16 CFR 1021.4 - Overview of environmental review process for CPSC actions.
The environmental review process normally begins during the staff development of a proposed action and progresses through the following steps:
(a) Environmental assessment. (Section 1508.9 of the NEPA regulations). The assessment is initiated along with the staff development of a proposal and the identification of realistic alternatives. The assessment shall be available to the Commission before the Commission votes on a proposal and its alternatives. Its purpose is to identify and describe foreseeable effects on the environment, if any, of the action and its alternatives. The assessment culminates in a written report. This report generally contains analyses of the same categories of information as would an EIS, but in a much less detailed fashion. (See § 1021.10(a), below.) It contains sufficient information to form a basis for deciding whether effects on the environment are likely to be “significant.” (See § 1508.27 of the NEPA regulations.).
(b) Decision as to significance of effects on the environment. This decision is made by the Executive Director of the CPSC and is based upon the results of the environmental assessment as well as any other pertinent information. If the effects are significant, CPSC publishes in the Federal Register a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement. (See § 1508.22 of the NEPA regulations.) If not, a finding of no significant impact is prepared. (Section 1508.13 of the NEPA regulations.)
(c) Finding of no significant impact. This is a written document which gives reasons for concluding that the effects of a proposed action, or its alternatives, on the environment will not be significant. Together with the environmental assessment, it explains the basis for not preparing an EIS. The finding of no significant impact is signed by the Executive Director. The finding of no significant impact and the environmental assessment accompany the proposed action throughout the Commission decision-making process.
(d) Draft environmental impact statement. The content of a draft EIS is described in § 1021.12, below. For a particular proposal, the breadth of issues to be discussed is determined by using the scoping process described in § 1501.7 of the NEPA regulations. The draft EIS pertaining to a proposed rule is before the Commission at the time it considers the proposed action and is available to the public when the notice of proposed rulemaking is published or as soon as possible thereafter. In appropriate instances, the Federal Register preamble for a proposed rule may serve as the draft EIS. The draft EIS shall accompany the proposed action throughout the remainder of the Commission decision-making process.
(e) Final EIS. The content of this document is described in § 1021.12. A final EIS responds to all substantive comments on the draft statement. It is before the Commission when it considers a final action.
(f) Supplemental statements. When CPSC makes changes in the proposed action that are important to environmental issues or when there is significant new environmental information, the Executive Director instructs CPSC staff to prepare supplements to either the draft or final EIS (See § 1502.9(c) of the NEPA regulations).
(g) Record of decision. (Sections 1505.2 and 1506.1 of the NEPA regulations.) At the time of a decision on a proposed action which involves an EIS, CPSC prepares a written record of decision explaining the decision and why any alternatives discussed in the EIS were rejected. This written record is signed by the Secretary of the Commission for the Commission. No action going forward on the proposal may be taken until the record of decision is signed and filed in the Office of the Secretary of the Commission.