7 CFR § 650.13 - Review and comment.

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§ 650.13 Review and comment.

In addition to the requirements of 40 CFR 1503, 1506.10 and 1506.11, NRCS will take the following steps in distributing EIS's for review and comment:

(a) Draft EIS's. Five copies of the draft EIS are to be filed by the RFO with the Office of Environmental Review, A-104, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C. At the same time, the RFO is to send copies of the draft EIS to the following:

(1) Other Federal agencies. The regional office of EPA and other agencies that have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental effect, other Federal agencies (including appropriate field and regional offices), and affected Indian tribes.

(2) State and local agencies. OMB Circular No. A-95 (Revised), through its system of State and areawide clearinghouses, provides a means for obtaining the views of State and local environmental agencies that can assist in the preparation and review of EIS's

(3) Organizations, groups, and individuals. A copy of the draft EIS is to be sent to the appropriate official of each organization or group and each individual of the interested public (§ 650.9(d)(3)(i)) and to others as requested. A charge may be made for multiple copy requests.

(b) Time period for comment. The time period for review ends 45 days after the date EPA publishes the notice of public availability of the draft in the Federal Register. A 15-day-extension of time for review and comment is to be considered by the RFO when such requests are submitted in writing. If neither comments nor a request for an extension is received at the end of the 45-day period, it is to be presumed that the agency or party from whom comments were requested has no comments to make.

(c) News releases. In addition to the notice of availability published in the Federal Register by EPA, the RFO is to announce the availability of the draft EIS in one or more newspapers serving the area.

(d) Revising a draft EIS. If significant changes in the proposed action are made as a result of comments on the draft EIS, a revised draft EIS may be necessary. The revised draft EIS is to be recirculated for comment in the same manner as a draft EIS.

(e) Final EIS's. After the review period for the draft EIS, the RFO is to prepare a final EIS, making adjustments where necessary by taking into consideration and responding to significant comments and opposing viewpoints received on the draft EIS. The following steps are to be taken in filing and distributing the final EIS:

(1) Letters of comment are to be appended to the final EIS. If numerous repetitive responses are received, summaries of the repetitive comments and a list of the groups or individuals who commented may be appended in lieu of the actual letter.

(2) The RFO is to send five copies of the final EIS to EPA's Office of Environmental Review, and a copy of the final EIS to each State and Federal agency, organization, group, and individual who commented on the draft EIS. Single copy requests for copies of the final EIS will be provided without charge. A charge may be made for multiple copy requests.

(3) During the 30-day administrative action period noted in § 650.12(c), NRCS will make its final EIS available to the public (40 CFR 1506.10).

(f) Supplements to EIS's.

(1) If NRCS determines that it is necessary to clarify or amplify a point of concern raised after the final EIS is filed, appropriate clarification or amplification is to be sent to EPA with information copies furnished to those who received copies of the final EIS. The waiting periods do not apply.

(2) If the RFO determines that the final EIS or supplement to the original EIS previously filed becomes inadequate because of a major change in the plan for the proposed action that significantly affects the quality of the human environment, a new EIS is to be prepared, filed, and distributed as described in this section.