(a) This section applies to regulations promulgated by DOE.
(b) DOE shall begin its NEPA review of a proposed rule (if otherwise required by this part) while drafting the proposed regulation, and as soon as environmental effects can be meaningfully evaluated.
(c) DOE shall include any relevant NEPA documents, public and agency comments (if any) on those documents, and DOE responses to those comments, as part of the administrative record (40 CFR 1505.1(c)).
(d) If an EIS is required, DOE will normally publish the draft EIS at the time it publishes the proposed rule (40 CFR 1502.5(d)). DOE will normally combine any public hearings required for a proposed rule with the public hearings required on the draft EIS under § 1021.313 of this part. The draft EIS need not accompany notices of inquiry or advance notices of proposed rulemaking that DOE may use to gather information during early stages of regulation development. When engaged in rulemaking for the purpose of protecting the public health and safety, DOE may issue the final rule simultaneously with publication of the EPA Notice of Availability of the final EIS in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.10(b).
(e) If an EA is required, DOE will normally complete the EA and issue any related FONSI prior to or simultaneously with issuance of the proposed rule; however, if the EA leads to preparation of an EIS, the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section shall apply.