7 CFR 1940.301 - Purpose.
(a) This subpart contains the major environmental policies of the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354. It also provides the procedures and guidelines for preparing the environmental impact analyses required for a series of Federal laws, regulations, and Executive orders within one environmental document. The timing and use of this environmental document within the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 decision-making process is also outlined. This subpart does not apply to programs administered by the Rural Housing Service or the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, which are subject to 7 CFR part 1970.
(b) This subpart is intended to be consistent with the Council on Environmental Ouality's (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40 CFR parts 1500-1508. CEQ's regulations will not be repeated in this subpart except when essential for clarification of important procedural or substantive points. Otherwise, citations to applicable sections of the regulations will be provided. The CEQ regulations will be available at all FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 offices.
(c) This subpart is designed to integrate the requirements of NEPA with other planning and environmental review procedures required by law, or by Agency practice, so that all such procedures run concurrently rather than consecutively. The environmental document, which results from the implementation of this subpart, provides on a project basis a single reference point for the Agency's compliance and/or implementation of the following requirements and policies:
(1) The National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321;
(2) Safe Drinking Water Act - Section 1424(e), 42 U.S.C. 300h;
(3) Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531;
(4) Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 16 U.S.C. 1271;
(5) The National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470 (See subpart F of part 1901 of this chapter for more specific implementation procedures);
(6) Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 469 (See subpart F of part 1901 of this chapter for more specific implementation procedures);
(7) Coastal Zone Management Act - Section 307(c) (1) and (2), 16 U.S.C. 1456;
(8) Farmland Protection Policy Act, subtitle I, Pub. L. 97-98;
(9) Coastal Barrier Resources Act, Pub. L. 97-348;
(10) Executive Order 11593, Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment (See subpart F of part 1901 of this chapter for more specific implementation procedures);
(11) Executive Order 11514, Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality;
(12) Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management;
(13) Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands;
(14) Title 7, parts 1b and 1c, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Agriculture's National Environmental Policy Act; Final Policies and Procedures;
(15) Title 7, part 3100, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Agriculture's Enhancement, Protection, and Management of the Cultural Environment (See subpart F of part 1901 of this chapter for more specific implementation procedures);
(16) Title 7, part 658, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Farmland Protection Policy;
(17) Title 87, part 12, Code of Federal Regulations, Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation;
(18) Departmental Regulation 9500-3, Land Use Policy (See exhibit A of this subpart);
(19) Departmental Regulation 9500-4, Fish and Wildlife Policy.
(d) The primary objectives of this subpart are for the Agency to make better decisions by taking into account potential environmental impacts of proposed projects and by working with FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 applicants, other Federal agencies, Indian tribes, State and local governments, and interested citizens and organizations in order to formulate actions that advance the program goals in a manner that will protect, enhance, and restore environmental quality. To accomplish these objectives, the identification of potentially significant impacts on the human environment is mandated to occur early in the Agency's planning and decisionmaking processes. Important decision points are identified. The completion of the environmental review process is coordinated with these decision points, and this review must be completed prior to the Agency's first major decision on whether or not to participate in the proposal. This early availability of the results of the environmental review process is intended to ensure that Agency decisions are based on an understanding of their environmental consequence, as well as the consequences of alternative courses of action.
(e) Reducing delays, duplication of effort, and superfluous analyses are provided for in this subpart. FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 environmental documents are to be supported by accurate analyses and will concentrate on the issues that are timely and relevant to the action in question, rather than amassing needless detail. Such documents and their preparation and review will be coordinated with other Federal or State agencies jointly participating in proposed actions or related actions, in order to avoid duplication of effort, and to achieve a coordinated and timely response.
(f) Public involvement is desirable, and to facilitate public involvement, environmental documents will be available to interested citizens as early in the decisionmaking process as possible and before decisions are made. Provisions are included for citizens or interested parties to express their views and any concerns.
(g) The FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 officials responsible for the environmental review process are identified.
(h) The FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 actions covered by this subpart include:
(1) Financial assistance to include grants, loans, and guarantees,
(2) Subdivision approvals,
(3) The management, leasing and sale of inventory property, and
(4) Other major federal actions such as proposals for legislation and the issuance of regulations.
Title 7 published on 2015-01-01
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 7 CFR Part 1940 after this date.