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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 40: Protection of Environment
§1501.8 Time limits.
Although the Council has decided that prescribed universal time limits for the entire NEPA process are too inflexible, Federal agencies are encouraged to set time limits appropriate to individual actions (consistent with the time intervals required by §1506.10). When multiple agencies are involved the reference to agency below means lead agency.
(a) The agency shall set time limits if an applicant for the proposed action requests them: Provided, That the limits are consistent with the purposes of NEPA and other essential considerations of national policy.
(b) The agency may:
(1) Consider the following factors in determining time limits:
(i) Potential for environmental harm.
(ii) Size of the proposed action.
(iii) State of the art of analytic techniques.
(iv) Degree of public need for the proposed action, including the consequences of delay.
(v) Number of persons and agencies affected.
(vi) Degree to which relevant information is known and if not known the time required for obtaining it.
(vii) Degree to which the action is controversial.
(viii) Other time limits imposed on the agency by law, regulations, or executive order.
(2) Set overall time limits or limits for each constituent part of the NEPA process, which may include:
(i) Decision on whether to prepare an environmental impact statement (if not already decided).
(ii) Determination of the scope of the environmental impact statement.
(iii) Preparation of the draft environmental impact statement.
(iv) Review of any comments on the draft environmental impact statement from the public and agencies.
(v) Preparation of the final environmental impact statement.
(vi) Review of any comments on the final environmental impact statement.
(vii) Decision on the action based in part on the environmental impact statement.
(3) Designate a person (such as the project manager or a person in the agency's office with NEPA responsibilities) to expedite the NEPA process.
(c) State or local agencies or members of the public may request a Federal Agency to set time limits.