7 CFR 1794.52 - Scoping meetings.
(a) Both RUS and the applicant shall have a notice published which announces a public scoping meeting is to be conducted, either in conjunction with the notice of intent or as a separate notice.
(b) The RUS notice shall be published in the Federal Register at least 14 days prior to the meeting(s). The applicant's notice shall be published in a newspaper at least 10 days prior to the meeting(s). Other forms of media may also be used by the applicant to notice the meetings.
(c) Where an environmental document is the subject of the hearing or meeting, that document will be made available to the public at least 10 days in advance of the meeting.
(d) The scoping meeting(s) will be held in the area of the proposed action at such place(s) as RUS determines will best afford an opportunity for public involvement. Any person or representative of an organization, or government body desiring to make a statement at the meeting may make such statement in writing or orally. The format of the meeting may be one of two styles. It can either be of the traditional style which features formal presentations followed by a comment period, or the open house style in which attendees are able to individually obtain information on topics or issues of interest within an established time period. The applicant or its consultant shall prepare a record of the scoping meeting. The record shall consist of a transcript when a traditional meeting format is used or a summary report when an open house format is used.
(e) As soon as practicable after the scoping meeting(s), RUS, as lead agency, shall determine the significant issues to be analyzed in depth and identify and eliminate from detailed study the issues which are not significant or which have been covered by prior environmental review. RUS will develop a proposed scope for further environmental study and review. RUS shall send a copy of this proposed scope to cooperating agencies and the applicant, and allow recipients 30 days to comment on the scope's adequacy and emphasis. After expiration of the 30-day period, RUS shall provide written guidance to the applicant concerning the scope of environmental study to be performed and information to be gathered.