§ 1940.316Responsible officials for the environmental review process.
(a)Approving official. With the exception of paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 official responsible for executing the environmental impact determination and environmental findings for a Class I or Class II action will be the official having approval authority for the action as specified in subpart A of part 1901 of this chapter (available in any the Agency or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 office).
(b)State Office level. (1) When the approval official is at the State Office level, the responsible Program Chief will have the responsibility for preparing the appropriate environmental review document. Whenever the Chief delegates this responsibility in accordance with § 1940.302(i) of this subpart, the Chief is responsible for reviewing the environmental document to ensure that it is adequate, that any deficiencies are corrected, and that it is signed by the preparer. When the document is satisfactory to the Chief, the Chief will sign it as the concurring official. When no delegation occurs, the Chief will sign as the preparer. If the environmental review document is either a Class I or Class II assessment, it must be provided to the SEC for review prior to being submitted to the approval official for final determinations. The SEC will review the assessment and provide recommendations to the approval official.
(2) Whenever the preparer and the SEC do not concur on either the adequacy of the assessment or the recommendations reached, the State Director, whether or not the approving official, will make the final decision on the matter or matters in disagreement. The State Director will also make the final decision whenever a State Office approving official disagrees with the joint recommendations of the preparer and the SEC. In either case, should the State Director desire, the matter will be forwarded to the National Office for resolution. The Program Support Staff will coordinate its resolution with the appropriate Assistant Administrator. Failure of these parties to resolve the matter will require a final decision by the Administrator. The State Director should also request the assistance of the National Office on actions that are too difficult to analyze at the State Office level.
(c)District or County Office level. The approval official for the action under review will be responsible for preparing the appropriate environmental review document and completing the environmental findings and impact determinations for Class I and Class II assessments, except in the circumstances outlined in paragraph (d) of this section. Whenever the approval official delegates the preparation of the environmental review in accordance with § 1940.302(i) of this subpart, the approval official must, after exercising the same responsibilities assigned to the Program Chief as indicated in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, sign the environmental review document as the concurring official. Both District Directors and County Supervisors will contact, as needed, the SEC for technical assistance in preparing specific environmental review documents.
(d)Multi-level review. When the approval official is at the County Office or District Office level but the action must be forwarded to the State Office for concurrence, the responsible Program Chief will perform the responsibilities of the concurring official with respect to the environmental review document and the SEC will review it, if a Class I or Class II assessment, in a similar manner as indicated in paragraph (b) of this section. Responsibilities similar to those of the Program Chief will exist for the District Director when the County Supervisor forwards an action to the District Office for concurrence.
(e)Reservation of authority. The Administrator reserves the right to request a State Director to forward to the National Office for review and approval any action which is highly controversial for environmental reasons, involves the potential for unique or extremely complex environmental impacts or is of national, regional, or great local significance. State Directors have a similar right with respect to District and County Offices.
Title 7 published on 2014-01-01
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