7 CFR § 799.40 - Purpose of an EA.
(a) FSA prepares an EA to determine whether a proposed action would significantly affect the environment, and to consider the potential impacts of reasonable alternatives and the potential mitigation measures to the alternatives and proposed action.
(b) FSA will prepare a PEA to determine if proposed actions that are broad in scope or similar in nature have cumulative significant environmental impacts, although the impacts of the proposed actions may be individually insignificant.
(c) The result of the EA process will be either a FONSI or a determination that an EIS is required. FSA may also determine that a proposed action will significantly affect the environment without first preparing an EA; in that case, an EIS is required.