32 CFR § 989.15 - Finding of no significant impact.

§ 989.15 Finding of no significant impact.

(a) The FONSI (40 CFR 1508.13) briefly describes why an action would not have a significant effect on the environment and thus will not be the subject of an EIS. The FONSI must summarize the EA or, preferably, have it attached and incorporated by reference, and must note any other environmental documents related to the action.

(b) If the EA is not incorporated by reference, the FONSI must include:

(1) Name of the action.

(2) Brief description of the action (including alternatives considered and the chosen alternative).

(3) Brief discussion of anticipated environmental effects.

(4) Conclusions leading to the FONSI.

(5) All mitigation actions that will be adopted with implementation of the proposal (see § 989.22).

(c) Keep FONSIs as brief as possible. Only rarely should FONSIs exceed two typewritten pages. Stand-alone FONSIs without an attached EA may be longer.

(d) For actions of regional or local interest, disseminate the FONSI according to § 989.24. The MAJCOM and NGB are responsible for release of FONSIs to regional offices of Federal agencies, the state single point of contact (SPOC), and state agencies concurrent with local release by the installations.

(e) The EPF must make the EA and unsigned FONSI available to the affected public and provide the EA and unsigned FONSI to organizations and individuals requesting them and to whomever the proponent or the EPF has reason to believe is interested in the action, unless disclosure is precluded for security classification reasons. Draft EAs and unsigned draft FONSIs will be clearly identified as drafts and distributed via cover letter which will explain their purpose and need. The EPF provides a copy of the documents without cost to organizations and individuals requesting them. The FONSI transmittal date (date of letter of transmittal) to the state SPOC or other equivalent agency is the official notification date.

(1) Before the FONSI is signed and the action is implemented, the EPF should allow sufficient time to receive comments from the public. The time period will reflect the magnitude of the proposed action and its potential for controversy. The greater the magnitude of the proposed action or its potential for controversy, the longer the time that must be allowed for public review. Mandatory review periods for certain defined actions are contained in § 989.15(e)(2). These are not all inclusive but merely specific examples. In every case where an EA and FONSI are prepared, the proponent and EPF must determine how much time will be allowed for public review. In all cases, other than classified actions, a public review period should be the norm unless clearly unnecessary due to the lack of potential controversy.

(2) In the following circumstances, the EA and unsigned FONSI are made available for public review for at least 30 days before FONSI approval and implementing the action (40 CFR 1501.4(e)(2)):

(i) When the proposed action is, or is closely similar to, one that usually requires preparation of an EIS (see § 989.16).

(ii) If it is an unusual case, a new kind of action, or a precedent-setting case in terms of its potential environmental impacts.

(iii) If the proposed action would be located in a floodplain or wetland.

(iv) If the action is mitigated to insignificance in the FONSI, in lieu of an EIS (§ 989.22(c)).

(v) If the proposed action is a change to airspace use or designation.

(vi) If the proposed action would have a disproportionately high and adverse environmental effect on minority populations and low-income populations.

(f) As a general rule, the same organizational level that prepares the EA also reviews and recommends the FONSI for approval by the EPC. MAJCOMs may decide the level of EA approval and FONSI signature, except as provided in § 989.14(g), (h), (i), and (j).

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