43 CFR 36.7 - Decision process.
There are two separate decision processes. The first is used when the appropriate Federal agencies have an applicable law to issue a right-of-way permit and the area involved is outside the National Wilderness Preservation System. The second is used when an area involved in the application is within the National Wilderness Preservation System or an appropriate Federal agency has no applicable law with respect to issuing a right-of-way permit across all or any area covered by a TUS application.
(a) When the appropriate Federal agencies have an applicable law and the area involved is outside the National Wilderness Preservation System:
(1) Within four months of the date of the notice of availability of a FONSI or final EIS, each appropriate Federal agency shall make a decision based on applicable law to approve or disapprove the TUS and so notify the applicant in writing.
(2) Each appropriate Federal agency in making its decision shall consider and make detailed findings supported by substantial evidence as to the portion of the TUS, within that agency's jurisdiction, with respect to:
(i) The need for and economic feasibility of the TUS;
(ii) Alternative routes and modes of access, including a determination with respect to whether there is any economically feasible and prudent alternative to routing the system through or within an area and, if not, whether there are alternate routes or modes which would result in fewer or less severe adverse impacts upon the area;
(iii) The feasibility and impacts of including different TUSs in the same area;
(iv) Short and long term social, economic and environmental impacts of national, State or local significance, including impacts on fish and wildlife and their habitat and on rural, traditional lifestyles;
(v) The impacts, if any, on the national security interests of the United States, that may result from approval or denial of the application for the TUS;
(vi) Any impacts that would affect the purposes for which the Federal unit or area concerned was established;
(vii) Measures which should be instituted to avoid or minimize negative impacts;
(viii) The short and long term public values which may be adversely affected by approval of the TUS versus the short and long term public benefits which may accrue from such approval; and
(ix) Impacts, if any, on subsistence uses.
(3) To the extent the appropriate Federal agencies agree, the decisions may be developed jointly, singularly or in some combination thereof.
(4) If an appropriate Federal agency disapproves any portion of the TUS, the application in its entirety is disapproved and the applicant may file an administrative appeal pursuant to section 1106(a) of ANILCA.
(b) When an area involved is within the National Wilderness Preservation System or an appropriate Federal agency has no applicable law with respect to granting all or any part of a TUS application:
(1) Within four months of the date of publication of the notice of the availability of the final EIS or FONSI, each appropriate Federal agency shall determine whether to tentatively approve or disapprove each right-of-way permit within its jurisdiction that applies with respect to the TUS and the Secretary of the Interior shall make notification pursuant to section 1106(b) of ANILCA.
(i) The Federal agency having jurisdiction over a portion of a TUS for which there is no applicable law shall recommend approval of that portion of the TUS if it is determined that:
(A) Such system would be compatible with the purposes for which the area was established; and
(B) There is no economically feasible and prudent alternate route for the system.
(ii) If there is applicable law for a portion of the TUS which is outside the National Wilderness Preservation System, the applicable law shall be applied in making the determination to approve or disapprove that portion of the TUS.
(2) The notification shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons and findings supporting each appropriate Federal agency's position. The findings shall include, but not be limited to, the findings required in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The notification shall also be accompanied by the final EIS, the EA or statement that a categorical exclusion applies and any comments of the public and other Federal agencies.