28 CFR 91.58 - Timing of the environmental review process.
(a) Initial planning and site selection phase. The NEPA procedures must be initiated as part of the planning and site selection phase of all new construction, expansion, and renovation projects and completed before the construction or renovation on the project can begin.
(b) Early consultation with OJP. As grantees identify proposed, new projects, the grantees must inform OJP and after consulting OJP's Program Guidance on Environmental Protection Requirements, must recommend to OJP whether:
(1) The proposed project meets the criteria of a categorical exclusion;
(2) An environmental assessment should be initiated;
(3) Because of the project size and/or anticipated environmental impacts, an environmental impact statement should be initiated.
(c) Design phase. Projects currently in the planning and design phase must complete the NEPA procedures and no further decisions or new commitments of resources can be made on these projects by the State or local entity that would either have an adverse impact on the environment or limit the choice of reasonable alternative sites.
(d) Prohibited pre-analysis activities. None of the following actions can be taken until the NEPA analysis is completed for the affected project:
(1) Starting construction;
(2) Accepting construction bids;
(3) Advertising for construction bids;
(4) Initiating the development of or approving final plans and specifications; or
(5) Purchasing property.
(e) Ongoing or completed construction projects. For grant-funded projects under construction, OJP will work with the States to determine what environmental analysis has been done, making every effort to limit disruption to projects under construction. For completed grant-funded projects, OJP will work with the States to determine whether those projects may pose continuing environmental problems. For example, NEPA issues may exist due to excessive noise, light pollution, excessive water consumption or draw down on an important stream, or adverse visual impact due to an inappropriate facade color in an environmentally scenic area. Consequently, performing an analysis for those VOI/TIS VOI/TIS projects for which construction is completed may still serve the useful purpose of determining the extent of a project's continuing adverse environmental impacts, and the feasibility of mitigation measures.
(f) Avoiding duplication of efforts. If an EA or EIS was completed on an original structure, any environmental research that was conducted at the time the original structure was being planned and is still relevant need not be duplicated in any required environmental impact analysis for proposed modifications or additions to that structure.