(a) A lead agency shall supervise the preparation of an environmental impact statement if more than one Federal agency either:
(1) Proposes or is involved in the same action; or
(2) Is involved in a group of actions directly related to each other because of their functional interdependence or geographical proximity.
(b) Federal, State, or local agencies, including at least one Federal agency, may act as joint lead agencies to prepare an environmental impact statement ( § 1506.2 ).
(c) If an action falls within the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section the potential lead agencies shall determine by letter or memorandum which agency shall be the lead agency and which shall be cooperating agencies. The agencies shall resolve the lead agency question so as not to cause delay. If there is disagreement among the agencies, the following factors (which are listed in order of descending importance) shall determine lead agency designation:
(1) Magnitude of agency's involvement.
(2) Project approval/disapproval authority.
(3) Expertise concerning the action's environmental effects.
(4) Duration of agency's involvement.
(5) Sequence of agency's involvement.
(d) Any Federal agency, or any State or local agency or private person substantially affected by the absence of lead agency designation, may make a written request to the potential lead agencies that a lead agency be designated.
(e) If Federal agencies are unable to agree on which agency will be the lead agency or if the procedure described in paragraph (c) of this section has not resulted within 45 days in a lead agency designation, any of the agencies or persons concerned may file a request with the Council asking it to determine which Federal agency shall be the lead agency.
A copy of the request shall be transmitted to each potential lead agency. The request shall consist of:
(1) A precise description of the nature and extent of the proposed action.
(2) A detailed statement of why each potential lead agency should or should not be the lead agency under the criteria specified in paragraph (c) of this section.
(f) A response may be filed by any potential lead agency concerned within 20 days after a request is filed with the Council. The Council shall determine as soon as possible but not later than 20 days after receiving the request and all responses to it which Federal agency shall be the lead agency and which other Federal agencies shall be cooperating agencies.