An EIS shall be prepared in accordance with 40 CFR part 1502. Funding, in whole or in part, for an EIS can be obtained from any lawful source (e.g., cooperative agreements developed in accordance with Section 759A, Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-127 and 31 U.S.C. 6301). A third-party consultant selected by RUS and funded by the applicant (7 CFR part 1789) may prepare the EIS.
(a) After a draft or final EIS has been prepared, RUS and the applicant shall concurrently have a notice of availability for the document published. The time period allowed for review will be a minimum of 45 days for a draft EIS and 30 days for a final EIS. This period is measured from the date that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a notice in the Federal Register in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.10.
(b) In addition to circulation required by 40 CFR 1502.19, the draft and final EIS (or summaries thereof, at RUS discretion) shall be circulated to the appropriate state, regional, and metropolitan clearinghouses.
(c) Where a final EIS does not require substantial changes from 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 shall 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 RUS will provide the draft EIS if requested within 30 days of publication of notice of availability of the final EIS.