40 CFR 6.302 - Responsible Official requirements.
(a) Consistent with 40 CFR 1501.2(d), the Responsible Official must ensure early involvement of applicants in the environmental review process to identify environmental effects, avoid delays, and resolve conflicts.
(b) The Responsible Official must notify the applicant if a determination has been made that the action has been categorically excluded, or if EPA needs additional information to support the application of a categorical exclusion or if the submitted information does not support the application of a categorical exclusion and that an EA, or an EIS, will be required.
(c) When an EID is required for a project, the Responsible Official must consult with the applicant and provide the applicant with guidance describing the scope and level of environmental information required.
(1) The Responsible Official must provide guidance on a project-by-project basis to any applicant seeking such assistance. For major categories of actions involving a large number of applicants, the Responsible Official may prepare and make available generic guidance describing the recommended level and scope of environmental information that applicants should provide.
(2) The Responsible Official must consider the extent to which the applicant is capable of providing the required information. The Responsible Official may not require the applicant to gather data or perform analyses that unnecessarily duplicate either existing data or the results of existing analyses available to EPA. The Responsible Official must limit the request for environmental information to that necessary for the environmental review.
(d) If, prior to completion of the environmental review for a project, the Responsible Official receives notification, that the applicant is proposing to or taking an action that would result in significant impacts or would limit alternatives, the Responsible Official must notify the applicant promptly that EPA will take appropriate action to ensure that the objectives and procedures of NEPA are achieved (see 40 CFR 1506.1(b)). Such actions may include withholding grant funds or denial of permits.
(e) The Responsible Official must begin the NEPA review as soon as possible after receiving the applicant's EID or draft EA. The Responsible Official must independently evaluate the information submitted and be responsible for its accuracy (see 40 CFR 1506.5).
(f) At the request of an applicant and at the discretion of the Responsible Official, an applicant may prepare an EA or EIS and supporting documents or enter into a third-party contract pursuant to § 6.303.
(g) The Responsible Official must review, and take responsibility for the completed NEPA documents, before rendering a final decision on the proposed action.