Facilities financed must undergo an environmental impact analysis in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Agency requirements as contained in part 1794 of this chapter. In accordance with Agency guidance documents (RUS Bulletin 1794A-602; this document is available in any Agency State Office or online at http://www.usda.gov/rus/water/ees/index.htm), the environmental review requirements shall be performed by the applicant simultaneously and concurrently with the project's engineering planning and design. This should provide flexibility to consider reasonable alternatives to the project and development methods to mitigate any adverse environmental effects. Facility planning and design must not only be responsive to the owner's needs but must consider the environmental consequences of the proposed project. Facility design will incorporate and integrate, where practicable, mitigation measures that avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts. The lender must assist the Agency in ensuring that the borrower complies with the Agency's environmental review process and implements any mitigation measure identified in the environmental review document or Conditional Commitment for Guarantee. This assistance includes ensuring that the borrower takes no action (for example, initiation of construction) or incur any obligations that will have an adverse environmental impact or limit the range of alternatives to be considered prior to completion of the environmental review process. If construction is started prior to completion of the environmental review and the Agency is deprived of its opportunity to fulfill its obligation to comply with applicable environmental requirements, the application for financial assistance may be denied. Satisfactory completion of the environmental review process must occur prior to the approval of the applicant's request or commitment of Agency resources.
Title 7 published on 2015-01-01.
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