40 CFR 1515.9 - Extending CEQ's time to respond.
(a) In unusual circumstances as defined in paragraph (c) of this section, the time limits for responding to a request (§§ 1515.6(a) and 1515.8(d)) may be extended by the Council for not more than 10 working days. Extensions may be granted by the CEQ FOIA Officer in the case of initial requests and by the Appeals Officer in the case of any appeals. The extension period may be split between the initial request and the appeal but may not exceed 10 working days overall. Extensions will be confirmed in writing and set forth the reasons for the extension and the date that the final determination is expected.
(b) With respect to a request for which a written notice under this section extends the time limits prescribed under § 1515.6(a), the CEQ FOIA Officer will notify the requester, if the request cannot be processed within the time limit specified in § 1515.6(a) and provide an opportunity to limit the scope of the request, so that it may be processed within that time limit or an opportunity to arrange an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request. A requester's refusal to reasonably modify the request or arrange such an alternative time frame will be considered as a factor in determining whether exceptional circumstances exist for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C). When CEQ reasonably believes that a requester, or a group of requesters, has submitted a request constituting a single request that would otherwise satisfy the unusual circumstances specified under this section, CEQ may aggregate those requests for purposes of this paragraph. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters will not be aggregated.
(c) The term “unusual circumstances” means:
(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;
(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request; or
(3) The need for consultation, which will be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject-matter interest therein.