(a) As soon as practicable after RUS and the applicant have developed a schedule for the environmental review process, RUS shall have its notice of intent to prepare an EA or EIS and schedule scoping meetings (§ 1794.13) published in the Federal Register (see 40 CFR 1508.22). The applicant shall have published, in a timely manner, a notice similar to RUS' notice.
(b) As part of the early planning, the applicant should consult with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies to inform them of the proposed action, identify permits and approvals which must be obtained, and administrative procedures which must be followed.
(c) Before formal scoping is initiated, RUS will require the applicant to submit an Alternative Evaluation Study and either a Siting Study (generation) or a Macro-Corridor Study (transmission lines).
(d) The applicant is encouraged to hold public information meetings in the general location of the proposed action and any reasonable alternatives when such applicant meetings will make the scoping process more meaningful. A written summary of the comments made at such meetings must be submitted to RUS as soon as practicable after the meetings.