32 CFR 651.50 - Public interaction phase.
(a) During this portion of the process, the proponent will invite comments from all affected parties and respondents to the NOI to assist in developing issues for detailed discussion in the EIS. Assistance in identifying possible participants is available from the ODEP.
(b) In addition to the affected parties identified in paragraph (a) of this section, participants should include the following:
(1) Technical representatives of the proponent. Such persons must be able to describe the technical aspects of the proposed action and alternatives to other participants.
(2) One or more representatives of any Army-contracted consulting firm, if one has been retained to participate in writing the EIS or providing reports that the Army will use to create substantial portions of the EIS.
(3) Experts in various environmental disciplines, in any technical area where foreseen impacts are not already represented among the other scoping participants.
(c) In all cases, the participants will be provided with information developed during the preliminary phase and with as much of the following information that may be available:
(1) A brief description of the environment at the affected location. When descriptions for a specific location are not available, general descriptions of the probable environmental effects will be provided. This will also address the extent to which the environment has been modified or affected in the past.
(2) A description of the proposed alternatives. The description will be sufficiently detailed to enable evaluation of the range of impacts that may be caused by the proposed action and alternatives. The amount of detail that is sufficient will depend on the stage of the development of the proposal, its magnitude, and its similarity to other actions with which participants may be familiar.
(3) A tentative identification of “any public environmental assessments and other environmental impact statements that are being or will be prepared that are related to but are not part of the scope of the impact statement under consideration” ( 40 CFR 1501.7(a)(5)).
(4) Any additional scoping issues or limitations on the EIS, if not already described during the preliminary phase.
(d) The public involvement should begin with the NOI to publish an EIS. The NOI may indicate when and where a scoping meeting will take place and who to contact to receive preliminary information. The scoping meeting is an informal public meeting, and initiates a continuous scoping process, allowing the Army to scope the action and the impacts of alternatives. It is a working session where the gathering and evaluation of information relating to potential environmental impacts can be initiated.
(e) Starting with this information ( paragraph (d) of this section), the person conducting the scoping process will use input from any of the involved or affected parties. This will aid in developing the conclusions. The proponent determines the final scope of the EIS. If the proponent chooses not to require detailed treatment of significant issues or factors in the EIS, in spite of relevant technical or scientific objections by any participant, the proponent will clearly identify (in the environmental consequences section of the EIS) the criteria that were used to eliminate such factors.