16 U.S. Code § 6514 - Environmental analysis

(a) Authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects
Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, the Secretary shall conduct authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects in accordance with—
(1) the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.]; and
(2) other applicable laws.
(b) Environmental assessment or environmental impact statement
The Secretary shall prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement pursuant to section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 (2)) for each authorized hazardous fuel reduction project.
(c) Consideration of alternatives
(1) In general
Except as provided in subsection (d), in the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement prepared under subsection (b), the Secretary shall study, develop, and describe—
(A) the proposed agency action;
(B) the alternative of no action; and
(C) an additional action alternative, if the additional alternative—
(i) is proposed during scoping or the collaborative process under subsection (f); and
(ii) meets the purpose and need of the project, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality.
(2) Multiple additional alternatives
If more than 1 additional alternative is proposed under paragraph (1)(C), the Secretary shall—
(A) select which additional alternative to consider, which is a choice that is in the sole discretion of the Secretary; and
(B) provide a written record describing the reasons for the selection.
(d) Alternative analysis process for projects in wildland-urban interface
(1) Proposed agency action and 1 action alternative
For an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project that is proposed to be conducted in the wildland-urban interface, the Secretary is not required to study, develop, or describe more than the proposed agency action and 1 action alternative in the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement prepared pursuant to section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 (2)).
(2) Proposed agency action
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), but subject to paragraph (3), if an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project proposed to be conducted in the wildland-urban interface is located no further than 11/2 miles from the boundary of an at-risk community, the Secretary is not required to study, develop, or describe any alternative to the proposed agency action in the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement prepared pursuant to section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 (2)).
(3) Proposed agency action and community wildfire protection plan alternative
In the case of an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project described in paragraph (2), if the at-risk community has adopted a community wildfire protection plan and the proposed agency action does not implement the recommendations in the plan regarding the general location and basic method of treatments, the Secretary shall evaluate the recommendations in the plan as an alternative to the proposed agency action in the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement prepared pursuant to section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 (2)).
(e) Public notice and meeting
(1) Public notice
The Secretary shall provide notice of each authorized hazardous fuel reduction project in accordance with applicable regulations and administrative guidelines.
(2) Public meeting
During the preparation stage of each authorized hazardous fuel reduction project, the Secretary shall—
(A) conduct a public meeting at an appropriate location proximate to the administrative unit of the Federal land on which the authorized hazardous fuel reduction project will be conducted; and
(B) provide advance notice of the location, date, and time of the meeting.
(f) Public collaboration
In order to encourage meaningful public participation during preparation of authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects, the Secretary shall facilitate collaboration among State and local governments and Indian tribes, and participation of interested persons, during the preparation of each authorized fuel reduction project in a manner consistent with the Implementation Plan.
(g) Environmental analysis and public comment
In accordance with section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 (2)) and the applicable regulations and administrative guidelines, the Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment during the preparation of any environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project.
(h) Decision document
The Secretary shall sign a decision document for authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects and provide notice of the final agency actions.

Source

(Pub. L. 108–148, title I, § 104,Dec. 3, 2003, 117 Stat. 1897.)
References in Text

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§ 4321 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of Title 42 and Tables.

 

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