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(a) General. (1) The States and their political subdivisions have primary responsibility for water pollution control. Treatment works generally are initiated and designed by a community or a regional authority and submitted to the State for approval. The construction grant program administered by the Agency provides Federal financial assistance to any State, municipality, or intermunicipal or interstate agency for the construction of treatment works. The intent of this program is to assist the State and local entities in meeting their waste treatment responsibilities.
(2) Although the Agency does not participate directly in the formulation of treatment works proposals, it does provide guidance to assure construction of well-designed treatment works which will meet water quality standards and other requirements. In addition, to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Agency must determine if the proposed treatment works will have a significant impact upon the environment and, if so, prepare and circulate an environmental impact statement before awarding the grant. This assures that environmental considerations are properly accounted for in the final design.
(b) Environmental assessments and public hearings.—(1) General. (i) Applicants for grants for treatment works shall prepare an assessment and hold a public hearing for each treatment works. The assessment and hearing record shall be submitted prior to approval of plans, specifications, and detailed design drawings submitted for approval. The Regional Administrator may in consultation with the applicant determine that a single assessment and public hearing will suffice for a number of related treatment works. The plans, specifications, and detailed design drawings cannot be approved unless an adequate assessment
has been developed by the applicant and has been commented on by the State and local clearinghouses pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-95.
(ii) When a number of separate grant applications are being submitted in a fiscal year for treatment works that are constituent parts of a larger system, regional personnel may delay approval of plans and specifications for the various treatment works until some or all of the works and their assessments can be reviewed together to allow the Agency to properly evaluate the cumulative impact of the individual works. The regional personnel may also request environmental information from an applicant(s) on the cumulative environmental impacts of the treatment works and alternatives to them, if this information is not available in the applications, assessments, or plan(s) encompassing the projects (see also § 6.56(c)).
(iii) As specified in § 6.52(c) of this subpart, ongoing projects must also be reviewed. If it appears that an impact statement may be required or that sufficient environmental information is not available to make a proper determination, the grant applicant may be requested to submit an environmental assessment which would provide the needed information.
(2) Responsibility for preparation of assessments-(i) Applicant's responsibility. The applicant is responsible for preparing an adequate environmental assessment for a treatment works.
(ii) Regional offices. The regional personnel are responsible for the approval or disapproval of plans and specifications and the acceptance of an assessment. Regional personnel shall review the applicant's assessment and determine the reliability of the applicant's data and the adequacy of the alternatives discussed. This may involve field inspection of the sites of proposed works. If the assessment is used by the regional personnel in developing an impact statement, the Regional Administrator must assume responsibility for the reliability and comprehensiveness of the data or analyses
(3) Content of assessment. An applicant's environmental assessment must contain the following:
(i) A comparative evaluation of the major alternatives including the proposed treatment works.
(ii) Answers to the six questions outlined in § 6.32 (a) through (g). The questions in § 6.32 (a), (b), (c), (e), and (f) must be answered for each alternative and those in § 6.32 (d) and (g) must be answered considering all of the alternatives.
(iii) A complete description of how the treatment works' design and construction controls will minimize the adverse impact on all aspects of the environment.
(4) Adequacy of assessment. If the assessment is judged inadequate, the applicant shall be notified that the evaluation will be suspended until the deficiencies are remedied in writing. The assessment will be used in the Agency's environmental review to determine if environmental factors are properly incorporated into the proposed treatment works and to determine if an environmental impact statement is required pursuant to NEPA.
(5) Public hearing. The applicant shall submit with the assessment a record of a public hearing held pursuant to § 6.58 of this subpart. The public hearing should be held concurrently with the development of the project design and environmental assessment. The purpose of the hearing is to allow the public (environmental/conservation groups, industries, and individuals) to assist the applicant in identifying valid environmental issues which must be considered in the treatment works development stage to avoid possible major modifications at a later date.
(c) Environmental review. An environmental review must be conducted for each treatment works in accordance with § 6.20 of subpart B of this part and § 6.54 of this subpart. These reviews must be conducted as early as practicable in the grant review process but no later than prior to the approval of plans, specifications, and detailed design drawings. The Regional Administrator is responsible for determining the proper scope of the NEPA review; he is not necessarily bound by the scope of the treatment works defined in the application. For example, when a grant application is for a constituent part of a larger treatment works, the regional personnel must also determine whether to conduct an environmental review on the larger works before deciding if plans and specifications should be approved or an impact statement prepared. In deciding upon the need for a broader environ
mental review, the regional personnel must consider if the individual grant is an irreversible element of the larger works and if the potential cumulative impacts of the elements comprising the larger works can be properly evaluated in a separate review of each treatment works. If the Regional Administrator determines that there may be significant impacts or that a broader environmental review is required, the applicant may be requested to submit additional environmental data or analyses. The applicant will be given formal written notice of what additional material he must submit.
(d) Notice of intent and impact statement. If the environmental review described in paragraph (c) of this section indicates a significant impact upon the environment, the Regional Administrator shall issue a notice of intent and prepare an impact statement on the appropriate scale proposed action. Notices of intent and impact statements shall be prepared and distributed in accordance with the procedures in subpart B.
(e) Negative declaration. If the regional personnel determine that the project will not have a significant impact on the environment, a negative declaration and environmental impact appraisal shall be prepared in accordance with the procedures in subpart B of this part.
§ 6.57 Content of environmental impact
(a) Environmental impact statements for treatment works and water quality management or areawide plans will follow the format described in § 6.32 of subpart C of this part. The individual explanations in subpart C on the contents of the various sections to be inIcluded in the impact statement are also applicable. The following additional material should be included where appropriate.
(b) The impact statement section entitled "Environmental Impact on the Proposed Project or Plan" shall contain a description of the environmental impact that the proposed treatment works or plan might have on the surrounding area. Both adverse and beneficial effects need to be discussed. A brief summary of the results of pertinent studies, such as the following, should be included: Topographic analyses (USGS maps); soil surveys; maps showing aquifer
recharge areas; bedrock geology showing fault lines and any other pertinent geological material; surface water hydrologic information with special emphasis upon low-flow and flood-flow conditions and levels, assimilative capacity of the receiving stream to maintain water quality standards or goals; potential water reuse within the system and for agricultural needs outside of the system; air, noise, and odor evaluations; aquatic and terrestrial wildlife and biological studies including wetland areas; effects upon areas of natural value and park lands; and relocation of people and compensation. Other factors which should be addressed, when pertinent, include: The overall design and operational reliability of the treatment works described in the plan; proposed construction techniques; sludge processing and disposal in relation to alternatives available; anticipated and potential odors; reuse and recycling features; tree clearing controls to be used; erosion control during construction; and architectural and landscaping proposals at the project sites. (The above studies or factors are not listed in order of importance.)
(c) The impact statement section entitled, "Adverse Impacts Which Cannot be Avoided Should the Proposal be Implemented," shall consider the following additional specific factors if pertinent: Wooded or wildlife habitat which will be lost; stream or downstream impoundment; siltation resulting from construction; possible disruption of a natural, cultural, or historic setting at or near the site; effects on general development of the area; and the impact of the additional quantity of flows and associated residual pollutants upon the receiving bodies of water.
§ 6.58 Public hearing requirements.
(a) General. A public hearing must be held on all wastewater treatment works, except when the requirement for such a hearing is waived by the Regional Administrator. A record of a public hearing must always be included with an areawide plan submitted to the Agency for approval and, when specifically requested by a Regional Administrator in writing, one must be held on a water quality management plan. Neither plans, specifications, and detailed design drawings for the treatment works, nor the areawide plan can be approved until the record of the hearing is received. The
record shall contain, as a minimum, a list of witnesses together with the text of each presentation and a statement that the participants at the hearing were informed that one of the purposes of the hearing is to discuss the environmental effects of the proposed treatment works and alternatives to it as required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
(b) Public notice. (1) The potential grantee must provide adequate notice to the public of the hearing. Adequate notice shall be considered to include, at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of such hearing:
(i) Notice given to the public by adequate advertisement identifying the works or plan, announcing the date, time, and place of such hearing, and announcing the availability of detailed information on the proposed works or plan for public inspection at one or more locations in the area in which the works will be located. Detailed information shall include, as a minimum, a complete description of the works or plan, cost and financing information, alternatives to the proposed works or plan, a detailed description of the effects of the works or plan on land use, and a statement that one of the purposes of the hearing is to discuss the potential environmental impacts of the works or plan and alternatives to it.
(ii) Notification to the appropriate State and local agencies and to the appropriate State and metropolitan clearinghouses.
(ii) Notification to interested environmental and conservation action groups.
(2) The potential grantee shall submit with the record of the public hearing: (1) a copy of any advertisement published, broadcast, or otherwise issued pursuant to this section; (ii) a list of those notified; and (iii) a certification that the hearing was held in accordance with the notification requirements of this section:
(c) Waiver of hearing on grant applications. A request to waive the hearing on a grant application for a wastewater treatment works must be submitted in writing prior to submission of the first grant application. Such requests will be acted upon promptly by the Regional Administrator. Requests must include a description of the works, the estimated cost of the works, the area that will be serviced, and the reasons the grantee feels a public hearing would not serve the public interest. Waivers will, in general,
only be granted for minor works such as small additions, modifications to existing works, or cases where a hearing held on a plan encompassing the works was sufficiently comprehensive to cover the works in detail.
§ 6.59 Project commencement.
Plans, specifications, and detailed design drawings cannot be approved until a negative declaration has been prepared or the thirty (30) day waiting period after forwarding the final impact statement to CEQ has expired. In addition, before plans and specifications can be approved, the proposed treatment works must be modified to conform with any changes suggested during the impact statement process that the Agency deems necessary.
Subpart F-Guidelines for the Preparation of Environmental Impact Statements for Research and Monitoring Projects and Activities § 6.60
(a) "Project." This term will be used collectively for the three project types below.
(1) "Intramural (in house) project." A project undertaken with resources other than grant or contract funds.
(2) "Extramural project." A project undertaken with grant or contract funds.
(3) "Demonstration project." A project which shows the applicability of a piece of developed technology. It is a project which is carried out at or near full-scale and has a high probability of success. A demonstration project is always an extramural project.
(b) "Appropriate program official." The official within the Office of Research and Monitoring to whom the "responsible official" delegates most of the work related to compliance with NEPA.
(c) "Decision official." The individual responsible for determining if a project will be funded. The assignment of this role will vary according to task cost and delegation of authority.
(d) "EIS-associated documents." Notice of intent, negative declarations, en
(a) This subpart applies to all projects under the direction of the Assistant Administrator for Research and Monitoring with the partial exception of projects funded under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (to be called the Act). The specific procedures to be followed for various project types are set forth in § 6.65 of this subpart.
(b) Except for those projects discussed in the next paragraph, projects funded under the Act are exempt from the complete procedures set forth in § 6.65. However, a brief environmental review will be conducted by the appropriate program official of all projects funded under the Act and an environmental impact statement voluntarily prepared by the Agency when a project will have any of the adverse impacts discussed in § 6.64 of this subpart. Assessments must be submitted on these projects in accordance with the requirements of § 6.65 (a), but negative declarations and environmental appraisals are not required.
(c) Projects funded under the Act that will result in construction of any wastewater treatment works or will result in the introduction of pesticides, radioactive materials, or other hazardous substances into the environment, shall not be exempt from the complete procedures set forth in § 6.65 of this subpart. An EIS will be prepared if the project will have any of the significant environmental impacts discussed in § 6.64 of this subpart.
(a) Responsible official. The "responsible official" for Agency actions covered by this subpart is the Assistant Administrator for Research and Monitoring. The Assistant Administrator will delegate most of the work to the appropriate program official. The responsibilities of the "responsible official," in addition to those in § 6.14(a) of Subpart A of this part are: (1) Insures that environmental assessments are submitted, and the appropriate program officials conduct environmental reviews, prepare impact statements and other EIS-associated documents, and take such subsequent actions as are delegated to them by the "responsible official."
(2) When projects significantly affect more than one regional office, are highly controversial, are of national significance, or "pioneer” Agency policy, the appropriate program official shall have the project's continuation approved by the Program Management Division, Office of Program Operations, Assistant Administrator for Research and Monitoring.
(b) Assistant Administrator. The responsibilities of the Office of the Assistant Administrator as described in § 6.14 (f) of Subpart A of this part shall be assumed by the Assistant Administrator for Research and Monitoring for Agency actions covered by this subpart.
(c) Program Management Division, Office of Program Operations, Assistant Administrator for Research and Monitoring. (1) Assists the Office of Federal Activities in coordinating the training of personnel involved in the review and preparation of impact statements and other EIS-associated documents.
(2) Advises the Assistant Administrator for Research and Monitoring, through the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Program Operations, concerning projects which significantly affect more than one regional office, are highly controversial, are of national significance, or "pioneer" Agency policy, when these projects have had or should have had an environmental impact statement prepared on them.
(d) Regional Administrators. The responsibilities of the Regional Administrator with regard to projects of the Office of Research and Monitoring which affect his region will be to:
(1) Provide technical and administrative assistance in environmental reviews and in the preparation of impact statements.
(2) Advise the appropriate program officials and the Program Management Division, Office of Program Operations, of any projects which will significantly affect more than one regional office, are highly controversial, are of national significance, or "pioneer" Agency policy, when these projects have had or should have had an environmental impact statement prepared on them.
§ 6.64 Criteria for the preparation of
environmental impact statements.
(a) An impact statement shall be prepared and processed by the Office of Research and Monitoring when:
(1) The project will induce or encourage significant changes in industrial, commercial, or residential concentrations or distributions, the effects of which are not adequately reflected in an impact statement on plans encompassing the project. Factors that must be considered in determining if induced changes are significant include but are not limited to: the land area subject to increased development as a result of the project; the relative increase in population which the project may induce; the potential for overloading sewage facilities; the extent to which landowners may benefit from the areas subject to increased development; and the nature of land use regulations in the affected area and their potential effects on the development.
(2) The project will have significant adverse impacts on public parks or other areas of recognized scenic or recreational value.
(3) The project will have significant adverse impact on areas of recognized archeological value or properties listed in or being considered for nomination to the National Register of Historical Places.
(4) The project will significantly deface an existing residential area.
(5) The project will include or induce development which will have a significant adverse effect upon local ambient air quality, local ambient noise levels, surface or groundwater quality, fish, wildlife, their natural habitats, or other natural elements.
(6) The project involves a significant diversion of effluent from one basin to another (or to the ocean) and the diversion will adversely affect the quality or quantity of the water in a basin.
(7) When the treated effluent is being discharged into a body of water where the present classification is being challenged as too low to protect present uses, and the effluent will not be of sufficient quality to meet the requirements of such
(8) The environmental impact of a project is highly controversial based on environmental issues raised by a party or parties with recognized legal standing as defined in Sierra Club v. Morton, 92 S.Ct. 1361 (Apr. 19, 1972) which can be found in 3 Environmental Reporter Cases (ERC) 2039.
(9) The project consists of field tests involving the introduction of pesticides, radioactive materials, or other hazardous substances into the environment by the