7 CFR Part 1940, Subpart G, Exhibit H to Subpart G of Part 1940 - Environmental Assessment for Class II Actions

View PDF at GPO Pt. 1940, Subpt. G, Exh. H
Exhibit H to Subpart G of Part 1940—Environmental Assessment for Class II Actions
In completing this assessment, it is important to understand the comprehensive nature of the impacts which must be analyzed. Consideration must be given to all potential impacts associated with the construction of the project, its operation and maintenance, the operation of all identified primary beneficiaries, and the attainment of the project's major objectives, whether they be an increased housing stock, community improvement, economic development, or greater agricultural productivity. This last category, the attainment of the project's major objectives, often induces or supports changes in population densities, land uses, community services, transportation systems and resource consumption. The scope of the assessment is broadened even further when there are related activities involved. The impacts of these activities must also be assessed.
The preparer will consult as indicated in § 1940.318(b) of this subpart with appropriate experts from Federal, State, and local agencies, universities, and other organizations or groups whose views could be helpful in the assessment of potential impacts. In so doing, each discussion which is utilized in reaching a conclusion with respect to the degree of an impact will be summarized in the assessment as accurately as possible and include the name, title, phone number, and organization of the individual contacted, plus the date of contact. Related correspondence should be attached to the assessment.
The FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 environmental assessment shall be prepared in the following format. It shall address the listed items and questions and contain as attachments the indicated descriptive materials, as well as the environmental information submitted by the applicant, Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-20, “Request for Environmental Information.”
The assessment has been designed to cover the wide variety of projects and environments with which the Agency deals. Consequently, not every issue or potential impact raised in the assessment may be relevant to each project. The purpose of the format is to give the preparer an understanding of a standard range of impacts, environmental factors, and issues which may be encountered. In preparing an assessment, each topic heading identified by a Roman numeral and each environmental factor listed under topic heading IV, such as air quality, for example, must be addressed.
The amount of analysis and material that must be provided will depend upon the type and size of the project, the environment in which it is located, and the range and complexity of the potential impacts. The amount of analysis and detail provided, therefore, must be commensurate with the magnitude of the expected impact. The analysis of each environmental factor (i.e., water quality) must be taken to the point that a conclusion can be reached and supported concerning the degree of the expected impact with respect to that factor.
For example, a small community center may not require detailed information on air emissions or solid waste management, but an industrial facility would. Similarly, an irrigation project for a farming operation would concentrate on such factors as water quality and fish and wildlife, rather than land use changes. The extension of a water or sewer system or the approval of a subdivision, on the other hand, would have to give close attention to all factors, with potential land use changes being a particularly important one.
I. Project Description and Need
Identify the name, project number, location, and specific elements of the project along with their sizes, and, when applicable, their design capacities. Indicate the purpose of the project, FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354's position regarding the need for it, and the extent or area of land to be considered as the project site.
II. Primary Beneficiaries and Related Activities
Identify any existing businesses or major developments that will benefit from the project and those which will expand or locate in the area because of the project. Specify by name, product, service, and operations involved.
Identify any related activities which are defined as interdependent parts of a FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 action. Such undertakings are considered interdependent parts whenever they either make possible or support the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 action or are themselves induced or supported by the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 action or another related activity. These activities may have been completed in the very recent past and are now operational, or they may reasonably be expected to be accomplished in the near future. Related activities may or may not be federally permitted or assisted. When they are, identify the involved Federal Agency(s).
In completing the remainder of the assessment, it must be remembered that the impacts to be addressed are those which stem from the project, the primary beneficiaries, and the related activities.
III. Description of Project Area
Describe the project site and its present use. Describe the surrounding land uses; indicate the directions and distances involved. The extent of the surrounding land to be considered depends on the extent of the impacts of the project, its related activities, and the primary beneficiaries. Unique or sensitive areas must be pointed out. These include residential, schools, hospitals, recreational, historical sites, beaches, lakes, rivers, parks, floodplains, wetlands, dunes, estuaries, barrier islands, natural landmarks, unstable soils, steep slopes, aquifer recharge areas, important farmlands and forestlands, prime rangelands, endangered species habitats or other delicate or rare ecosystems.
Attach adequate location maps of the project area, as well as (1) a U.S. Geological Survey “15 minute” (“71/2 minute,” if available,) topographic map which clearly delineates the area and the location of the project elements, (2) the Department of Housing and Urban Development's floodplain map(s) for the project area, (3) site photos, (4), if completed, a standard soil survey for the project, and (5), if available, an aerial photograph of the site. When necessary for descriptive purposes or environmental analysis, include land use maps or other graphic information. All graphic materials shall be of high quality resolution.
IV. Environmental Impact
1. Air Quality. Discuss, in terms of the amounts and types of emissions to be produced, all aspects of the project including beneficiaries' operations and known indirect effects (such as increased motor vehicle traffic) which will affect air quality. Indicate the existing air quality in the area. Indicate if topographical or meteorological conditions hinder or affect the dispersal of air emissions. Evaluate the impact on air quality given the types and amounts of projected emissions, the existing air quality, and topographical and meterological conditions. Discuss the project's consistency with the State's air quality implementation plan for the area, the classification of the air quality control region within which the project is located, and the status of compliance with air quality standards within that region. Cite any contacts with appropriate experts and agencies which must issue necessary permits.
2. Water Quality. Discuss, in terms of amounts and types of effluents, all aspects of the project including primary beneficiaries' operations and known indirect effects which will affect water quality. Indicate the existing water quality of surface and/or underground water to be affected. Evalute the impacts of the project on this existing water quality. Indicate if an aquifer recharge area is to be adversely affected. If the project lies within or will affect a sole source aquifer recharge area as designated by EPA, contact the appropriate EPA regional office to determine if its review is necessary. If it is, attach the results of its review.
Indicate the source and available supply of raw water and the extent to which the additional demand will affect the raw water supply. Describe the wastewater treatment system(s) to be used and indicate their capacity and their adequacy in terms of the degree of treatment provided. Discuss the characteristics and uses of the receiving waters for any sources of discharge. If the treatment systems are or will be inadequate or overloaded, describe the steps being taken for necessary improvements and their completion dates. Compare such dates to the completion date of the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 project. Analyze the impacts on the receiving water during any estimated period of inadequate treatment.
Discuss the project's consistency with the water quality planning for the area, such as EPA's Section 208 area-wide waste treatment management plan. Discuss the project's consistency with applicable State water quality standards to include a discussion of whether or not the project would either impair any such standard or fail to meet antidegradation requirements for point or nonpoint sources. Describe how surface runoff is to be handled and the effect of erosion on streams.
Evaluate the extent to which the project may create shortages for or otherwise adversely affect the withdrawal capabilities of other present users of the raw water supply, particularly in terms of possible human health, safety, or welfare problems.
For projects utilizing a groundwater supply, evaluate the potential for the project to exceed the safe pumping rate for the aquifer to the extent that it would (1) adversely affect the pumping capability of present users, (2) increase the likelihood of brackish or saltwater intrusion, thereby decreasing water quality, or (3) substantially increase surface subsidence risks.
For projects utilizing a surface water supply, evaluate the potential for the project to (1) reduce flows below the minimum required for the protection of fish and wildlife or (2) reduce water quality standards below those established for the stream classification at the point of withdrawal or the adjacent downstream section.
Cite contacts with appropriate experts and agencies that must issue necessary permits.
3. Solid Waste Management. Indicate all aspects of the project including primary beneficiaries' operations, and known indirect effects which will necessitate the disposal of solid wastes. Indicate the kinds and expected quantities of solid wastes involved and the disposal techniques to be used. Evaluate the adequacy of these techniques especially in relationship to air and water quality. Indicate if recycling or resource recovery programs are or will be used. Cite any contacts with appropriate experts and agencies that must issue necessary permits.
4. Land Use. Given the description of land uses as previously indicated, evaluate (a) the effect of changing the land use of the project site and (b) how this change in land use will affect the surrounding land uses and those within the project's area of environmental impact. Particularly address the potential impacts to those unique or sensitive areas discussed under Section III, Description of Project Area, which are not covered by the specific analyses required in Sections V-XI. Describe the existing land use plan and zoning restrictions for the project area. Evaluate the consistency of the project and its impacts on these plans. For all actions subject to the requirements of exhibit M of this subpart indicate (a) whether or not highly erodible land, wetland or converted wetland is present, (b) if any exemption(s) applies to the requirements of exhibit M, (c) the status of the applicant's eligibility for an FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 loan under exhibit M and (d) any steps the applicant must take prior to loan approval to retain or retain its eligibility. Attach a completed copy of Form SCS-CPA-26, “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Determination,” for the action.
5. Transportation. Describe available facilities such as highways and rail. Discuss whether the project will result in an increase in motor vehicle traffic and the existing roads' ability to safely accommodate this increase. Indicate if additional traffic control devices are to be installed. Describe new traffic patterns which will arise because of the project. Discuss how these new traffic patterns will affect the land uses described above, especially residential, hospitals, schools, and recreational. Describe the consistency of the project's transportation impacts with the transportation plans for the area and any air quality control plans. Cite any contact with appropriate experts.
6. Natural Environment. Indicate all aspects of the project including construction, beneficiaries' operations, and known indirect effects which will affect the natural environment including wildlife, their habitats, and unique natural features. Cite contacts with appropriate experts. If an area listed on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks may be affected, consult with the Department of Interior and document these consultations and any agreements reached regarding avoidance or mitigation of potential adverse impacts.
7. Human Population. Indicate the number of people to be relocated and arrangements being made for this relocation. Discuss how impacts resulting from the project such as changes in land use, transportation changes, air emissions, noise, odor, etc. will affect nearby residents and users of the project area and surrounding areas. Discuss whether the proposal will accommodate any population increases and, if so, describe the potential impacts of these increases on the area's public and community services such as schools, health care, social services, and fire protection. Cite contacts with appropriate experts.
8. Construction. Indicate the potential effects of construction of the project on air quality, water quality, noise levels, solid waste disposal, soil erosion and siltation. Describe the measures that will be employed to limit adverse effects. Give particular consideration to erosion, stream siltation, and clearing operations.
9. Energy Impacts. Indicate the project's and its primary beneficiaries' effects on the area's existing energy supplies. This discussion should address not only the direct energy utilization, but any major indirect utilization resulting from the siting of the project. Describe the availability of these supplies to the project site. Discuss whether the project will utilize a large share of the remaining capacity of an energy supply or will create a shortage of such supply. Discuss any steps to be taken to conserve energy.
10. Discuss any of the following areas which may be relevant: noise, vibrations, safety, seismic conditions, fire-prone locations, radiation, and aesthetic considerations. Cite any disucssion with appropriate experts.
V. Coastal Zone Management Act*

Footnote(s):
* Complete only if coastal or Great Lakes State.

Indicate if the project is within or will impact a coastal area defined as such by the State's approved Coastal Zone Management Program. If so, consult with the State agency responsible for the Program to determine the project's consistency with it. The results of this coordination shall be included in the assessment and considered in completing the environmental impact determination and environmental findings (Item XXI below).
VI. Compliance With Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's Regulations
In this Section, the environmental reviewer shall detail the steps taken to comply with the above regulations as specified in subpart F of part 1901 of this chapter. First, indicate that the National Register of Historic Places, including its monthly supplements, has been reviewed and whether there are any listed properties located within the area to be affected by the project. Second, indicate the steps taken such as historical/archeological surveys to determine if there are any properties eligible for listing located within the affected area. Summarize the results of the consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and attach appropriate documentation of the SHPO's views. Discuss the views of any other experts contacted. Based upon the above review process and the views of the SHPO, state whether or not an eligible or listed property will be affected.
If there will be an effect, discuss all of the steps and protective measures taken to complete the advisory Council's regulations. Describe the affected property and the nature of the effect. Attach to the assessment the results of the coordination process with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
VII. Compliance With the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
Indicate whether the project will affect a river or portion of it which is either included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System or designated for potential addition to the system. This analysis shall be conducted through discussions with the appropriate regional office of the National Park Service or the Forest Service when its lands are involved, as well as the appropriate State agencies having implementation authorities. See exhibit E for specific implementation instructions for this Act. A summary of discussions held or any required formal coordination shall be included in the assessment and considered in completing the environmental impact determination and environmental findings (Item XXI below).
VIII. Compliance With the Endangered Species Act
Indicate whether the project will either (1) affect a listed endangered or threatened species or critical habitat or (2) adversely affect a proposed critical habitat for an endangered or threatened species or jeopardize the continued existence of a proposed endangered or threatened species. This analysis will be conducted in consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, when appropriate. Any formal or informal consultations conducted with these agencies as well as any State wildlife protection agency will also address impacts to Category I and Category II species. See exhibit D of this subpart for specific implementation instructions.
The results of any required coordination shall be included in the assessment along with any completed biological opinion and mitigation measures to be required for the project. These factors shall be considered in completing the environmental impact determination.
IX. Compliance With Farmland Protection Policy Act and Departmental Regulation 9500-3, Land Use Policy
Indicate whether the project will either directly or indirectly convert an important land resource(s) identified in the Act or Departmental Regulation, other than floodplains or wetlands which should be addressed below in Item X of this exhibit. If a conversion may result, determine if there is a practicable alternative to avoiding it. If there is no such alternative, determine whether all practicable mitigation measures are included in the project. Document as an attachment these determinations and the steps taken to inform the public, locate alternatives, and mitigate potential adverse impacts. See exhibit C of this subpart for specific implementation guidance.
X. Compliance With Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, and Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands
Indicate whether the project is either located within a 100-year floodplain (500-year floodplain for a critical action) or a wetland or will impact a floodplain or wetland. If so, determine if there is a practicable alternative project or location. If there is no such alternative, determine whether all practicable mitigation measures are included in the project and document as an attachment these determinations and the steps taken to inform the public, locate alternatives, and mitigate potential adverse impacts. See the U.S. Water Resources Council's Floodplain Management Guidelines for more specific guidance as well as exhibit C of this subpart.
XI. Compliance With Coastal Barrier Resources Act
Indicate whether the project is located within the Coastal Barrier Resources System. If so, indicate whether or not the project meets an exception criteria under the Act and the results of any consultation with the Secretary of the Interior regarding its qualification as an exception. See exhibit F of this subpart for specific implementation instructions as well as exhibit L for a listing of the exception criteria. (Those States not having any components of the system within their jurisdiction need not reference this item in their assessments.)
XII. State Environmental Policy Act
Indicate if the proposed project is subject to a State environmental policy act or similar regulation. Summarize the results of compliance with these requirements and attach available documentation. (See § 1940.328 of this subpart for further guidance.)
XIII. Consultation Requirements of Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs
Attach the comments of State, regional, or local agencies (if this review process is required for the project) and respond to all comments that deal with the subject matters discussed in this assessment format or are otherwise of an environmental nature.
XIV. Environmental Analysis of Participating Federal Agency
Indicate if another Federal Agency is participating in the project either through the provision of additional funds, a companion project, or a permit review authority. Summarize the results of the involved Agency's environmental impact analysis and attach available documentation. (See § 1940.318(d) of this subpart for further guidance.)
XV. Reaction to Project
Discuss any negative comments or public views raised about the project and the consideration given to these comments. Indicate whether a public hearing or public information meeting has been held either by the applicant or FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 to include a summary of the results and any objections raised. Indicate any other examples of the community's awareness of the project, such as newspaper articles or public notifications.
XVI. Cumulative Impacts
Summarize the cumulative impacts of this project and the related activities. Give particular attention to land use changes and air and water quality impacts. Summarize the results of the environmental impact analysis done for any of these related activities and/or your discussion with the sponsoring agencies. Attach available documentation of the analysis.
XVII. Adverse Impact
Summarize the potential adverse impacts of the proposal as pointed out in the above analysis.
XVIII. Alternatives
Discuss the feasibility of alternatives to the project and their environmental impacts. These alternatives should include (a) alternative locations, (b) alternative designs, (c) alternative projects having similar benefits, and (d) no project. If alternatives have been fully discussed above in any of Items VI through X, simply reference that discussion.
XIX. Mitigation Measures
Describe any measures which will be taken or required by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 to avoid or mitigate the identified adverse impacts. Analyze the environmental impacts and potential effectiveness of the mitigation measures. Such measures shall be included as special requirements or provisions to the offer of financial assistance or other appropriate approval document, if this action does not involve financial assistance.
XX. Consistency With FmHA or Its Successor Agency Under Public Law 103-354 Environmental Policies
Discuss the project's consistencies and inconsistencies with the Agency's environmental policies and the State Office's Natural Resource Management Guide. See §§ 1940.304 and 1940.305 for a discussion of these policies and exhibit B for a discussion of the guide.
XXI. Environmental Determinations
The following recommendations shall be completed:
a. Based on an examination and review of the foregoing information and such supplemental information attached hereto, I recommend that the approving official determine that this project will have (#) a significant effect on the quality of the human environment and an Environmental Impact Statement must be prepared; will not have (#) a significant effect on the quality of the human environment.
b. I recommend that the approving official make the following compliance determinations for the below-listed environmental requirements.
Not in compliance In compliance
Clean Air Act.
Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
Safe Drinking Water Act—Section 1424(e).
Endangered Species Act.
Coastal Barrier Resources Act.
Coastal Zone Management Act—Section 307(c) (1) and (2).
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
National Historic Preservation Act.
Archeological and Historic Preservation Act.
Subpart B, Highly Erodible Land Conservation
Subpart C, Wetland Conservation, of the Food Security Act.
Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management.
Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands.
Farmland Protection Policy Act.
Departmental Regulation 9500-3, Land Use Policy.
State Office Natural Resource Management Guide.
c. I have reviewed and considered the types and degrees of adverse environmental impacts identified by this assessment. I have also analyzed the proposal for its consistency with FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 environmental policies, particularly those related to important farmland protection, and have considered the potential benefits of the proposal. Based upon a consideration and balancing of these factors, I recommend from an environmental standpoint that the project
___be approved.
___not be approved because of the attached reasons.
Signature of preparer*

Footnote(s):
*See § 1940.316 of this subpart for listing of officials responsible for preparing assessment.

Date
Title
State Environmental Coordinator's Review (When required by § 1940.316 of this subpart)
I have reviewed this environmental assessment and supporting documentation. Following are my positions regarding its adequacy and the recommendations reached by the preparer. For any matter in which I do not concur, my reasons are attached as exhibit __.
Do not concur Concur
Adequate Assessment.
Environmental Impact Determination.
Compliance Determinations.
Project Recommendation.
Signature of State Environmental Coordinator
Date
[49 FR 3727, Jan. 30, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 36266, Sept. 19, 1988]

Title 7 published on 2014-01-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 7 - AGRICULTURE
U.S. Code: Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

Title 7 published on 2014-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 7 CFR 1940 after this date.

  • 2014-04-02; vol. 79 # 63 - Wednesday, April 2, 2014
    1. 79 FR 18482 - Environmental Policies and Procedures
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service, Farm Service Agency
      Proposed rule; extension of public comment period.
      Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before May 7, 2014.
      7 CFR Parts 1703, 1709, 1710, 1717, 1720, 1721, 1724, 1726, 1737, 1738, 1739, 1740, 1753, 1774, 1775, 1779, 1780, 1781, and 1782