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e-CFR data is current as of October 10, 2019

Title 24Subtitle A → Part 50


Title 24: Housing and Urban Development


PART 50—PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY


Contents

Subpart A—General: Federal Laws and Authorities

§50.1   Purpose, authority, and applicability.
§50.2   Terms and abbreviations.
§50.3   Environmental policy.
§50.4   Related Federal laws and authorities.

Subpart B—General Policy: Responsibilities and Program Coverage

§50.10   Basic environmental responsibility.
§50.11   Responsibility of the HUD approving official.

Subpart C—General Policy: Decision Points

§50.16   Decision points for policy actions.
§50.17   Decision points for projects.

Subpart D—General Policy: Environmental Review Procedures

§50.18   General.
§50.19   Categorical exclusions not subject to the Federal laws and authorities cited in §50.4.
§50.20   Categorical exclusions subject to the Federal laws and authorities cited in §50.4.
§50.21   Aggregation.
§50.22   Environmental management and monitoring.
§50.23   Public participation.
§50.24   HUD review of another agency's EIS.

Subpart E—Environmental Assessments and Related Reviews

§50.31   The EA.
§50.32   Responsibility for environmental processing.
§50.33   Action resulting from the assessment.
§50.34   Time delays for exceptional circumstances.
§50.35   Use of prior environmental assessments.
§50.36   Updating of environmental reviews.

Subpart F—Environmental Impact Statements

§50.41   EIS policy.
§50.42   Cases when an EIS is required.
§50.43   Emergencies.

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d) and 4321-4335; and Executive Order 11991, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 123.

Source: 61 FR 50916, Sept. 27, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General: Federal Laws and Authorities

§50.1   Purpose, authority, and applicability.

(a) This part implements the policies of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental requirements (as specified in §50.4).

(b) NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), establishes national policy, goals and procedures for protecting, restoring and enhancing environmental quality. NEPA is implemented by Executive Order 11514 of March 5, 1970, (3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 902) as amended by Executive Order 11991 of May 24, 1977, (3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 123) and by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations, 40 CFR parts 1500-1508.

(c) The regulations issued by CEQ at 40 CFR parts 1500-1508 establish the basic procedural requirements for compliance with NEPA. These procedures are to be followed by all Federal agencies and are incorporated by reference into this part. This part, therefore, provides supplemental instructions to reflect the particular nature of HUD programs, and is to be used in tandem with 40 CFR parts 1500-1508 and regulations that implement authorities cited at §50.4.

(d) These regulations apply to all HUD policy actions (as defined in §50.16), and to all HUD project actions (see §50.2(a)(2)). Also, they apply to projects and activities carried out by recipients subject to environmental policy and procedures of 24 CFR part 58, when the recipient that is regulated under 24 CFR part 58 claims the lack of legal capacity to assume the Secretary's environmental review responsibilities and the claim is approved by HUD or when HUD determines to conduct an environmental review itself in place of a nonrecipient responsible entity. For programs, activities or actions not specifically identified or when there are questions regarding the applicability of this part, the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development shall be consulted.

§50.2   Terms and abbreviations.

(a) The definitions for most of the key terms or phrases contained in this part appear in 40 CFR part 1508 and in the authorities cited in §50.4.

The following definitions also apply to this part:

Environmental review means a process for complying with NEPA (through an EA or EIS) and/or with the laws and authorities cited in §50.4.

HUD approving official means the HUD official authorized to make the approval decision for any proposed policy or project subject to this part.

Project means an activity, or a group of integrally-related activities, undertaken directly by HUD or proposed for HUD assistance or insurance.

(b) The following abbreviations are used throughout this part:

AS/CPD—Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.

CEQ—Council on Environmental Quality

EA—Environmental Assessment

EIS—Environmental Impact Statement

FONSI—Finding of No Significant Impact

HUD—Department of Housing and Urban Development

NEPA—National Environmental Policy Act

NOI/EIS—Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

§50.3   Environmental policy.

(a) It is the policy of the Department to reject proposals which have significant adverse environmental impacts and to encourage the modification of projects in order to enhance environmental quality and minimize environmental harm.

(b) The HUD approving official shall consider environmental and other Departmental objectives in the decisionmaking process.

(c) When EA's or EIS's or reviews under §50.4 reveal conditions or safeguards that should be implemented once a proposal is approved in order to protect and enhance environmental quality or minimize adverse environmental impacts, such conditions or safeguards must be included in agreements or other relevant documents.

(d) A systematic, interdisciplinary approach shall be used to assure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in making decisions.

(e) Environmental impacts shall be evaluated on as comprehensive a scale as is practicable.

(f) HUD offices shall begin the environmental review process at the earliest possible time so that potential conflicts between program procedures and environmental requirements are identified at an early stage.

(g) Applicants for HUD assistance shall be advised of environmental requirements and consultation with governmental agencies and individuals shall take place at the earliest time feasible.

(h) For HUD grant programs in which the funding approval for an applicant's program must occur before the applicant's selection of properties, the application shall contain an assurance that the applicant agrees to assist HUD to comply with this part and that the applicant shall:

(1) Supply HUD with all available, relevant information necessary for HUD to perform for each property any environmental review required by this part;

(2) Carry out mitigating measures required by HUD or select alternate eligible property; and

(3) Not acquire, rehabilitate, convert, lease, repair or construct property, nor commit or expend HUD or local funds for these program activities with respect to any eligible property, until HUD approval of the property is received.

(i)(1) It is HUD policy that all property proposed for use in HUD programs be free of hazardous materials, contamination, toxic chemicals and gasses, and radioactive substances, where a hazard could affect the health and safety of occupants or conflict with the intended utilization of the property.

(2) HUD environmental review of multifamily and non-residential properties shall include evaluation of previous uses of the site and other evidence of contamination on or near the site, to assure that occupants of proposed sites are not adversely affected by the hazards listed in paragraph (i)(1) of this section.

(3) Particular attention should be given to any proposed site on or in the general proximity of such areas as dumps, landfills, industrial sites or other locations that contain hazardous wastes.

(4) HUD shall require the use of current techniques by qualified professionals to undertake investigations determined necessary.

§50.4   Related Federal laws and authorities.

HUD and/or applicants must comply, where applicable, with all environmental requirements, guidelines and statutory obligations under the following authorities and HUD standards:

(a) Historic properties. (1) The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.), as amended.

(2) Executive Order 11593, Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment, May 13, 1971 (3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 559).

(3) The Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974, which amends the Reservoir Salvage Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 469 et seq.).

(4) Procedures for the Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties (Advisory Council on Historic Preservation—36 CFR part 800).

(b) Flood insurance, floodplain management and wetland protection. (1) Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4001-4128) and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (Pub.L. 103-325, 108 Stat. 2160).

(2) HUD procedure for the implementation of Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management), (3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 117)—24 CFR part 55, Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands.

(3) HUD procedure for the implementation of Executive Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), (3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121)—24 CFR part 55, Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands.

(c) Coastal areas protection and management. (1) The Coastal Barrier Resources Act, as amended by the Coastal Barrier Improvement Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

(2) The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), as amended.

(d) Sole source aquifers. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 201, 300 et seq., and 21 U.S.C. 349), as amended. (See 40 CFR part 149.)

(e) Endangered species. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), as amended. (See 50 CFR part 402.)

(f) Wild and scenic rivers. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C 1271 et seq.), as amended.

(g) Water quality. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), and later enactments.

(h) Air quality. The Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), as amended. (See 40 CFR parts 6, 51, and 93.)

(i) Solid waste management. (1) The Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), and later enactments.

(2) The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), as amended.

(j) Farmlands protection. The Farmland Protection Policy Act of 1981 (7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq.), as amended. (See 7 CFR part 658.)

(k) HUD environmental standards. Applicable criteria and standards specified in HUD environmental regulations (24 CFR part 51).

(l) Environmental justice. Executive Order 12898—Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 859).

[61 FR 50916, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 78 FR 68728, Nov. 15, 2013]

Subpart B—General Policy: Responsibilities and Program Coverage

§50.10   Basic environmental responsibility.

(a) It is the responsibility of all Assistant Secretaries, the General Counsel, and the HUD approving official to assure that the requirements of this part are implemented.

(b) The Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (A/S CPD), represented by the Office of Community Viability, whose Director shall serve as the Departmental Environmental Clearance Officer (DECO), is assigned the overall Departmental responsibility for environmental policies and procedures for compliance with NEPA and the related laws and authorities. To the extent permitted by applicable laws and the CEQ regulations, the A/S CPD shall approve waivers and exceptions or establish criteria for exceptions from the requirements of this part.

§50.11   Responsibility of the HUD approving official.

(a) The HUD approving official shall make an independent evaluation of the environmental issues, take responsibility for the scope and content of the compliance finding, EA or EIS, and make the environmental finding, where applicable. (Also, see §50.32.)

(b) Copies of environmental reviews and findings shall be maintained in the project file for projects, in the rules docket files for Federal Register publications, and in program files for non-Federal Register policy documents.

Subpart C—General Policy: Decision Points

§50.16   Decision points for policy actions.

Either an EA and FONSI or an EIS on all policy actions not meeting the criteria of §50.19 shall be completed prior to the approval action. Policy actions include all proposed Federal Register policy documents and other policy-related Federal actions (40 CFR 1508.18). The decision as to whether a proposed policy action is categorically excluded from an EA shall be made by the Program Environmental Clearance Officer (PECO) in Headquarters as early as possible. Where the PECO has any doubt as to whether a proposed action qualifies for exclusion, the PECO shall request a determination by the AS/CPD. The EA and FONSI may be combined into a single document.

§50.17   Decision points for projects.

Either an EA and FONSI or an EIS for individual projects shall be completed before the applicable program decision points below for projects not meeting the criteria of §50.20. Compliance with applicable authorities cited in §50.4 shall be completed before the applicable program decision points below unless the project meets the criteria for exclusion under §50.19.

(a) New Construction. (1) Project mortgage insurance or other financial assistance for multifamily housing projects (including sections 202 and 811), nursing homes, hospitals, group practice facilities and manufactured home parks: Issuance of Site Appraisal and Market Analysis (SAMA) Letter or initial equivalent indication of HUD approval of a specific site;

(2) Public Housing: HUD approval of the proposal.

(3) Loan Guarantee Recovery Fund Program (24 CFR part 573). HUD issuance of a letter of commitment or initial equivalent indication of HUD approval.

(b) Rehabilitation projects. Use the decision points under “new construction” for HUD programs cited in paragraph (a) of this section; otherwise the decision point is the HUD project approval.

(c) Public housing modernization programs. HUD approval of the modernization grants.

(d) Property Disposition. Multifamily structures, college housing, nursing homes, manufactured homes and parks, group practice facilities, vacant land and one to four family structures: HUD approval of the Disposition Program.

(e) HUD programs subject to 24 CFR part 58. For cases in which HUD exercises environmental responsibility under this part where a recipient lacks legal capacity to do so or HUD determines to do so in place of a nonrecipient responsible entity under 24 CFR part 58 (see §50.1(d)), the decision point is: HUD's execution of an agreement or contract, whichever comes first, or in the case of Section 8 Project-Based Certificate Assistance and Moderate Rehabilitation, HUD notification to the Public Housing Agency to proceed with execution of an Agreement to Enter into Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract.

(f) Section 50.3(h). Notwithstanding the other paragraphs of this section, the decision point for grant programs in which HUD approval of funding for an applicant's program must occur before the applicant's selection of properties for use in its program is: HUD approval of specific properties.

(g) Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act Programs. Where the recipients are nonprofit organizations or governmental entities with special or limited purpose powers, the decision point is: HUD project approval.

(h) Programs not specifically covered in this section. Consult with the AS/CPD for decision points.

Subpart D—General Policy: Environmental Review Procedures

§50.18   General.

(a) The Departmental Environmental Clearance Officer (DECO) shall establish a prescribed format to be used to document compliance with NEPA and the Federal laws and authorities cited in §50.4. The DECO may prescribe alternative formats as necessary to meet specific program needs.

(b) HUD may, from time to time, complete programmatic reviews that further avoid the necessity of complying with the laws and authorities in §50.4 on a property-by-property basis.

[61 FR 50916, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 79 FR 49228, Aug. 20, 2014]

§50.19   Categorical exclusions not subject to the Federal laws and authorities cited in §50.4.

(a) General. The activities and related approvals of policy documents listed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section are not subject to the individual compliance requirements of the Federal laws and authorities cited in §50.4, unless otherwise indicated below. These activities and approvals of policy documents are also categorically excluded from the EA required by NEPA except in extraordinary circumstances (§50.20(b)). HUD approval or implementation of these categories of activities and policy documents does not require environmental review, because they do not alter physical conditions in a manner or to an extent that would require review under NEPA or the other laws and authorities cited at §50.4.

(b) Activities. (1) Environmental and other studies, resource identification and the development of plans and strategies.

(2) Information and financial advisory services.

(3) Administrative and management expenses.

(4) Public services that will not have a physical impact or result in any physical changes, including but not limited to services concerned with employment, crime prevention, child care, health, drug abuse, education, counseling, energy conservation and welfare or recreational needs.

(5) Inspections and testing of properties for hazards or defects.

(6) Purchase of insurance.

(7) Purchase of tools.

(8) Engineering or design costs.

(9) Technical assistance and training.

(10) Assistance for temporary or permanent improvements that do not alter environmental conditions and are limited to protection, repair or restoration activities necessary only to control or arrest the effects from disasters or imminent threats to public safety including those resulting from physical deterioration.

(11) Tenant-based rental assistance.

(12) Supportive services including, but not limited to, health care, housing services, permanent housing placement, day care, nutritional services, short-term payments for rent/mortgage/utility costs, and assistance in gaining access to local, State, and Federal government benefits and services.

(13) Operating costs including maintenance, security, operation, utilities, furnishings, equipment, supplies, staff training and recruitment and other incidental costs; however, in the case of equipment, compliance with §50.4(b)(1) is required.

(14) Economic development activities, including but not limited to, equipment purchase, inventory financing, interest subsidy, operating expenses and similar costs not associated with construction or physical expansion of existing facilities; however, in the case of equipment purchase, compliance with §50.4(b)(1) is required.

(15) Activities to assist homebuyers to purchase existing dwelling units or dwelling units under construction, including closing costs and downpayment assistance, interest buydowns, and similar activities that result in the transfer of title.

(16) Housing pre-development costs including legal, consulting, developer and other costs related to site options, project financing, administrative costs and fees for loan commitments, zoning approvals, and other related activities which do not have a physical impact.

(17) HUD's insurance of one-to-four family mortgages under the Direct Endorsement program, the insurance of one-to-four family mortgages under the Lender Insurance program, and HUD's guarantee of loans for one-to-four family dwellings under the Direct Guarantee procedure for the Indian Housing loan guarantee program, without any HUD review or approval before the completion of construction or rehabilitation and the loan closing; and HUD's acceptance for insurance of loans insured under Title I of the National Housing Act; however, compliance with §§50.4(b)(1) and (c)(1) and 24 CFR 51.303(a)(3) is required.

(18) HUD's endorsement of one-to-four family mortgage insurance for proposed construction under Improved Area processing; however, the Appraiser/Review Appraiser Checksheet (Form HUD-54891) must be completed.

(19) Activities of the Government National Mortgage Association under Title III of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1716 et seq.).

(20) Activities under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).

(21) Refinancing of HUD-insured mortgages that will not allow new construction or rehabilitation, nor result in any physical impacts or changes except for routine maintenance; however, compliance with §50.4(b)(1) is required.

(22) Approval of the sale of a HUD-held mortgage.

(23) Approval of the foreclosure sale of a property with a HUD-held mortgage; however, appropriate restrictions will be imposed to protect historic properties.

(24) HUD guarantees under the Loan Guarantee Recovery Fund Program (24 CFR part 573) of loans that refinance existing loans and mortgages, where any new construction or rehabilitation financed by the existing loan or mortgage has been completed prior to the filing of an application under the program, and the refinancing will not allow further construction or rehabilitation, nor result in any physical impacts or changes except for routine maintenance; however, compliance with §§50.4 (b)(1) and (c)(1) and 51.303(a) is required.

(c) Approval of policy documents. (1) Approval of rules and notices proposed for publication in the Federal Register or other policy documents that do not:

(i) Direct, provide for assistance or loan and mortgage insurance for, or otherwise govern or regulate, real property acquisition, disposition, leasing (other than tenant-based rental assistance), rehabilitation, alteration, demolition, or new construction; or

(ii) Establish, revise, or provide for standards for construction or construction materials, manufactured housing, or occupancy.

(2) Approval of policy documents that amend an existing document where the existing document as a whole would not fall within an exclusion in this paragraph (c) but the amendment by itself would do so;

(3) Approval of policy documents that set out fair housing or nondiscrimination standards or enforcement procedures or provide for assistance in promoting or enforcing fair housing or nondiscrimination;

(4) Approval of handbooks, notices and other documents that provide operating instructions and procedures in connection with activities under a Federal Register document that has previously been subject to a required environmental review.

(5) Approval of a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) that provides funding under, and does not alter any environmental requirements of, a regulation or program guideline that was previously published in the Federal Register, provided that

(i) The NOFA specifically refers to the environmental review provisions of the regulation or guideline; or

(ii) The regulation or guideline contains no environmental review provisions because it concerns only activities listed in paragraph (b) of this section.

(6) Statutorily required and/or discretionary establishment and review of interest rates, loan limits, building cost limits, prototype costs, fair market rent schedules, HUD-determined prevailing wage rates, income limits and exclusions with regard to eligibility for or calculation of HUD housing assistance or rental assistance, and similar rate and cost determinations and related external administrative or fiscal requirements or procedures which do not constitute a development decision that affects the physical condition of specific project areas or building sites.

[61 FR 50916, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 15802, Apr. 2, 1997; 63 FR 48990, Sept. 11, 1998; 68 FR 56127, Sept. 29, 2003]

§50.20   Categorical exclusions subject to the Federal laws and authorities cited in §50.4.

(a) The following actions, activities, and programs are categorically excluded from the NEPA requirements for further review in an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement as set forth in this part. They are not excluded from individual compliance requirements of other environmental statutes, Executive orders, and HUD standards cited in §50.4, where appropriate. Where the responsible official determines that any proposed action identified below may have an environmental effect because of extraordinary circumstances (40 CFR 1508.4), the requirements for further review under NEPA shall apply (see paragraph (b) of this section).

(1) Special projects directed to the removal of material and architectural barriers that restrict the mobility of and accessibility to elderly and persons with disabilities.

(2) Rehabilitation of buildings and improvements when the following conditions are met:

(i) In the case of a building for residential use (with one to four units), the density is not increased beyond four units, the land use is not changed, and the footprint of the building is not increased in a floodplain or in a wetland;

(ii) In the case of multifamily residential buildings:

(A) Unit density is not changed more than 20 percent;

(B) The project does not involve changes in land use from residential to non-residential; and

(C) The estimated cost of rehabilitation is less than 75 percent of the total estimated cost of replacement after rehabilitation.

(iii) In the case of non-residential structures, including commercial, industrial, and public buildings:

(A) The facilities and improvements are in place and will not be changed in size nor capacity by more than 20 percent; and

(B) The activity does not involve a change in land use, such as from non-residential to residential, commercial to industrial, or from one industrial use to another.

(3)(i) An individual action on up to four dwelling units where there is a maximum of four units on any one site. The units can be four one-unit buildings or one four-unit building or any combination in between; or

(ii) An individual action on a project of five or more housing units developed on scattered sites when the sites are more than 2,000 feet apart and there are not more than four housing units on any one site.

(iii) Paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section do not apply to rehabilitation of a building for residential use (with one to four units) (see paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section).

(4) Acquisition (including leasing) or disposition of, or equity loans on an existing structure, or acquisition (including leasing) of vacant land provided that the structure or land acquired, financed, or disposed of will be retained for the same use.

(5) Purchased or refinanced housing and medical facilities under section 223(f) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715n).

(6) Mortgage prepayments or plans of action (including incentives) under 24 CFR part 248.

(b) For categorical exclusions having the potential for significant impact because of extraordinary circumstances, HUD must prepare an EA in accordance with subpart E. If it is evident without preparing an EA that an EIS is required pursuant to §50.42, HUD should proceed directly to the preparation of an EIS in accordance with subpart F.

[61 FR 50916, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 56127, Sept. 29, 2003; 79 FR 49229, Aug. 20, 2014]

§50.21   Aggregation.

Activities which are geographically related and are logical parts of a composite of contemplated HUD projects shall be evaluated together.

§50.22   Environmental management and monitoring.

An Environmental Management and Monitoring Program shall be established prior to project approval when it is deemed necessary by the HUD approving official. The program shall be part of the approval document and must:

(a) Be concurred in by the Field Environmental Clearance Officer (FECO) (in the absence of a FECO, by the Program Environmental Clearance Officer in Headquarters) and any cooperating agencies;

(b) Contain specific standards, safeguards and commitments to be completed during project implementation;

(c) Identify the staff who will be responsible for the post-approval inspection; and

(d) Specify the time periods for conducting the evaluation and monitoring the applicant's compliance with the project agreements.

§50.23   Public participation.

HUD shall inform the affected public about NEPA-related hearings, public meetings, and the availability of environmental documents (see 40 CFR 1506.6(b)) in accordance with this section. Where project actions result in a FONSI, the FONSI will be available in the project file. The local HUD field office may be contacted by persons who wish to review the FONSI. In all cases, HUD shall mail notices to those who have requested them. Additional efforts for involving the public in specific notice or compliance requirements shall be made in accord with the implementing procedures of the laws and authorities cited in §50.4. Notices pertaining to an EIS or an amendment to an EIS or a FONSI subject to §50.34 shall be given to the public in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section.

(a) A NOI/EIS shall be forwarded to the AS/CPD to the attention of the Departmental Environmental Clearance Officer for publication in the Federal Register.

(b) Notices will be bilingual if the affected public includes a significant portion of non-English speaking persons and will identify a date when the official public involvement element of the proposed action is to be completed and HUD internal processing is to continue.

(c) All required notices shall be published in an appropriate local printed news medium, and sent to individuals and groups known to be interested in the proposed action.

(d) All notices shall inform the public where additional information may be obtained.

§50.24   HUD review of another agency's EIS.

Where another agency's EIS is referred to the HUD Field Office in whose jurisdiction the project is located, the Field Environmental Clearance Officer shall determine whether HUD has an interest in the EIS and, if so, will review and comment. Any EIS received from another Federal agency requesting comment on legislative proposals, regulations, or other policy documents shall be sent to the AS/CPD for comment, and the AS/CPD shall provide the General Counsel the opportunity for comment.

Subpart E—Environmental Assessments and Related Reviews

§50.31   The EA.

(a) The Departmental Environmental Clearance Officer (DECO) shall establish a prescribed format used for the environmental analysis and documentation of projects and activities under subpart E. The DECO may prescribe alternative formats as necessary to meet specific program needs.

(b) The program representative shall obtain interdisciplinary assistance from professional experts and other HUD staff as needed. Additional information may also be requested of the sponsor/applicant. HUD is responsible for assessing and documenting the extent of the environmental impact.

[61 FR 50916, Sept. 27, 1996, as amended at 79 FR 49229, Aug. 20, 2014]

§50.32   Responsibility for environmental processing.

The program staff in the HUD office responsible for processing the project application or recommending a policy action is responsible for conducting the compliance finding, EA, or EIS. The collection of data and studies as part of the information contained in the environmental review may be done by an applicant or the applicant's contractor. The HUD program staff may use any information supplied by the applicant or contractor, provided HUD independently evaluates the information, will be responsible for its accuracy, supplements the information, if necessary, to conform to the requirements of this part, and prepares the environmental finding. Assessments for projects over 200 lots/dwelling units or beds shall be sent to the Field Environmental Clearance Officer (FECO) or, in the absence of a FECO, to the Program Environmental Clearance Officer in Headquarters for review and comment.

§50.33   Action resulting from the assessment.

(a) A proposal may be accepted without modifications if the EA indicates that the proposal will not significantly (see 40 CFR 1508.27) affect the quality of the human environment and a FONSI is prepared.

(b) A proposal may be accepted with modifications provided that:

(1) Changes have been made that would reduce adverse environmental impact to acceptable and insignificant levels; and

(2) An Environmental Management and Monitoring Program is developed in accordance with §50.22 when it is deemed necessary by the HUD approving official.

(c) A proposal should be rejected if significant and unavoidable adverse environmental impacts would still exist after modifications have been made to the proposal and an EIS is not prepared.

(d) A proposal (if not rejected) shall require an EIS if the EA indicates that significant environmental impacts would result.

§50.34   Time delays for exceptional circumstances.

(a) Under the circumstances described in this section, the FONSI must be made available for public review for 30 calendar days before a final decision is made whether to prepare an EIS and before the HUD action is taken. The circumstances are:

(1) When the proposed action is, or is closely similar to, one which normally requires the preparation of an EIS pursuant to §50.42(b) but it is determined, as a result of an EA or in the course of preparation of a draft EIS, that the proposed action will not have a significant impact on the human environment; or

(2) When the nature of the proposed action is without precedent and does not appear to require more than an assessment.

(b) In such cases, the FONSI must be concurred in by the AS/CPD and the Program Environmental Clearance Officer. Notice of the availability of the FONSI shall be given to the public in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (d) of §50.23.

§50.35   Use of prior environmental assessments.

When other Federal, State, or local agencies have prepared an EA or other environmental analysis for a proposed HUD project, these documents should be requested and used to the extent possible. HUD must, however, conduct the environmental analysis and prepare the EA and be responsible for the required environmental finding.

§50.36   Updating of environmental reviews.

The environmental review must be re-evaluated and updated when the basis for the original environmental or compliance findings is affected by a major change requiring HUD approval in the nature, magnitude or extent of a project and the project is not yet complete. A change only in the amount of financing or mortgage insurance involved does not normally require the environmental review to be re-evaluated or updated.

Subpart F—Environmental Impact Statements

§50.41   EIS policy.

EIS's will be prepared and considered in program determinations pursuant to the general environmental policy stated in §50.3 and 40 CFR 1505.2 (b) and (c).

§50.42   Cases when an EIS is required.

(a) An EIS is required if the proposal is determined to have a significant impact on the human environment pursuant to subpart E.

(b) An EIS will normally be required if the proposal:

(1) Would provide a site or sites for hospitals or nursing homes containing a total of 2,500 or more beds; or

(2) Would remove, demolish, convert, or substantially rehabilitate 2,500 or more existing housing units (but not including rehabilitation projects categorically excluded under §50.20), or which would result in the construction or installation of 2,500 or more housing units, or which would provide sites for 2,500 or more housing units.

(c) When the environmental concerns of one or more Federal authorities cited in §50.4 will be affected by the proposal, the cumulative impact of all such effects should be assessed to determine whether an EIS is required. Where all of the affected authorities provide alternative procedures for resolution, those procedures should be used in lieu of an EIS.

§50.43   Emergencies.

In cases of national emergency and disasters or cases of imminent threat to health and safety or other emergency which require the taking of an action with significant environmental impact, the provisions of 40 CFR 1506.11 and of any applicable §50.4 authorities which provide for emergencies shall apply.

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