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Title 43Subtitle APart 46Subpart E → §46.415

Title 43: Public Lands: Interior
Subpart E—Environmental Impact Statements

§46.415   Environmental impact statement content, alternatives, circulation and filing requirements.

The Responsible Official may use any environmental impact statement format and design as long as the statement is in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.10.

(a) Contents. The environmental impact statement shall disclose:

(1) A statement of the purpose and need for the action;

(2) A description of the proposed action;

(3) The environmental impact of the proposed action;

(4) A brief description of the affected environment;

(5) Any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented;

(6) Alternatives to the proposed action;

(7) The relationship between local short-term uses of the human environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity;

(8) Any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented; and

(9) The process used to coordinate with other Federal agencies, State, tribal and local governments, and persons or organizations who may be interested or affected, and the results thereof.

(b) Alternatives. The environmental impact statement shall document the examination of the range of alternatives (paragraph 46.420(c)). The range of alternatives includes those reasonable alternatives (paragraph 46.420(b)) that meet the purpose and need of the proposed action, and address one or more significant issues (40 CFR 1501.7(a)(2-3)) related to the proposed action. Since an alternative may be developed to address more than one significant issue, no specific number of alternatives is required or prescribed. In addition to the requirements in 40 CFR 1502.14, the Responsible Official has an option to use the following procedures to develop and analyze alternatives.

(1) The analysis of the effects of the no-action alternative may be documented by contrasting the current condition and expected future condition should the proposed action not be undertaken with the impacts of the proposed action and any reasonable alternatives.

(2) The Responsible Official may collaborate with those persons or organization that may be interested or affected to modify a proposed action and alternative(s) under consideration prior to issuing a draft environmental impact statement. In such cases the Responsible Official may consider these modifications as alternatives considered. Before engaging in any collaborative processes, the Responsible Official must consider the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) implications of such processes.

(3) A proposed action or alternative(s) may include adaptive management strategies allowing for adjustment of the action during implementation. If the adjustments to an action are clearly articulated and pre-specified in the description of the alternative and fully analyzed, then the action may be adjusted during implementation without the need for further analysis. Adaptive management includes a monitoring component, approved adaptive actions that may be taken, and environmental effects analysis for the adaptive actions approved.

(c) Circulating and filing draft and final environmental impact statements. (1) The draft and final environmental impact statements shall be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Federal Activities in Washington, DC (40 CFR 1506.9).

(2) Requirements at 40 CFR 1506.9 “Filing requirements,” 40 CFR 1506.10 “Timing of agency action,” 40 CFR 1502.9 “Draft, final, and supplemental statements,” and 40 CFR 1502.19 “Circulation of the environmental impact statement” shall only apply to draft, final, and supplemental environmental impact statements that are filed with EPA.

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