7 CFR § 1970.153 - Notice of Intent and scoping.
(a) Notice of Intent. The Agency will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register that an EIS will be prepared and, if public scoping meetings are required, the notice will be published at least 14 days prior to the public scoping meeting(s).
(1) The NOI will include a description of the following: the applicant's proposal and possible alternatives; the Agency's scoping process including plans for possible public scoping meetings with time and locations; background information if available; and contact information for Agency staff who can answer questions regarding the proposal and the EIS.
(2) The applicant must publish a notice similar to the NOI, as directed and approved by the Agency, in one or more newspapers of local circulation, or provide similar information through other distribution methods as approved by the Agency. If public scoping meetings are required, such notices must be published at least 14 days prior to each public scoping meeting.
(b) Scoping. In addition to the Agency and applicant responsibilities for public involvement identified in § 1970.14 and as part of early planning for the proposal, the Agency and the applicant must invite affected Federal, state, and local agencies and tribes to inform them of the proposal and identify the permits and approvals that must be obtained and the administrative procedures that must be followed.
(c) Significant issues. For each scoping meeting held, the Agency will determine, as soon as practicable after the meeting, the significant issues to be analyzed in depth and identify and eliminate from detailed study the issues that are not significant, have been covered by prior environmental review, or are not determined to be reasonable alternatives.