§ 1940.314Criteria for determining a significant environmental impact.
(a) EISs will be done for those Class I and Class II actions that are determined to have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. The criteria for determining significant impacts are contained in § 1508.27 of the CEQ regulations.
(b) In utilizing the criteria for a significant impact, the cumulative impacts of other FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 actions planned or recently approved in the proposal's area of environmental impact, other related or similarly located Federal actions, and non-federal related actions must be given consideration. This is particularly relevant for frequently recurring FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 actions that on an individual basis may have relatively few environmental impacts but create a potential for significantly impacts on a cumulative basis. Housing assistance is one such example. Consequently, in reviewing proposals for subdivisions and multi-family housing sites, consideration must be given to the cumulative impacts of other federally assisted housing in the area, including FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's. The boundaries of the area to be considered should be based upon such factors as common utility or public service districts, common watersheds, and common commuting patterns to central employment or commercial areas. Additionally, the criteria for significant impacts utilized by the other involved housing agency(s), (VA and HUD, for example) must be reviewed when there is a potential for cumulative impacts. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 will consult with HUD for determining a significant impact whenever the total of HUD and FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 housing units being planned within a common area of environmental impact exceeds the HUD thresholds listed in its NEPA regulations. (See 24 CFR part 50.)
(c) Because the environmental values and functions of floodplains and wetlands are of critical importance to man, and because these areas are often extremely sensitive to man-induced disturbances, actions which affect wetlands and floodplains will be considered to have a significant environmental impact whenever one or more of the following criteria are met:
(1) The public health and safety are identifiably affected, that is, whenever the proposed action may affect any standards promulgated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300fet seq.), the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251et seq.) or similar State authorities.
(2) The preservation of natural systems is identifiably affected, that is, whenever the proposed action or related activities may potentially create or induce changes in the existing habitat that may affect species diversity and stability (both flora and fauna and over the short and long term) or affect ecosystem productivity over the long term.
(3) The proposal, if located or carried out within a floodplain, poses a greater than normal risk for flood-caused loss of life or property. Examples of such actions include facilities which produce, use, or store highly volatile, toxic, or water-reactive materials or facilities which contain occupants who may not be sufficiently mobile to avoid the loss of life or injury during flood and storm events (i.e., hospitals, nursing homes, schools).
Title 7 published on 2014-01-01
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