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(2) Scoping, as described in 40 CFR that would be carried out under grant, 1501.7, will be conducted.

contract, or cooperative agreement, (3) The format and contents of the then the award shall not be made bedraft and final EIS shall be as dis- fore the times set forth in 40 CFR cussed in 40 CFR part 1502.

1506.10, unless such action is necessary (4) Comments on the draft EIS shall to comply with other specific statutory be invited as set forth in 40 CFR 1503.1. requirements, or as exceptions are The minimum period to be afforded for needed as provided in 40 CFR 1506.10, comments on a draft EIS shall be 45 1506.11, or 1507.3. However, an award for days, unless a lesser period is necessary preliminary planning proposals may be to comply with other specific statutory made before such times if it is so strucrequirements or in case of emergency tured as to require further NSF approvcircumstances, as described in 40 CFR als for funding the actual actions that 1506.11.

might adversely affect the quality of (5) The requirements of 40 CFR 1506.9 the human environment. In such cases, for filing of documents with the Envi- the subsequent approvals for funding ronmental Protection Agency shall be these actions will be considered the followed.

“decision”. This is consistent with the (6) The responsible directorate shall requirement that environmental conexamine carefully the basis on which siderations undergo concurrent review supportive studies have been conducted with all other project planning considto assure that such studies are objec- erations. tive and comprehensive in scope and in (c) In appropriate cases, if the action depth.

involves other agencies, the Chairman (7) The Act requires that the deci- may agree to designate another agency sionmaking involved "utilize a system as “lead agency” and to cooperate as atic, interdisciplinary approach that discussed in 40 CFR 1501.5 and 1501.6. In will insure the integrated use of the such cases, the Chairman has authority natural and social sciences and the en- to alter the procedures described in (a) vironmental design arts.” If such dis- to the extent they are inconsistent ciplines are not present on the NSF with functions assigned to NSF under staff, appropriate use should be made the "cooperating agency” arrangeof personnel of Federal, State, and ments. local agencies, universities, non-profit (d) A public record of decision stating organizations, or private industry. what the decision was; identifying al

(8) A copy of the draft EIS or the ternatives that were considered, infinal. EIS (or a summary, if the size of cluding the environmentally preferable the EIS does not make this practical) one(s); discussing any national policy shall be included in and accompany the considerations that entered into the appropriate proposal throughout the decision; and summarizing a moniNSF internal review and approval proc toring and enforcement program if ap

plicable for mitigation, will be pre(b)(1) 40 CFR 1506.1 describes the pared. This record of decision will be types of actions that should not be prepared at the time the decision is taken during the NEPA process. Such made, or if appropriate, when the agenactions shall be avoided by NSF per- cy makes its recommendation for acsonnel during the process of prepara- tion to Congress. (See 40 CFR 1505.2.) tion of an EIS and for a period of thirty days after the final EIS is filed with PART 641-ENVIRONMENTAL ASEPA, unless such actions are necessary SESSMENT PROCEDURES FOR to comply with other specific statutory PROPOSED NATIONAL SCIENCE requirements.

FOUNDATION ACTIONS IN ANT(2) 40 CFR 1506.10 also places certain

ARCTICA limitations on the timing of agency decisions on taking “major Federal ac

Sec. tions”. In some cases the actual “deci

641.10 Purpose. sion point” may be more clear-cut than

641.11 Policy. others. If the “action” that neces- 641.12. Applicability. sitated the preparation of an EIS is one 641.13 Right of action.

ess.

[blocks in formation]

responsibility of NSF that may have an impact on the Antarctic environment.

641.14 Definitions. 641.15 Preliminary environmental review. 641.16 Preparation of environmental docu

ments, generally. 641.17 Initial environmental evaluation. 641.18 Comprehensive environmental eval

uation. 641.19 Modification of environmental docu

ments. 641.20 Notification of the availability of en

vironmental documents and other infor

mation. 641.21 Monitoring. 641.22 Cases of emergency.

AUTHORITY: E.O. 12114, 44 FR 1957, 3 CFR 1979 Comp., p. 356.

SOURCE: 57 FR 40339, Sept. 3, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

$641.10 Purpose.

These procedures are designed to elicit and evaluate information that will inform the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the potential environmental consequences of proposed U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) actions, so that relevant environmental considerations are taken into account by decisionmakers before reaching final decisions on whether or how to proceed with proposed actions. These procedures are consistent with and implement the requirements of:

(a) Executive Order 12114 as it relates to NSF's Antarctic activities, and

(b) the environmental assessment provisions of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

$ 641.13 Right of action

The procedures set forth in this part establish internal procedures to be followed by NSF in considering the potential environmental effects of actions taken in Antarctica. Nothing in this part shall be construed to create a cause of action. 8 641.14 Definitions.

As used in these procedures, the term:

(a) Action means a project, program or other activity, including the adoption of an official policy or formal plan, that is undertaken, authorized, adopted or approved by, or subject to the control or responsibility of NSF, the decommissioning of a physical plant or facility, and any change in the scope or intensity of a project, program or action.

(b) Antarctica means the area south of 60 degrees south latitude.

(c) Antarctic environment means the natural and physical environment of Antarctica and its dependent and associated ecosystems, but excludes social, economic and other environments.

(d) Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting means a meeting of the Parties to the Antarctic Treaty, held pursuant to Article IX(1) of the Treaty.

(e) Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation or CEE means a study of the reasonably foreseeable potential effects of a proposed action on the antarctic environment, prepared in accordance with the provisions of $ 641.18, and includes all comments thereon received during the comment period described in $ 641.18(c). A Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation shall constitute an environmental impact statement for purposes of the Executive Order.

(f) Environmental Action Memorandum means a document briefly describing a proposed action and its potential impacts, if any, on the antarctic environment prepared by the responsible official when he or she determines that a proposed action will have less than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment.

(g) Environmental document means an initial environmental evaluation or a

8641.11 Policy.

It is the policy of NSF to use all practicable means, consistent with its authority, to ensure that potential environmental effects of actions undertaken by NSF in Antarctica, either independently or in cooperation with another country, are appropriately identified and considered during the decisionmaking process, and that appropriate environmental safeguards which would limit, mitigate or prevent adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment are identified. 8 641.12 Applicability.

The requirements set forth in this part apply to all proposed projects, programs and actions authorized or approved by, or subject to the control and

comprehensive environmental evalua- proposed action on the Antarctic envition.

ronment. (h) Environmental review means the (b) If, on the basis of the preliminary environmental review required by the environmental review, the responsible provisions of this part, and includes official determines that an action will preliminary environmental review and

have less than a minor or transitory preparation of an environmental docu

impact on the Antarctic environment, ment, and review by the parties to the

he will prepare an Environmental ACProtocol, and committees established

tion Memorandum briefly summarizing under the Protocol for that purpose,

the environmental issues considered and the public, as applicable.

and conclusions drawn from the review. (i) Executive Order means Executive

No further environmental review shall Order 12114, Environmental Effects

be necessary. Abroad of Major Federal Actions, 44 FR 1957.

8 641.16 Preparation of environmental (j) Initial Environmental Evaluation or

documents, generally. IEE means a study of the reasonably

(a) Preparation of an environmental foreseeable potential effects of a proposed action on the antarctic environ

document. If the responsible official dement, prepared in accordance with the

termines, either initially or on the provisions of 8641.17.

basis of a preliminary environmental (k) Preliminary environmental review review, that a proposed action may means the environmental review de have at least a minor or transitory imscribed in $ 641.15(a).

pact on the Antarctic environment, he (1) Protocol means the Protocol on will prepare an environmental docuEnvironmental Protection to the Ant- ment in accordance with the provisions arctic Treaty, adopted on October 4, of this part. In making this determina1991, in Madrid, at the fourth session of tion, the responsible official should the Eleventh Special Antarctic Treaty consider whether and to what degree Consultative Meeting and signed by the the proposed action: United States on that date, and all an (1) Has the potential to adversely afnexes thereto.

fect the Antarctic environment; (m) Responsible official means the Di

(2) May adversely affect climate and rector of the Office of Polar Programs,

weather patterns; or any NSF employee(s) designated by

(3) May adversely affect air or water the Director to be principally respon

quality; sible for the preparation of environ

(4) May affect atmospheric, terresmental action memoranda or environ

trial (including aquatic), glacial or mamental documents under this part. (n) Treaty means the Antarctic Trea

rine environments; ty signed in Washington, D.C., on De

(5) May detrimentally affect the discember 1, 1959, T.I.A.S No. 4780.

tribution, abundance or productivity or

species, or populations of species of [57 FR 40339, Sept. 3, 1992, as amended at 59

fauna and flora; FR 37438, July 22, 1994]

(6) May further jeopardize endan$641.15 Preliminary environmental re- gered or threatened species or popuview.

lations of such species; (a) The responsible official shall be

(7) May degrade, or pose substantial notified early in the general planning

risk to, areas of biological, scientific, process of actions proposed by USAP

d bv USAP historic, aesthetic or wilderness sigcomponents that may have impacts on

nificance; the Antarctic environment, so that en

(8) Has highly uncertain environvironmental review may be integrated mental effects, or involves unique or into the planning and decisionmaking unknown environmental risks; or processes. The responsible official shall (9) Together with other actions, the conduct a preliminary environmental effects of any one of which is individreview of each action, including consid- ually insignificant, may have at least eration of the potential direct and rea- minor or transitory cumulative envisonably foreseeable indirect effects of a ronmental effects.

(b) Prior assessments. Notwithstanding the Antarctic environment, the envithe provisions of $ 641.16(a), if (1) An en- ronmental effects of the action shall be vironmental document (including a ge- reviewed to determine the need for the neric or programmatic CEE) or its preparation of an environmental docuequivalent has been prepared for a par

ment. ticular type of action; (2) That docu

(d) Coordination with other committees, ment includes an analysis of potential

offices and federal agencies. The responenvironmental effects that are directly

sible official shall notify NSF's Comrelevant to the potential effects of the

mittee of Environmental Matters when proposed action, taking in account factors such as the similarity of the ac

he intends to prepare an environmental

document, and will coordinate preparations and of the locations within which they take place; and (3) There are no

tion of the document with those entipotential site specific or other impacts

ties. Responsibility for preparation of that would require further evaluation,

the environmental document rests prithen a new environmental document

marily with the responsible official, need not be prepared. Instead, the re

but, as soon as is feasible, he should sponsible official shall prepare an Envi- consult with and encourage the particironmental Action Memorandum for the pation of other knowledgeable individproposed action, cross-referencing the uals within NSF, and, where appropreviously prepared environmental priate, with other individuals, governdocument.

ment agencies and entities with rel(c) Exclusions. NSF has determined evant knowledge and expertise. that the following actions will have (e) Type of environmental document. less than a minor or transitory impact The type of environmental document on the Antarctic environment, and are

required under this part depends on the not subject to the procedures set forth

nature of the proposed action under in this part, except to the extent pro

consideration. An IEE must be previded herein:

pared for proposed actions which the (1) Scientific research activities in

responsible official concludes may have volving:

at least a minor or transitory impact (i) Low volume collection of biologi

on the Antarctic environment and for cal or geologic specimens, provided no more mammals or birds are taken than

which a CEE is not prepared. A CEE can normally be replaced by natural re

must be prepared if an IEE indicates, production in the following season;

or if it is otherwise determined, that a (ii) Small-scale detonation of explo

proposed action is likely to have more sives in connection with seismic re

than a minor or transitory impact on search conducted in the continental in

the Antarctic environment. terior or Antarctica where there will (f) Obligation of funds. Because of lobe no potential for impact on native gistic constraints (i.e., constraints due flora and fauna;

to transportation difficulties, inacces(iii) Use of weather/research balloons, sibility of Antarctic bases for much of research rockets, and automatic the year, and the need to obtain items weather stations that are to be re

or materials requiring long lead times), trieved; and

it may not be possible to complete the (iv) Use of radioisotopes, provided

environmental review of a proposed acsuch use complies with applicable laws

tion before funds must be committed and regulations, and with NSF proce

and/or disbursed. In such cases, funds dures for handling and disposing of

for the proposed action may be comradioisotopes.

mitted and/or disbursed, provided: (2) Interior remodelling and renovation of existing facilities.

(1) The appropriate environmental reNotwithstanding the foregoing, if in

view is completed before implementaformation developed during the plan

tion of the proposed action in Antarcning of any of the actions described in

tica, and this paragraph (c) indicates the possi

(2) Implementation plans for the probility that the action may have at pos

posed action will be modified or canleast a minor or transitory impact on

ton celed, if appropriate, in light of the

celed, 11 appro

completed environmental review (including public comments, if applicable). [57 FR 40339, Sept. 3, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 37438, July 22, 1994] 8641.17 Initial environmental evalua

tion. (a) Contents. An IEE shall contain sufficient detail to assess whether a proposed action may have more than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment, and shall include the following information:

(1) A description of the proposed action, including its purpose, location, duration and intensity; and

(2) Consideration of alternatives to the proposed action and any impacts that the proposed action may have on the Antarctic environment, including cumulative impacts in light of existing and known planned actions and existing information on such actions.

(b) Further environmental review. If an IEE indicates that a proposed action is likely to have no more than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment, no further environmental review of the action is necessary provided that appropriate procedures, which may include monitoring, are put in place to assess and verify the impact of the action.

(C) Availability to public. An annual list of IEEs and a description of any decisions taken in consequence thereof shall be provided to the Department of State for circulation to all Parties to the Protocol and to organizations or committees established pursuant to the Protocol or the Treaty, as required. The Environmental Officer, Division of Polar Programs, shall also make the list and copies of final IEEs available to the public upon request. $641.18 Comprehensive environmental

evaluation. (a) Scoping. If it is determined that a CEE will be prepared, the responsible official shall publish a notice of intent to prepare a CEE in the FEDERAL REGISTER, inviting interested persons and government agencies to participate in the process of identifying significant issues relating to the proposed action and determining the scope of the issues to be addressed in the CEE.

(b) Contents of CEE. A CEE shall be a concise and analytical document, prepared in accordance with the range of relevant issues identified in the scoping process. It shall contain sufficient information to permit informed consideration of the reasonably foreseeable potential environmental effects of a proposed action and possible alternatives to that proposed action. Such information shall include the following:

(1) A description of the proposed action including its purpose, location, duration and intensity;

(2) A description of the initial baseline environmental state with which predicted changes are to be compared, and a prediction of the future environmental state in the absence of the proposed action:

(3) A description of the methods and data used to forecast the potential impacts of the proposed action;

(4) An estimate of the nature, extent, duration and intensity of the likely direct potential impacts of the proposed action;

(5) A consideration of the potential indirect or second order impacts from the proposed action;

(6) A consideration of potential cumulative impacts of the proposed action in light of existing activities and other known planned actions and available information on those actions;

(7) A description of possible alternatives to the proposed action, including the alternative of not proceeding, and the potential consequences of those alternatives, in sufficient detail to allow a clear basis for choice among the alternatives and the proposed action;

(8) Identification of measures, including monitoring, that could be employed to minimize, mitigate or prevent potential impacts of the proposed action, detect unforeseen impacts, provide early warning of any adverse effects, and carry out prompt and effective response to accidents;

(9) Identification of unavoidable potential impacts of the proposed action;

(10) Consideration of the potential effects of the proposed action on the conduct of scientific research and on other existing uses and values;

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