43 CFR 10005.21 - Amending the plan.
The Commission considers the plan to be a dynamic instrument that guides decisions over time and is capable of responding to changing circumstances. Amendments to the plan provide the vehicle for maintaining this dynamic quality.
(a) Types of plan amendment. The Commission recognizes three distinct types of plan amendment: comprehensive revisions, substantive revisions, and technical revisions. The particulars regarding each is as follows:
(1) Comprehensive revision. The Act requires that the Commission “develop and adopt” a plan every five years. At the end of each five year period the Commission will undertake a comprehensive review of the plan to determine its adequacy and the need for revision. The need to revise, and add to, the Commission's portfolio of proposed projects will be central to this review. Other elements, for example, reconsideration of the Commission's objectives for the preceding five-year period and the Commission's standards for selecting projects, may also be reconsidered. Based on this review the Commission may call for the preparation of a new plan. The consultation procedures described in § 10005.7 will apply, as will the procedures described in § 10005.17, and the procedures described in § 10005.18. The Commission is not obligated to wait five years to undertake such revision to the plan. This may be undertaken at any time that the Commission deems appropriate.
(2) Substantive revision. The Commission may, from time to time, determine that changes to the plan's list of projects are in order. Typically this will take the form of substituting a project in the plan with a new project, changing the order for implementation, or making significant modifications to previously selected projects. When the Commission determines that there is a need for such substantive changes, a formal announcement will be made and interested parties will be given the opportunity to provide recommendations following the procedures described in § 10005.18. Changes of this nature will not necessitate a total revision to the plan but rather involve select modifications to specific portions of the plan. Changes to other specific elements of the plan may also be amended in this way. Portions of the plan that are proposed for modification will be released in draft form, with the public given thirty days to provide comments prior to formal adoption by the Commission. Substantive amendments provide a way to incrementally amend the plan over time without the necessity of a major rewrite and will be central to the Commission's planning process. The Commission will specifically consider the need for substantive amendments on at least an annual basis. Consideration of substantive amendments will typically be made in concert with preparation of the annual budget request.
(3) Technical revision. Technical revisions include changes that correct inadvertent errors or provide current information, other minor revisions that do not substantively modify the plan, or, changes in the particulars of one or more projects that do not change basic project goals and objectives nor substantively modify expected environmental effects. Technical revisions to projects might include, but are not limited to, changes in the list of participating organizations, changes in the exact location of certain project activities, and changes to specific tasks. Substitution of one project for another, or aggregation of projects, may also be considered a technical revision if the projects possess similar qualities and the action is supported by affected parties and the general public. Technical revisions do not constitute a formal amendment to the plan and do not require the notification and reporting procedures of a formal amendment. Affected agencies and interests must, however, be consulted, and the rationale for making the technical revision documented. The plan document will be corrected to reflect technical revisions, and a historical record kept in order to track the plan's evolution.
(b) Public petitions. Agencies and members of the public have the right to, at any time, petition the Commission to open the plan to comprehensive or substantive amendments. Petitions must be made in writing and should state the specific reason why the action is requested. The petition may be accompanied by a specific project recommendation. The Commission will, during the public session of the next official Commission meeting, announce that such a petition has been received. The Commission may choose to vote on the petition at that time or to take the matter under advisement until the following Commission meeting at which time the Commission must vote to determine if the petition has merit. Following acceptance of a petition the Commission will promptly establish the procedures and schedule that will be followed in considering amendments. Project recommendations made pursuant to a petition must be presented using the format described in § 10005.18 and will be evaluated in the manner described in § 10005.20. Proposals for technical amendments do not require a formal petition. Written requests for technical amendment will be acted upon by the Commission in a timely manner.