7 CFR 799.7 - Early involvement in private and state and local activities requiring Federal approval.
(a) The NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1501.2(d) require agencies to provide for early involvement in actions which, while planned by private applicants or other non-Federal entities, require some form of Federal involvement.
(b) To implement the requirements of 40 CFR 1501.2(d) with respect to these actions FSA shall:
(1) Prepare, where practicable, generic guidelines describing the scope and level of environmental information required from applicants seeking assistance from FSA as a basis for evaluating their proposed actions, and make these guidelines available upon request.
(2) Provide such guidance on a project-by-project basis to applicants seeking assistance from FSA.
(3) Upon receipt of an application for agency approval, or notification that an application will be filed, consult as required with other appropriate parties to initiate and coordinate the necessary environmental analyses.
(c) The responsibilities under this section shall be coordinated by the Conservation and Environmental Protection Division of the Farm Service Agency, Washington, D.C.
(d) To facilitate compliance with paragraph (a) of this section, private applicants seeking assistance from FSA and other non-Federal entities are expected to:
(1) Contact FSA as early as possible in the planning process for guidance on the scope and level of environmental information required to be submitted in support of their application;
(2) Conduct any studies which are deemed necessary and appropriate by FSA to determine the impact of the proposed action on the human environment;
(3) Consult with appropriate Federal, regional, State and local agencies and other potentially interested parties during preliminary planning stages to ensure that all environmental factors are identified;
(4) Submit applications for all Federal, regional, State and local approvals as early as possible in the planning process;
(5) Notify FSA as early as possible of all other Federal, regional, State, local and Indian tribe actions required for project completion so that FSA may coordinate all Federal environmental reviews; and
(6) Notify FSA of all known parties potentially affected by or interested in the proposed action.