44 CFR 10.7 - Planning.
(a) Early planning. The Regional Administrator shall integrate the NEPA process with other planning at the earliest possible time to ensure that planning decisions reflect environmental values, to avoid delays later in the process, and to head off potential conflicts.
(b) Lead agency. To determine the lead agency for policy-making in which more than one FEMA office or administration is involved or any action in which another Federal agency is involved, FEMA offices and administrations shall apply criteria defined in § 1501.5 of the CEQ regulation. If there is disagreement, the FEMA offices and/or administrations shall forward a request for lead agency determination to the Environmental Officer;
(1) The Environmental Officer will determine lead agency responsibility among FEMA offices and administration.
(2) In those cases involving a FEMA office or administration and another Federal agency, the Environmental Officer will attempt to resolve the differences. If unsuccessful, the Environmental Officer will file the request with the Council on Environmental Quality for determination.
(c) Technical assistance to applicants.
(1) Section 1501.2(d) of the CEQ regulations requires agencies to provide for early involvement in actions which, while planned by private applicants or other non-Federal entities, require some form of Federal approval. To implement the requirements of § 1501.2(d),
(i) The heads of the FEMA offices and administration shall prepare where practicable, generic guidelines describing the scope and level of environmental information required from applicants as a basis for evaluating their proposed actions, and make these guidelines available upon request.
(ii) The Regional Administrator shall provide such guidance on a project-by-project basis to applicants seeking assistance from FEMA.
(iii) Upon receipt of an application for agency approval, or notification that an application will be filed, the Regional Administrator shall consult as required with other appropriate parties to initiate and coordinate the necessary environmental analyses.
(2) To facilitate compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, applicants and other non-Federal entities are expected to:
(i) Contact the Regional Administrator as early as possible in the planning process for guidance on the scope and level of environmental information required to be submitted in support of their application;
(ii) Conduct any studies which are deemed necessary and appropriate by FEMA to determine the impact of the proposed action on the human environment;
(iii) Consult with appropriate Federal, regional, State, and local agencies and other potentially interested parties during preliminary planning stages to ensure that all environmental factors are identified;
(iv) Submit applications for all Federal, regional, State, and local approvals as early as possible in the planning process;
(v) Notify the Regional Administrator as early as possible of all other Federal, regional, State, local, and Indian tribe actions required for project completion so that FEMA may coordinate all Federal environmental reviews; and
(vi) Notify the Regional Administrator of all known parties potentially affected by or interested in the proposed action.