43 CFR 426.22 - Public participation.
(a) Notification of contract actions. Except for proposed contracts having a duration of 1 year or less for the sale of surplus water or interim irrigation water, Reclamation will:
(1) Provide notice of proposed irrigation or amendatory irrigation contract actions 60-calendar days prior to contract execution by publishing announcements in general circulation newspapers in the affected area;
(2) Issue announcements in the form of news releases, legal notices, official letters, memoranda, or other forms of written material; and
(3) Directly notify individuals and entities who made a timely written request for such notice to the appropriate Reclamation regional or local office.
(b) Notification of modification of a proposed contract. In the event that modifications are made to a proposed contract the regional director must:
(1) Provide copies of revised proposed contracts to all parties who requested copies of the proposed contract in response to the initial notice; and
(2) Determine whether or not to republish the notice or to extend the comment period. The regional director must consider, among other factors:
(i) The significance of the impact(s) of the modification to possible affected parties; and
(ii) The interest expressed by the public over the course of contract negotiations.
(c) Information that Reclamation will include in published announcements. Each published announcement will include, as appropriate:
(1) A brief description of the proposed contract terms and conditions being negotiated;
(2) Date, time, and place of meetings, workshops, or hearings;
(3) The address and telephone number to which inquiries and comments may be addressed to Reclamation; and
(4) The period of time during which Reclamation will accept comments.
(d) Public availability of proposed contracts. Anyone can get copies of a proposed contract from the appropriate regional director or his or her designated public contact when the proposed contracts become available for review and comment, as specified in the published announcement.
(e) Opportunities for public participation. (1) Reclamation can provide, as appropriate: meetings, workshops, or hearings to provide local information. Advance notice of meetings, workshops, or hearings will be provided to those parties who make timely written request for such notice. Request for notice of meetings, workshops, or hearings should be sent to the appropriate Reclamation regional or local office.
(2) Reclamation or the district can invite the public to observe any contract proceedings.
(3) All public participation procedures will be coordinated with those involved with National Environmental Policy Act compliance, if Reclamation determines that the contract action may or will have “significant” environmental effects.
(f) Individuals authorized to negotiate the terms of contract proposals. Only persons authorized to act on behalf of the district may negotiate the terms and conditions of a specific contract proposal.
(g) Agency use of comments submitted during the period provided for comment or made at hearings. (1) Reclamation will review and summarize for use by the contract approving authority, testimony presented at any public hearing or any written comments submitted to the appropriate Reclamation officials at locations and within the comment period, as specified in the advance published announcement.
(2) Reclamation will make available to the public all written correspondence regarding proposed contracts under the terms and procedures of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), as amended.