, RUS will circulated its writposal covered by $1794.34, RUS and, in a

ten finding that the adopted statement timely manner, the Borrower shall publish notices of availability of the

is an adequate EIS, along with either

the adopted EIS or a summary thereof EA and FONSI. The EA and FONSI

in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.19. The shall be made available for public review and comment for at least thirty

adopted EIS shall be circulated in the

same manner as a final EIS (see (30) days, and the RUS and Borrower

81794.54(b). notices shall solicit public comments. Additional RUS and Borrower notice

$ 1794.82 Adoption as a draft EIS. requirements are included in $1794.63.

Where RUS determines that an exist8 1794.73 Timing of agency action for

ing Federal EIS requires additional inFONSI determination.

formation to meet the standards for an RUS may take its final action at any

adequate statement for a proposed RUS time after expiration of the thirty (30)

action, RUS may adopt all or a portion day period measured from the date of

of the EIS as a part of its draft EIS.

The circulation provisions of $1794.54(b) publication of the RUS notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER. Normally RUS

for draft and final EIS's apply. The shall wait thirty (30) days after publi

general notice provisions ($1794.12) and cation of the Borrower's notice before

notice provisions for EIS's ($ 1794.54(a))

apply. taking a final action.

$ 1794.83 Adoption of an EA. Subpart 1--Adoption of

RUS may adopt a Federal EIS or EA Environmental Documents

or a portion thereof as its EA. RUS

shall make the EA available and assure $ 1794.80 General.

that notice is provided in the same Where Borrowers participate in

manner as if RUS had prepared the EA. projects for which other agencies have already prepared an EIS or EA, RUS 8 1794.84 Adoption of environmental will adopt the existing EIS or EA con

materials. sistent with the provisions of 40 CFR RUS may adopt environmental docu1506.3.

ments or portions thereof prepared by

Federal, state or local agencies or $ 1794.81 Adoption as a final EIS.

other parties independently of the re(a) If RUS acted as a cooperating quirements of NEPA. RUS may adopt agency, the lead agency's EIS may be such materials into its environmental adopted as a final EIS without recir- documents. RUS will circulate the culation if RUS has reviewed the com- adopted document as a part of its enviments received on the final EIS and ronmental assessment or draft and

final EIS in the same manner as if prepared by RUS. § 1794.85 Timing of agency action.

Where RUS has adopted another agency's environmental documents, the timing of the RUS action shall be subject to the same requirements as if RUS had prepared the required EA or EIS.

(c) RUS, at its discretion, may issue an information supplement to a final EIS where RUS determines that the purposes of NEPA are furthered by doing so even though such supplement is not required by 40 CFR 1502.9(C)(1). RUS and the Borrower shall publish a notice of availability. The notice requirements shall be the same as for a final EIS indicated in $1794.54(a). The information supplement shall be circulated in the same manner as a final EIS (see $ 1794.54(b)). RUS shall take no final action on any proposed modification discussed in the information supplement until thirty (30) days after the RUS notice of availability is published or thirty (30) days after the Borrower's notice is published, whichever occurs later.

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8 1794.91 Timing of agency action.

Timing of RUS's action shall be sub ject to the same requirements as apply to a typical EIS.

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