49 CFR 520.25 - External review of draft environmental impact statements.
(a) Requirements. The official responsible for the DEIS shall:
(1) Transmit 5 copies of the DEIS to the CEQ and 2 copies to TES;
(2) Solicit comments from all Federal, State, and local agencies which have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to the possible environmental impact involved, and from the public (see Attachment 2); and
(3) Inform the public and interested parties of the availability of the DEIS and provide copies as appropriate; and
(4) Allow a comment period of not less than 45 days from the Friday of the week following receipt of the draft impact statement by CEQ. Requests for extensions shall be granted whenever possible, and particularly when warranted by the magnitude and complexity of the statement or the extent of citizen interest.
(b) Procedures -
(1) Federal and Federal-State agency review.
(i) The DEIS shall be circulated for review to the Federal and Federal-State agencies with special expertise or jurisdiction by law with regard to the potential environmental impact involved. These agencies and their relevant areas of expertise are identified in Attachment 2.
(ii) For actions within the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency (air or water quality, solid wastes, pesticides, radiation standards, noise), the DEIS shall be sent to EPA.
(iii) For actions which would affect any property that is included in the National Register of Historic Preservation, the DEIS should be sent to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the State Liaison Office for Historic Preservation.
(2) State and local review. Where a review of the proposed action by State and local agencies authorized to develop and enforce environmental stand-ards is relevant, comments are to be solicited directly from such agencies with known responsibilities in environmental matters, and shall be obtained as follows:
(i) Where review of direct Federal development projects, and of projects assisted under programs listed in Attachment D to revised OMB Circular A-95 (as implemented by DOT 4600.4B “Evaluation, Review and Coordination of DOT Assistance Programs and Projects”, dated February 27, 1974), takes place prior to preparation of an environmental statement, comments of the reviewing agencies on the environmental effects of the proposed project are inputs to the environmental statement. These comments shall be attached to the draft statement when it is circulated for review and copies of the draft shall be sent to those who commented. A-05 clearinghouses or other agencies designated by the Governor may also secure comments on environmental statements. In all cases, copies of the draft environmental statements shall be sent to clearinghouses and to the applicant whose project is the subject of the statement.
(ii) Comments shall be directly obtained from appropriate State and local agencies, except where review is secured by agreement through A-95 clearinghouses, unless the Governor of the appropriate State has designated some other point for obtaining his review. Instructions for obtaining the views of such agencies are contained in the joint OMB-CEQ memorandum (see Attachment 4). Comments shall be solicited from municipalities and counties on all projects located therein.
(iii) State and local review of NHTSA procedures, regulations, and policies for administering Federal programs of assistance to State and local governments shall be obtained pursuant to procedures established by OMB Circular No. A-85.
(iv) Generally, environmental statements on legislative and budget proposals may be excluded from State and local review.
(3) General public review.
(i) At the time the DEIS is circulated to Federal, State, and local agencies, public availability of the DEIS for comment and review will be announced by the CEQ in the Federal Register. Copies of the DEIS should be sent to known interested parties, and press releases should be sent to local news media advising where the DEIS is available and how copies may be obtained. The Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Services shall maintain a list of groups, including conservation organizations and motor vehicle manufacturers, known to be interested in the agency's activities, and directly notify such groups of the availability of the DEIS or send them a copy as soon as it has been prepared.
(ii) A DEIS should be available to the public at least 30 days prior to the time of a public hearing on the DEIS.
(iii) Copies of the DEIS will be made available at the NHTSA Docket Section, Room 5109, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, and, where appropriate, NHTSA Regional Offices, at the offices of any applicants or grantees, at appropriate State, regional, and metropolitan clearing houses, and local public libraries, and furnished to public and private organizations and individuals with special expertise with respect to the potential environmental impact involved, and to those with an interest in the action who request an opportunity to comment. Copies to be made available to the public shall be provided without charge to the extent practicable, or at a fee which is not more than the actual cost of reproducing copies required to be sent to other Federal agencies, including the CEQ.
(iv) A copy of the DEIS should in all cases be sent to any applicant whose project is the subject of the statement.
(v) If a DEIS is changed to a negative declaration as a result of the public review process, all agencies and individuals that received copies and/or commented on the DEIS must be informed that a negative declaration was substituted for the DEIS and given a brief explanation of the reason for such substitution.
(c) Utilization of comments. Comments received on the draft statement, and inputs (in summary form, if appropriate) from the processes for citizen participation, shall accompany the environmental statement through the normal internal project or program review process.