32 CFR 651.47 - Public involvement.
(a) As a matter of Army policy, public involvement is required for all EISs, and is strongly encouraged for all Army actions, including EAs. The requirement (40 CFR 1506.6) for public involvement recognizes that all potentially interested or affected parties will be involved, when practicable, whenever analyzing environmental considerations. This requirement can be met at the very beginning of the process by developing a plan to include all affected parties and implementing the plan with appropriate adjustments as it proceeds (AR 360-5). The plan will include the following:
(1) Information dissemination to local and installation communities through such means as news releases to local media, announcements to local citizens groups, and Commander's letters at each phase or milestone (more frequently if needed) of the project. The dissemination of this information will be based on the needs and desires of the local communities.
(2) Each phase or milestone (more frequently if needed) of the project will be coordinated with representatives of local, state, tribal, and federal government agencies.
(3) Public comments will be invited and two-way communication channels will be kept open through various means as stated above. These two-way channels will be dynamic in nature, and should be updated regularly to reflect the needs of the local community.
(4) Public affairs officers at all levels will be kept informed.
(b) When an EIS is being prepared, public involvement is a requisite element of the scoping process (40 CFR 1501.7(a)(1)).
(c) Proponents will invite public involvement in the review and comment of EAs and draft FNSIs (40 CFR 1506.6).
(d) Persons and agencies to be consulted include the following:
(1) Municipal, township, and county elected and appointed officials.
(2) Tribal, state, county, and local government officials and administrative personnel whose official duties include responsibility for activities or components of the affected environment related to the proposed Army action.
(3) Local and regional administrators of other federal agencies or commissions that may either control resources potentially affected by the proposed action (for example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service); or who may be aware of other actions by different federal agencies whose effects must be considered with the proposed Army action (for example, the GSA).
(4) Members of existing citizen advisory groups, such as Restoration Advisory Boards and Citizen Advisory Commissions.
(5) Members of identifiable population segments within the potentially affected environments, whether or not they have clearly identifiable leaders or an established organization, such as farmers and ranchers, homeowners, small business owners, minority communities and disadvantaged communities, and tribal governments in accordance with White House Memorandum on Government to Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments (April 29, 1994).
(6) Members and officials of those identifiable interest groups of local or national scope that may have interest in the environmental effects of the proposed action or activity (for example, hunters and fishermen, Izaak Walton League, Sierra Club, and the Audubon Society).
(7) Any person or group that has specifically requested involvement in the specific action or similar actions.
(e) The public involvement processes and procedures through which participation may be solicited include the following:
(1) Direct individual contact. Such interaction can identify persons and their opinions and initial positions, affecting the scope of issues that the EIS must address. Such limited contact may satisfy public involvement requirements when the expected significance and controversy of environmental effects is very limited.
(2) Small workshops or discussion groups.
(3) Larger public gatherings that are held after some formulation of the potential issues. The public is invited to express its views on the proposed courses of action. Public suggestions or alternative courses of action not already identified may be expressed at these gatherings that need not be formal public hearings.
(4) Identifying and applying other processes and procedures to accomplish the appropriate level of public involvement.
(f) The meetings described in paragraph (e) of this section should not be public hearings in the early stages of evaluating a proposed action. Public hearings do not substitute for the full range of public involvement procedures under the purposes and intent, as described in paragraph (e) of this section.
(g) Public surveys or polls may be performed to identify public opinion of a proposed action, as appropriate (AR 335-15).